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This One Pan Pesto Chicken is so simple! Cooked chicken with premade pesto, fresh mozzarella & tomatoes, all topped with fresh basil. When you need an easy but delicious weeknight meal, you’ll be thankful this recipe only has a couple ingredients.
Ah pesto. I love it but it has to be done right. If it’s just a little coating on a big piece of meat, it really doesn’t add enough flavor for me. When creating this One Pan Pesto Chicken, I wanted the pesto to coat each bite of chicken. So before adding the pesto to the chicken, I chop it all up into bite-sized pieces. This allows the pesto to coat each piece – and then when topped with the creamy mozzarella, the fresh roasted tomatoes, and the burst of lemon zest, you get so much flavor in each bite.
Best part? This whole dish comes together in 1 pan, with only a couple ingredients, in less than 30 minutes. Who doesn’t need more 1-pan easy dinners in their arsenal? I love the shortcut of using pre-made pesto. I’ve found Costco and Trader Joe’s have great pre-made pesto sauces that are actually much less expensive (and time consuming) than making pesto at home. Pesto is one of those things that just makes sense to buy pre-made. The amount of basil and pine nuts you need to make it fresh isn’t worth it (in my opinion)!
So, every time you go to Costco or Trader Joe’s, pick up all the ingredients for this One Pan Pesto Chicken. All you need is chicken, pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, lemon, and basil.
This Pesto Chicken dish is great on its own, or served over a salad (my personal favorite!), or with pasta (my kids’ favorite!), or with rice or potatoes. It works great on its own or with sides.
One Pan Pesto Chicken
This One Pan Pesto Chicken is so simple! Cooked chicken with premade pesto, fresh mozzarella & tomatoes, all topped with fresh basil.
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5-2.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 container store-bough pesto (at least 8oz.) (I like the kind from Costco or Trader Joe's)
- 1-2 tomatoes, sliced
- 6-8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- fresh basil for topping
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon zest, or lemon juice, for topping
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a large oven-proof pan, add olive oil. Enough to just cover the bottom of the pan. Depending on how big your pan is, it should be about 2-3 tablespoons.
Turn on heat to medium-high. Add chicken breasts. Lightly salt and pepper the tops of the chicken. Also add 1 cup of water, cover chicken, and let cook for 8-10 minutes until cooked through.
Once chicken is cooked, use side of a wood spatula to cut the chicken into smaller pieces, about 1 inch in size. (You can also cut the chicken up before cooking it but I find this to be cleaner and achieves the same result.) Cutting up the chicken before you put the pesto in allows the pesto flavor to thoroughly coat each piece of chicken, and each bite.
Sautee chicken for 1-2 more minutes, until well cooked but tender. Turn off heat.
To pan, and 1-1.5 cups of pre-made pesto. Mix well to ensure all the chicken is coated with the pesto.
To the top of chicken, add slices of the fresh mozzarella, alternating with the slices of tomato. Cover the top and place into the preheated oven.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browning, and the tomatoes are cooked.
Remove from the oven (be sure to use an oven mitt – it will be hot!), and top with fresh basil and if desired lemon zest (or fresh lemon juice).
This dish is great on its own or served with pasta, or greens, or even rice or potatoes. Hope you love this One Pan Pesto Chicken!
This One Pan Pesto Chicken will become one of your favorites too. Make it extra extra easy by grabbing a Costco rotisserie chicken and the dish will come together in under 20 minutes. Be sure to tag me @plumstreetcollective !