Pesto Chicken (1)
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A simple meal is chicken pesto! Pesto is used to season chicken breasts, which are then roasted till moist. Melting cheese and a fast, tangy bruschetta complete the dish for the ideal bite.

Pesto Chicken is simple enough for a weeknight and formal enough for visitors.

Chicken pesto perfection

This recipe is very simple to make, which is why we love it!

Although I love making my own pesto, store-bought pesto works just as well in this recipe.

Many recipes call for adding a lot of pesto before baking, but I find that it separates and gets oily. We prefer to flavor the chicken while it bakes with a small amount first, and then add more.

Fresh tomatoes lend a touch of freshness to each bite of this pesto chicken, which has deep, robust flavors.


Pesto Chicken Easy (1)
Food: Pesto Chicken (Source: The Recipe Critic)

Even the chicken is simple to find among these ingredients. When they are on sale, stock up so you have plenty on hand.

CHICKEN This recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, however bone-in, split chicken breasts will also work. It could be necessary to modify the cooking time.

PESTO Pesto, either handmade or purchased, is all that’s required to flavor this chicken. herbs, a little oil, and some garlic. For sweetness, I like to add a small amount of balsamic.

CHEESE All you need is mozzarella cheese and a dash of Italian seasonings! However, we also enjoy varying the flavor profile; if you’d like, substitute provolone or Muenster.

TOPPING This chicken is the ideal vehicle for our favorite bruschetta topping, which is really easy to prepare.


  • For a stuffed version, flatten the chicken breasts, lay a slice of mozzarella cheese and a dollop in the center, roll, and bake!
  • Substitute sundried tomato pesto for the regular pesto.
  • If it’s warm enough outside, grill the chicken breasts (marinate in most of the pesto). Once the cheese is barely melted, add it and turn off the grill. To serve, sprinkle extra pesto and tomatoes on top!

How to Prepare Chicken in Pesto

Despite being incredibly simple to prepare, pesto chicken has restaurant-quality flavor!

  1. Combine some pesto and balsamic with the chicken. Place in a casserole dish after browning and baking.
  2. Make the tomato topping while the chicken is baking.
  3. Add extra pesto and a slice of mozzarella cheese when the food has finished cooking. About 5 more minutes of baking should be enough to melt the cheese.
  4. Serve with tomato topping on top.


If covered, pesto chicken can keep for about 4 days in the fridge. With a little water to keep it moist, reheat it in a toaster oven or on the stovetop in a covered sauté pan. Add more cheese on top, and season with a little salt and pepper before serving.

Pesto Chicken

This Pesto Chicken is the ideal main course for a family supper since it is juicy and tasty.

ten minutes to prepare

30 minutes for cooking

five minutes for rest

time period: 45 minutes

serving: 4 chicken breasts


  • 4 small chicken breasts about 5 ounces each
  • ⅓ cup pesto divided
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • fresh basil and parsley for serving, optional


  • 1 Roma tomato finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • salt & pepper to taste


Pesto Chicken Yum (1)
Food: Pesto Chicken (Source: The Recipe Critic)
  1. Set the oven to 400 °F.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of pesto, balsamic vinegar, and chicken to a bowl.
  3. Cook the chicken in a frying pan for two minutes on each side over medium heat.
  4. Place in an oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Chicken breasts should be topped with cheese and returned to the oven for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
  6. After 5 minutes of resting, remove from the oven.
  7. Fill a small bowl with the topping ingredients while still cooking.
  8. Add fresh herbs, then drizzle topping evenly over the chicken before serving.


Small 5 oz. chicken breasts are used in this dish. Larger chicken breasts will require extra cooking time.

For up to 4 days, keep leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Nutrition information

Calories: 448 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 894mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 805IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 188mg | Iron: 1mg