I’ve got one of the quickest, easiest, and yummiest chicken recipes for you! Pesto chicken takes only 4 ingredients, comes together in about 10 minutes, and tastes like one of those fancy Italian chicken recipes!
Use your favorite prepared pesto and a generous helping of tasty mozzarella on top, and you’ve got yourself a Mediterranean chicken feast that is quick enough for a mid-week meal!
Let’s head to the kitchen and get started.
- So simple
- 4 ingredients
- 10 min prep
How To Make Pesto Chicken Recipe
Begin by coating each piece of chicken with pesto. Put on a lined baking sheet and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from the oven and top with tomato slices, remaining pesto, and cheese.
Return to the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Lining the pan – First, this makes for quicker cleanup! YAY! But, it also helps the chicken brown on the bottom.
Rest before serving – I know it’s hard, but you need to let the chicken rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to settle in the meat before serving and helps everything stick to the chicken as it cools a bit. If you cut into it straight from the oven, all the delicious juice runs out of the chicken and your toppings will slide right off.
Pesto Chicken Bake Ingredient Notes
Chicken – I use “thin cut” or “scaloppini cut” chicken breasts, available prepackaged at most supermarkets, which saves a ton of time in both prep and baking. These thin pieces of chicken are also the key to packing in the most flavor per bite and ensuring an optimal pesto-tomato-cheese-chicken ratio.
Homemade pesto – A basic recipe is about 2 c. of basil leaves, ½ cup of nuts (pine nuts or walnuts), ½ cup of parmesan cheese, and 3 or 4 cloves of garlic. You’ll want to chop this all up pretty well in your food processor, then drizzle in about ½ c. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can play around with these amounts to suit your preferences and can substitute some arugula or spinach for part of the basil to change the flavor a bit. It’ll last 5 – 7 days in the fridge, but you can also spoon it into ice cube trays and freeze it for your next pesto party.
Tomatoes – I use Roma tomatoes for this recipe, and you don’t need to peel them before slicing. Romas are a great choice because they’re meatier than most slicing tomatoes, with less moisture, which means they’ll bake up perfectly without leaving your chicken pieces swimming in tomato juice and will hold onto the cheese better.
Green is great – Sometimes I saute a little spinach and spread a couple of tablespoons over each chicken breast between the tomatoes and the cheese.
Store any leftover chicken in a well-sealed container in the fridge. This makes great lunch leftovers for the next day!
Can You Freeze This?
You can freeze this, but the tomato will lose its texture. To reheat, you can pop it in the oven or microwave from frozen. Cook until the chicken is hot and the cheese is bubbly.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
According to food handling guidelines, this will keep for about 2-3 days in the fridge.
What Other Italian Chicken Recipes Can I Make?
Italian chicken recipes abound and for good reason. They’re so delicious! You can try one of my favorite soup recipes, chicken florentine soup. You’ll love the tender chunks of chicken and bright flavors. You simply can’t get any more classically Italian than olive garden chicken alfredo, and for a meal with some zip, try Chicken Murphy. Italian sausage and peppers in a tangy sauce compliment the chicken perfectly.
- 4 chicken breast thin-cut boneless
- 1 cup prepared basil pesto divided
- 2 Roma tomatoes sliced into rounds
- 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, toss chicken pieces with 1/2 cup prepared pesto. Lay chicken pieces in a single layer on cookie sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven 14-16 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and there is no longer any pink in the center.
- Remove from oven. Place a layer of sliced tomatoes, slightly overlapping, over each chicken breast. Drizzle the top of the tomatoes with about 1 Tablespoon, per breast, of remaining pesto. Top each piece of chicken with an equal amount of cheese.
- Return to oven and continue to bake until cheese has melted. Remove and allow chicken to rest for about 5 minutes then serve.
Italian chicken recipes make great family-friendly meals! Here are some great options.
- Chicken Primavera – delicious veggie-filled sauce
- Bruschetta Chicken – yummy bruschetta toppings over chicken
- Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken – smoky prosciutto brings big flavor
- Chicken Milanese – Flavorful breaded chicken breasts
- Chicken Cacciatore – traditional hunter’s stew
This Pesto Chicken recipe is sure to become a regular on your weeknight rotation. It’s just that easy and delicious! I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you, so be sure to comment below!