This Baked Pesto Chicken is on of those recipes you will make over and over again. This recipe is super simple to make with only six ingredients, but it taste like you ordered it straight out of a restaurant kitchen. The Pesto Chicken is rich and loaded with bold flavors of basil and garlic layered on between tender chicken and creamy cheese. This pairs perfectly with some roasted veggies, cauliflower rice, or garlic sautéed spinach and as a bonus it is low carb and can be gluten free!
Baked Pesto Chicken Recipe
This is one of those recipes that you make and wonder why you haven’t ever thought of making it. These ingredients combine to make a dish of pure deliciousness. As a matter of fact, the day we first made this, we made 9 recipes, and this was the most simple. It was also the one we unanimously voted the most delicious!
This picture says it all. A creamy pesto layer, on top of tender chicken , then blanketed in cheese! It doesn’t get much better than that. Pure Perfection!!
The best part about this recipe is it has 6 simple ingredients all combined into one dish, so the cleanup is simple and quick. I usually have all these ingredients on hand in my pantry or fridge. So on those nights I’m struggling to know what to make, I just whip this up.
This recipe is best for all the types of eaters in your family. Even your pickiest eaters will gobble it up. This dish is naturally gluten free, and friendly for low carb and keto diets.
What to serve with Baked Pesto Chicken
Baked Pesto Chicken can be served in a variety of ways. The flavors are so delicious and creamy that you could eat it by itself. The serving options for this dish are endless. Baked Pesto Chicken tends to have an Italian flair so I like to pair it with sides on that flavor spectrum. Here are a few of my families favorite sides:
Classic Side dishes to serve with Baked Pesto Chicken
- Mashed Potatoes
- Smashed Potatoes
- Rice- our favorite is jasmine
- Baked Sweet Potato
Low carb sides to serve with Baked Pesto Chicken
- Over Sautéed Spinach
- With Cauliflower Rice
- With a side salad- Greens, tomatoes, cheese, and veggies. For a dressing, try my homemade Italian or Homemade Ranch. They are both crazy delicious and may make the salad steal the show!
- With Veggies ( steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower, sautéed green beans, Brussel sprouts)
- On top of Mashed Cauliflower
- Zoodles- Spiralized zucchini or butternut squash work great!
If you have any great sides, please comment below so all of our readers and myself can give it a try too!
How to Make Baked Pesto Chicken
This recipe is pretty straight forward but I will answer some of your questions that may come up as you cook. Note: The FULL recipe card is available at the bottom of this post. If you still have questions, feel free to ask away in the comments below!
Can you freeze Baked Pesto Chicken?
This recipe makes a great freezer meal that you can place in the oven when you’re ready to eat. You can freeze this before you cook it or after.
To freeze Baked Pesto Chicken before cooking it
Mix the pesto ingredients and cheese in a ziplock bag. Put your chicken in a separate bag and freeze. When you are ready to cook, let the mixture thaw. Place the chicken in a baking dish and top it with the pesto mixture, and continue with the recipe from there.
To freeze Baked Pesto Chicken after cooking
Let your chicken dish cool completely, then place it in an air tight container. You can freeze this for up to one month. If preferred, separate each chicken breast in separate serving containers. I like to this for for meal prep and quick lunches for me or my husband.
How do I store Baked Pesto Chicken in the fridge?
A: Well if you any leftovers, you can store them in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, but be warned… your family might gobble up the whole dish!
Do you have any other low carb chicken recipes?
A: I have lots of them, here are a few for you to try:
Green Chile Chicken, Garlic Parmesan Chicken, Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup, and Tuscan Garlic Chicken.
Leftover Recipe Ideas for Baked Pesto Chicken
I love recipes that can pull double duty, giving me dinner one night, then using the leftovers as the start of another dinner later in the week. Here are a few ideas on how to use the leftovers so your family won’t even know that they are in fact leftovers.
- Pesto Chicken Tortellini– Chop and reheat leftover Pesto Chicken. Cook tortellini per package instructions. Once done drain in a colander over a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach (this will perfectly wilt the spinach) and mix the tortellini and spinach with pesto sauce to lightly coat then stir in the chopped chicken.
- Pesto Chicken Pizza– Spread the pizza crust with a thin layer of pesto. Chop the leftover pesto chicken up and evenly spread it over the pizza crust. Top with cheese and cherry tomato halves. Bake as directed on the crust.
- Pesto Chicken Panini– Slice the leftover pesto chicken. Place the slices with some of the pesto cheese sauce between two slices of nice italian bread. Add fresh spinach and additional mozzarella cheese. Spread butter or olive oil on each of the outer sides of the bread and then press in a panini press or cook on a griddle on medium heat for 3-5 minutes a side.
- Baked Pesto Quesadilla– Chop chicken, add pesto and mozzarella cheese and diced tomatoes to flour tortilla.
As you can tell, we really love this recipe at our house. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
If you do get a chance to make it, I would love it if you let me know! You can leave me a comment below, or if you post a picture on Instagram, make sure to tag me @easyfamilyrecipesso that I can see what you are cooking up! It makes my day to see others enjoying the recipes that I share!
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Baked Pesto Chicken
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (3-4 chicken breasts)
- 8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup basil pesto prepared
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 6 leaves fresh basil chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
- Mix softened cream cheese and pesto together until combined.
- Lay chicken breasts flat in a large baking dish. Spread pesto mixture evenly over the chicken breasts and sprinkle the mozzarella over the top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature of 165˚F.)
- Garnish with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Enjoy!
- If chicken breasts are thick, I recommend butterflying them (cutting in half so they are half the thickness) so that they cook more quickly and evenly.
- You can cut the chicken in half, chunks, or use chicken tenderloins in lieu of full chicken breasts to make serving easier. Cooking time may be reduced.
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 3-5 days, or in the freezer for up to a month. The chicken reheats well.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
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