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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


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 35 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x

Description

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


Scale

Ingredients

  • 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

WHAT TO SERVE WITH BASIL PESTO CHICKEN: Serve this entree over mashed potatoes, thin noodles, cauliflower rice, jasmine rice, or cooked zucchini noodles (zoodles).


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse chicken. Pat the pieces dry between paper towels. Season all sides 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.
  3. While 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.
  4. Sprinkle cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and capers over the chicken in the cast-iron skillet. Pour the creamy pesto sauce over the chicken.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until poultry is done. The internal temperature of baked chicken should be 165°F in the thickest part.
  6. Garnish with hand-torn basil leaves.

Notes

  • BEST SUBSTITUTES FOR HEAVY CREAM: Half-and-half or evaporated milk.
  • DELICIOUS ADD-INS: Try marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, or feta cheese.
  • HOW TO STRETCH THIS RECIPE TO FEED MORE PEOPLE: Once baking is done, transfer chicken to a cutting board. Slice up the breasts. Return them to the pan to get covered in sauce. Divide the entree equally between the number of diners, serving over a base of noodles, mashed potatoes, rice, cauliflower, etc.
  • MAKE-AHEAD RECIPE: When using the freshest ingredients, this pesto chicken bake can be assembled and baked 1 -2 days in advance. Cool and refrigerate in an air-tight container. 
  • MORE INFO ABOUT THIS RECIPE: Further tips are included in the body of the post, along with helpful step-by-step recipe images.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop + Oven
  • Cuisine: American

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

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