Go Back
+ servings
Logo of The Forked Spoon showing Spork
Plate with steamed broccoli, plain boiled pasta noodles, and pesto covered chicken breast.
5 from 7 votes

Pesto Chicken Recipe

This Easy Baked Pesto Chicken Recipe is made with juicy chicken breasts and oven-baked in a creamy homemade basil pesto sauce. Ready in just 30 minutes, serve with your favorite sides for a delicious and flavorful low-carb dinner.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 489kcal

Ingredients

For the pesto chicken

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 cup prepared pesto sauce (see recipe below) or store-bought

For the Pesto

  • cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves stems removed, packed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

For the chicken

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a large 11 x 8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add the chicken breasts to your baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, to season, and turn to coat.
  • Add the prepared pesto sauce over the top of the chicken breasts. Use a silicone spatula to evenly distribute over each chicken breast and use kitchen tongs to flip each chicken breast 1-2 times to really cover the entire surface in sauce.
  • Tent your baking dish with foil and transfer it to the oven. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Then uncover and continue to bake for an additional 5-15 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees as measured with a digital meat thermometer.
  • Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

For the Pesto

  • Add the pine nuts, garlic, and fresh basil to the bowl of a food processor and process until finely minced, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • With the motor running, very slowly drizzle the oil in the food processor, slowly and steadily. Process until mostly smooth - you may need to remove the lid and scrape down the sides once half-way through adding the oil.
  • Add the cheese and process just until combined. Stir in salt, to taste.

Notes

Pesto Sauce: Feel free to purchase and use your favorite store-bought pesto if you're short on time. You will need approximately 1 cup of prepared pesto to make this chicken recipe. The recipe provided makes approx. 2 cups.
Prep ahead: Prepare the pesto ahead of time and combine with the chicken, olive oil, salt, pepper, in a large zip-lock bag to marinate in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
Should you sear your chicken before baking? I did not feel the need to sear my chicken breasts before baking. If you decide to use bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, this is a step that I would recommend.
What temperature should I cook chicken to? Poultry should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F and allowed to rest for 5 minuts before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 945mg | Potassium: 934mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1066IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @theforkedspoon and hashtag it #theforkedspoon and please leave your star rating in the comment section on this post.