Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
Pesto was an ingredient, a dish, that I avoided for years. I thought it was one of those fancy dishes with a complicated recipe to make something I probably wouldn't even like. In fact, I was sure you had to have a "refined" taste to enjoy it.
The more I delve into the world of cooking, and especially chicken dishes, I have been more adventurous and willing to try a few new things. This was one of those dishes. Pesto . . . okay, here we go.
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Serves 2 people 1 chicken breast with pesto
- 2 medium chicken breasts
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup basil (fresh or dried)
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups chicken stock
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and prepare a small casserole dish by spraying it well with cooking spray.
- Place two thawed chicken breasts into the casserole dish. (In my pictures I used 4 chicken breasts as I was making another meal for a friend at the same time and needed 2 cooked chicken breasts.)
- Pour 2 cups of chicken stock over your chicken breasts. I typically use chicken bouillon cubes and water because they last longer than the premade stuff.
- Sprinkle garlic powder over the tops of your breasts and pop the casserole dish into the oven for an hour.
- While your chicken is cooking, we can prepare the pesto for your meal. Yum!
- Start with your 2 cups of spinach. I used fresh spinach, so I cut the leaves in half so they fit into the bowl of my food processor.
- Add the spinach to a food processor along with your 1/2 cup of basil. (Note: I used dried basil.)
- Follow these ingredients with 1/2 cup of walnuts and a 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Finally add in your 4 cloves of garlic, your 1/3 cup of olive oil and your teaspoon of sugar.
- I use minced garlic because I can't figure out how to keep it from going bad in our super dry climate. One clove of garlic equals one tablespoon of minced and 4 tablespoons equals 1/4 cup. Sorry if that confuses you.
- Blend all of these wonderful ingredients together in your food processor until everything is evenly mixed together. You may have to stop and push your ingredients back down periodically with a spatula.
- Man the pesto smelled amazing at this point!! I couldn't help but taste it either and boy was it delicious!
- When your chicken is done in the oven, pull it out and dose out your chicken breasts onto plates. Spread your pesto over the top. (Hint: Bring the pesto to the table, everyone will most definitely want more halfway through dinner.)
- On the side, we made garlic bread and my Amazing Asparagus and Quinoa. You'll have to check out the recipe!
Step-by-Step Photo Guide
Boy was the pesto in this recipe amazing! I definitely cannot think of a single thing to improve it except maybe . . . using more!
I just don't know if baking the chicken was the right choice for this recipe. It certainly was effective, and for a busy family, it is extremely easy and efficient, but when I cook this meal again, I want to try grilling our chicken breasts or even cooking them briefly on the stove. The chicken broth really did give it a nice flavor though.
And the quinoa and asparagus were perfect compliments to this already fancy meal. By the way, my 9-month-old baby demanded to share with me and ended up with his own portion of both the pesto and the quinoa and asparagus side.
© 2018 Victoria Van Ness