Want to know the best parts of this recipe? How about only 3 ingredients? How about the preparation? You are simply rinsing, drying and slicing your chicken breasts into three thick strips. That’s all. You can use thighs here too.
The pesto I used on this day is my tried and true Gotham Greens from Whole Foods. Update: By popular demand, I am including my new pesto recipe below… It is fantastic and flavorful!
Baking this dish is a no brainer. And the bonus here is that it makes the chicken SUPER juicy and tender.
This is definitely a winner winner chicken dinner and please all the family and friends in your life. I served mine with some rice and poured the baking dish juices all over – chef’s kiss!
I also use this same method with my salmon, which happens to be my favorite. I slather the salmon with a thick layer of pesto and then top that with a parmesan cheese and breadcrumb mixture. Nothing beats it. Again, time and taste are terrific here.
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Easy Baked Pesto Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup mozzarella shredded
- 1 cup fresh basil, no stems
- 1 tbs pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Slice your chicken breast into thick large strips. Depending on the size of the piece, slice into three or two strips. Season all the strips, front and back, generously with salt and pepper.
- Spread half of the pesto all over the bottom of your baking dish.
- Transfer the chicken to the dish in an even layer. Scoop the rest of the pesto on top and spread out with a brush or spatula to coat.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with your mozzarella. Place back in the oven until cheese is melted. Don’t over bake… you want juicy meat. Internal temperature of meat should be 165 F. Top with chili pepper flakes.
- Combine the basil, nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely minced. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until all is in. Finally mix in the grated parmesan.