This Pesto Chicken is juicy, delicious and is ready in 25 minutes. It’s a simple recipe that tastes amazing, goes well with most sides, and is perfect for busy weeknights.
Table of contents
This basil pesto chicken recipe is one of those summer classics that never gets old.
Juicy, sweet cherry tomatoes sauteed with fresh and herbaceous basil pesto. Golden brown and juicy chicken breasts with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
The flavors work so well together, and it tastes bright and oh so delicious! Toss in a tomato mozzarella salad and some crusty garlic bread and you’ll have dinner gold!
Why This Chicken Recipe Works?
- One pan: This chicken recipe is so easy to make and is a one-pan wonder.
- Quick: You can make it ahead or just prepare it the night of since it takes less than 30 minutes.
- Delicious sauce: That goes well not only with chicken breasts itself but pour over pasta, rice or quinoa you serve chicken with.
Ingredients You Will Need
This recipe is so simple with clean ingredients.
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Basil pesto: Store-bought or homemade.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Extras: Olive oil for cooking the chicken. Salt and pepper for seasoning.
How to Make Pesto Chicken
So simple just follow these steps.
Cut and season the chicken. Slice the chicken breasts into halves to create thinner cutlets. Then season both sides with salt and pepper.
By cutting the chicken breasts in half horizontally, they are thinner and of uniform thickness. This means quicker, more even cooking.
Heat the oil. Now add the olive oil to a skillet and bring the heat to medium-high. Then add the chicken.
Cook and let it rest. Cook the chicken on both sides, then transfer it to a plate and cover with foil to rest.
It’s easy to overcook thin chicken cutlets, so keep an eye on them so they don’t dry out.
Blister the tomatoes. In the same pan, toss in the cherry tomatoes and stir them gently for about 1 minute, just until they look blistered.
You want the tomatoes to keep their shape and not get mushy, so only cook them until they begin to blister.
Add the pesto and chicken. Now add the pesto sauce and chicken back in. Stir until everything is combined.
If you plan to serve chicken with pasta, double or triple the amount of basil pesto and add some cream to create enough sauce for full coverage.
What to Serve It With?
Make it a meal!
- You can serve this delicious Italian-inspired chicken with pasta like spaghetti or penne. Also check out our full collection of healthy pasta recipes.
- It also goes well over a bed of Instant Pot brown rice, couscous, or Instant Pot quinoa.
- Start with an Italian chopped salad or minestrone soup, then use warm, crusty bread to mop up the leftover sauce when you’re done.
For best results follow these tips
- Add vegetables: Enjoy this healthy dish with diced zucchini, red bell pepper, red onions, asparagus, spinach, or green beans for a healthier, veggie-filled dish.
- Try grape tomatoes: Grape tomatoes aren’t as juicy as cherry, but they can easily substitute in this recipe.
- Make it creamy: This is great for a thick sauce, especially if you’re serving it with pasta. Just add some heavy cream, or the nut milk of your choice.
- Add citrus: This dish is amazing with some added zing, so add some lemon juice and zest.
- Substitute another protein: You can use boneless chicken thighs, or other proteins like shrimp or pork, if you want. Cook times and temperatures may vary though.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Perfect for meal prep! Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until warmed through. If it’s been frozen, allow it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before heating.
Yes. Once the chicken has cooled, place it in a freezer ziplock bag or container. You can also freeze the pesto. It’s best to do this in ice cube trays so you can use only as much as you need. They will both last about 4 months.
Tomatoes can become mushy when frozen and thawed, so best to use those fresh.
More Chicken Recipes To Try
3-Ingredient Pesto Chicken Breast
- Slice the chicken into halves, so you end up with thinner cutlets. Then season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Now add the olive oil into a skillet and bring the heat to medium high.
- Cook the chicken on both sides, then transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
- In the same pan, toss in the cherry tomatoes and stir them gently for about 1 minute just until they look blistered. Then add in the pesto.
- Now add the chicken back in. Stir until everything is combined. Add more pesto on top of the chicken if you prefer more.
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