A delicious, flavorful chicken dinner recipe that boasts fresh, bold flavors. If you love pesto, cheese, and tomato, this recipe is perfect for your family without all the extra carbs.
If you love Italian flavors, this meal is perfect for you! This meal is ready in a little over 30 minutes and you can use fresh or canned pesto & tomatoes. Sometimes I whip up a fresh batch of pesto, but other times I prefer the ease of a quality jarred pesto–the choice is yours!
Make fresh pesto without pine nuts
But, if your basil is “growing like a weed” you might like this recipe for fresh Pesto without Pine Nuts. I love pine nuts, but didn’t have any on-hand. If you do have pine nuts, simply add 1 tablespoon to this recipe & enjoy!
- 3 cups of fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- 8 ounces of parmigiana regiono cheese
Simply add all these ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. This pesto keeps for about 3 days in the fridge in an air-tight jar.
PESTO – Jarred or fresh will do since jarred brands have come a long way. However, I always prefer (when possible) homemade.
CHICKEN – I used 2 lbs. of cutlets cut in half the long way to thin out the meat and keep the cutlets tender. You could use a meat mallet to thin your meat as well.
SPICES- Onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, kosher salt, Italian Seasoning. If you do not have Italian seasoning, dried basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary will work.
TOMATOES- I used fresh cherry tomatoes, but you could substitute in seasoned canned tomatoes. Just be sure to drain the excess liquid.
CHEESE- Fresh mozzarella is the way to go for this recipe. I prefer mozzarella balls since they are the freshest and softest. They also melt really nicely over the breast. \
OLIVE OIL- I use a little to pan-fry the chicken until a light golden brown crust develops. Chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to cook pesto chicken
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Pan fry cutlets in a large skillet with heated oil. Fry each side for 4-5 minutes each.
Remove cutlets from pan, and line chicken on in a casserole dish like a glass Pyrex.
Cover each cutlet with a tablespoon of pesto, coat top generously and cover each piece with a slice of mozzarella and some halved tomatoes. Sprinkle with Italian spices.
Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and tomatoes are burst. You can also bake for ten minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit on the top rack for a similar effect.
Remove chicken from pan, and serve over pasta, rice, or your favorite side dish. We served ours with potato gnocchi & marinara.
I have not tried to freeze this meal (let us know if you do), but you can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days in an airtight container. Warm in the oven or microwave to heat.
More chicken recipes
- Chicken Bacon Pasta
- Potato Chips Chicken Tenders
- Sheet Pan Chicken Parmesan
- Cream of Mushroom Chicken Bake
Cheesy Pesto Chicken
- baking sheet (broil-safe)
- large skillet
- 2 lbs. white meat chicken cutlets thin style
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tbsps. olive oil
- 8 tbsps basil pesto *see post for a fresh variety
- 10 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning *or dried oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Pan fry chicken in a large skillet with heated oil. Fry each side for 4-5 minutes each.
- Remove chicken from pan, and line on a broiler-safe pan (if broiling) or parchment-lined pan if baking pan.
- Cover each cooked cutlet with a tablespoon of pesto, coat top generously and cover each piece with a slice of mozzarella and some halved tomatoes. Sprinkle with Italian spices.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and tomatoes are burst. You can also bake for ten minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit on the top rack for a similar effect.
- Remove chicken from pan, and serve over pasta, rice, or your favorite side dish. We served ours with potato gnocchi & marinara.