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?
What Kind Of Pesto Should I Use?
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, here’s a great pesto recipe and tips for freezing home-made pesto.
Making The Chicken Juicy and Flavorful
One of the things I do frequently when cooking chicken breasts is to pound them to achieve an even thickness. I’ve even done some testing on chicken breasts and have found that this allows the chicken to cook more evenly so that it doesn’t end up dry at its thinnest points before the thicker parts cook through. For this recipe, I like to keep them between 3/4 – 1-inch thick based on the thickest part of the chicken breast.
While it’s not listed in the recipe, you can also brine the chicken breasts to make them even more flavorful and juicy. I’ve found that brining for as little as 15 minutes, but ideally 30 minutes, is enough to add flavor and juiciness to chicken.
Making Delicious Pesto Chicken
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.
Once the chicken is on the pan, you’ll season it with salt and pepper (skip the salt if you brined the chicken though), top it with a dollop of pesto, some mozzarella cheese, and some tomato slices. I love to serve this dish with oven-polenta and roasted broccoli. Note that the polenta can be cooked at the same temperature as the chicken.Print
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
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 4 Tbsp. homemade pesto or your favorite pre-packaged pesto
- 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- 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.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Arrange chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Spread each breast with 1 tablespoon of pesto.
- Top each breast with 1 ounce of mozzarella and 2 slices of tomatoes.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer registers 165˚F.
- Garnish with basil leaves and serve.