In this pesto chicken recipe, chicken breasts are marinated in olive oil and pesto then topped with more pesto, a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and baked! It’s an easy, healthy flavorful main dish recipe made with only 5 ingredients!
Optional: chopped fresh basil or parsley to garnish
In a large bowl, combine pesto, olive oil and minced garlic. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 30-60 minutes, or in the refrigerator for longer.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place a wire rack in a 9x13” baking dish and lightly spray with cooking spray.
Use a spatula to scrape most of the marinade off the chicken, then place the breasts spread apart on the wire rack and sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top of each one.
Spread 2 TBS pesto in an even layer on top of each chicken breast.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, sprinkle 2 TBS mozzarella cheese on the pesto on each chicken breast.
Bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until the temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees F and the cheese is melted.
Remove and let cool slightly. Serve warm with pasta, roasted tomatoes, a salad, etc.
I used 2 lbs of chicken (which was 2 breasts) and cut each one lengthwise so it was thinner.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two months.
Olive oil. If desired, you can substitute avocado oil or canola oil in this recipe, however olive oil is the best.
Pesto. I recommend making your own homemade basil pesto sauce for the best flavor. However, store-bought jarred pesto works well in the winter months when fresh basil isn't readily available.
Minced Garlic. Fresh, rosted garlic can be used in place of minced garlic.
Mozzarella cheese. You can use shredded or fresh mozzarella cheese on top of this pesto chicken, or omit the cheese all together if desired. I have used parmesan cheese in place of mozzarella with great results as well.