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Pesto chicken in a cast-iron skillet next to a silver slotted serving spoon on a rustic blue table.

PESTO CHICKEN BAKE


Description

This creamy pesto chicken bake is juicy, tender and packed with flavor. It’s a restaurant-quality meal that’s quick and simple assemble at home. Make this easy recipe in 35 minutes.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 chicken breast fillets, boneless/skinless
  • Sea salt, as desired
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, as desired
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons non-pareil capers, drained and rinsed
  • For garnishing: Fresh basil leaves, hand shredded

Instructions

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse chicken. Pat the pieces dry between paper towels.

  1. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large cast-iron skillet, warm olive oil over medium heat. Sear chicken 4 minutes on each side until golden brown, then remove pan from heat.
  2. While the chicken is searing, warm cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Do not allow liquid to boil. Add a pinch of garlic powder and pinch of salt to the warm cream-and-butter mixture. Stir in the basil pesto. Grate parmesan cheese directly over the pan of creamy pesto. With a wooden spoon, stir briefly until cheese is incorporated and has melted in.
  3. Add seared chicken back to the cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle with cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and capers. Pour the creamy pesto sauce over the chicken.
  4. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until poultry is done. The internal temperature should be 165°F in the thickest part.
  5. Garnish with hand-torn basil leaves.

Notes

Substitute for heavy cream: Half-and-half or evaporated milk.

Try more delicious add-ins: Marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, or feta cheese.

How to serve this recipe: Serve over a base of mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Stovetop + Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pesto Chicken, Pesto Chicken Bake, Basil Pesto Chicken