Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Baked Pesto Chicken

Once I made that yummy pesto, I needed something to do with it.  Chicken of course is such a great canvas so this baked up dish is delicious and really lets that pesto shine.  Melted cheese on top completes the dish for a wonderful entree with lots of fresh flavor.  I am in love with this chicken dish and am hoarding pesto to freeze so I can make this all through the fall.  This dish is very easy to make, with just a few ingredients, and came together quickly for a weeknight meal.

Searching for pesto recipes, I was so lucky to find this one from Ellie at The Bitchin Kitchin.  Ellie is one of the members in my Secret Recipe Club group and I was paired with her last year when I made this delicious corn dish.  So when I found this pesto chicken dish from her, I knew it would be good.  The only change I would make is rather than cut the chicken into long strips, I should have fileted it for a more even cooking.  This worked well, but I this would be an improvement on the process.  If you're looking for a new way to use your pesto, this is an excellent dish to feature that fresh flavor.

Baked Pesto Chicken


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 16-20 ounces
salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper
1/2 cup pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Trim chicken of visible fat and either cut lengthwise into two to three large tenders or filet horizontally.  Season each piece of chicken with salt, pepper and cayenne and set aside.

Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray, then spread about 1/4 cup of the pesto on the bottom of the pan. Lay chicken in pan in a single layer, then top evenly with remaining pesto.

Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until just about done.   Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and gently browned.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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