Pesto Chicken – Oven-Baked with Mozza!

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This pesto chicken recipe is a quick weeknight meal!

Tender chicken breasts tossed with pesto and baked until tender, then topped with melted cheese and a fresh bruschetta inspired topping.

Pesto chicken on a plate topped with basil and tomatoes
  • This dish goes from the oven to the table in less than 30 minutes.
  • It’s fresh, easy to make, and packed with flavor.
  • This pesto chicken recipe can be paired with pasta, roasted vegetables, or baked spaghetti squash.
  • You can use homemade pesto or, to make it quick, buy a jar of pesto.
chicken , vinegar , red wine vinegar , garlic , parsley , basil , tomato , mozzarella cheese , pesto , oil with labels to make Pesto Chicken

Ingredients For Pesto Chicken

  • Chicken: I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe. They can be replaced with chicken thighs (about 1 ½ lbs). You can also use bone-in (split chicken breasts), but you will need to increase the cooking time.
  • Pesto: Store-bought pesto is perfect for this recipe, but you can make your own fresh pesto and have extra on hand for dips and dressings!
  • Cheese: Fresh mozzarella melts perfectly over the chicken in this recipe, although, any variety of mozzarella cheese is great in this recipe.
  • Topping: The topping is inspired by my favorite bruschetta recipe and adds a bright fresh flavor.

Variations

  • Replace the basil pesto sauce with sundried tomato pesto, kale pesto, or another flavor.
  • Sliced zucchini or red peppers can be added to the skillet to cook with the chicken.
adding pesto to chicken to make Pesto Chicken
cooked chicken to make Pesto Chicken

How to Make Pesto Chicken

Pesto chicken is an easy and elegant weeknight dinner!

  1. Toss the chicken with pesto, balsamic, and seasonings (recipe below).
  2. Brown in a skillet and bake.
  3. Add more pesto and top with cheese. Let the cheese melt a few minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with the fresh tomato topping.

Storing Leftovers

  • Leftover pesto chicken can be stored separately from the tomato topping in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • Leftover pesto chicken is great as a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and red onion.
adding chicken and cheese in dish to make Pesto Chicken

More Chicken Favorites

Did you make this Pesto Chicken? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below. 

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Juicy and flavorful, this Pesto Chicken is the perfect entree for dinner with the family!

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Rest Time 5 minutes

Total Time 35 minutes

Servings 4 chicken breasts

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

Topping

  • 1 large Roma tomato
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 2 ½ qt baking dish.

  • Toss the chicken with 2 tablespoons pesto and balsamic vinegar.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and brown for 2 minutes on each side.

  • Place the chicken in the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, finely dice the tomato. Add to a small bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dried basil, salt, and pepper. Set aside for serving.

  • Spoon the remaining pesto over the chicken breasts, top with cheese, and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt and the chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165°F.

  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

  • Spoon tomato topping over chicken, add fresh herbs and serve.

This recipe uses small 5oz chicken breasts. If your chicken breasts are larger, they will need more time and possibly a larger baking dish.

Use any flavor of pesto in this recipe. 

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

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Dinner, Entree, Main Course

Cuisine American, Italian

© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

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cheesy Pesto Chicken with writing
Pesto Chicken on a plate and close up photo with a title

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
See more posts by Holly

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