Pesto Chicken

Pesto Chicken Breast topped with homemade or pre-packaged pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes is a weeknight show stopping dish.

Pesto Chicken Breast topped with homemade or pre-packaged pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes is a weeknight show stopping dish.

Stunning, delicious, and only 4 ingredients: chicken, pesto, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Pesto Chicken Breasts come together in 10 minutes, bake in about 20 minutes, and are pretty enough be served on the sheet pan they’re baked on. What’s not to love about this recipe?

Disclaimer, the 10-minute prep time is based on using pre-made pesto. And by pre-made, I mean either commercial or home-made that has been made ahead of time or has been previously frozen. What, you didn’t know that you could freeze pesto? Well, check here for a great recipe and tips for freezing home-made pesto.

One of the things I do frequently when cooking chicken breasts is to pound them to achieve an even thickness. For this recipe, I like to keep them between 3/4 – 1-inch thick based on the thickest part of the chicken breast. This helps to make sure that the breasts cook evenly. There’s something therapeutic about this part of the process ;)

Lining a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, foil or a silicone mat makes cleanup quick and easy. Arranging the chicken on the prepared pan and assembling the dish there, means there aren’t extra dishes to cleanup.

If the chicken finishes before the cheese melts and gets those nice little browned bits, turn on the broiler until the cheese achieves the desired doneness, maybe 2 minutes longer. NOTE: it’s not recommended to broil when using silicone mats. You may want to use parchment paper or foil if you like the cheese to have those crunchy bits.

I serve this dish with polenta and a tossed green salad. Buttered noodles and roasted asparagus are also nice accompaniments.


Pesto Chicken Breast

  • Author: Leigh Olson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


Pesto Chicken Breast topped with homemade or pre-packaged pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes is a weeknight show stopping dish.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 tablespoons homemade pesto or your favorite pre-packaged pesto
  • 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • Fresh basil for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2. If the thickness of the chicken breasts is very uneven, pound them a bit to even things out (see this post for how to do that), keeping the chicken 3/4- to 1-inch thick.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  4. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  5. Arrange chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Spread each breast with 1 tablespoon of pesto.
  6. Top each breast with 1 ounce of mozzarella and 2 slices of tomatoes.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer registers 165˚F.
  8. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.
Pesto Chicken

16 responses to “Pesto Chicken”

  1. Candice says:

    Can I prepare this recipe and freeze it BEFORE baking in the oven?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      You could, Candice, but I would recommend defrosting it in the fridge overnight and adding the fresh tomatoes just before baking. I don’t think it would work as well directly from freezer to oven.

  2. Alecia G says:

    This looks delicious and healthy too! I’m looking for some good recipes to try for next year and this one is definitely on my list.

  3. Anita Kennett says:

    I never thought about this,but it sounds wonderful.I can’t wait to try.

  4. nosogirl says:

    I love how quick and easy – and delicious – this recipe seems to be!

  5. Our family loves chicken! I would love to make this for my hubby!

  6. Francine Anchondo says:

    This sounds so good.

  7. Tina Woo says:

    I swear I can SMELL how delicious this is just from the photo! Perfect for those times you have a bit of leftover pesto.

  8. sheila ressel says:

    Oh man, does this ever look scrumptious. My mouth is watering!

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