Easy and Delicious Pesto Chicken

Updated on June 2, 2018
VVanNess profile image

Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, blogger at Healthy at Home, and educator. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.

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5 stars from 1 rating of Easy and Delicious Pesto Chicken

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 bet 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.

Cook Time

Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Serves 2 people 1 chicken breast with pesto

Ingredients

  • 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 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and prepare a small casserole dish by spraying it well with cooking spray.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. Sprinkle garlic powder over the tops of your breasts and pop the casserole dish into the oven for an hour.
  5. While your chicken is cooking, we can prepare the pesto for your meal. Yum!
  6. 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.
  7. Add the spinach to a food processor along with your 1/2 cup of basil. (Note: I used dried basil.)
  8. Follow these ingredients with 1/2 cup of walnuts and a 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
  9. Finally add in your 4 cloves of garlic, your 1/3 cup of olive oil and your teaspoon of sugar.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Man the pesto smelled amazing at this point!! I couldn't help but taste it either and boy was it delicious!
  13. 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.)
  14. On the side, we made garlic bread and my Amazing Asparagus and Quinoa. You'll have to check out the recipe!
Step One: Preheat your oven and spray your pan with cooking spray
Step One: Preheat your oven and spray your pan with cooking spray | Source
Step Two: Prepare your chicken broth (I like using chicken bouillon cubes.)
Step Two: Prepare your chicken broth (I like using chicken bouillon cubes.) | Source
Step Three: Place your chicken breasts in your casserole dish and top with your chicken broth
Step Three: Place your chicken breasts in your casserole dish and top with your chicken broth | Source
Step Four: Top with garlic powder
Step Four: Top with garlic powder | Source
Step Five: Begin your pesto by adding your spinach to the food processor
Step Five: Begin your pesto by adding your spinach to the food processor | Source
Step Six: Add your basil to the mix
Step Six: Add your basil to the mix | Source
Step Seven: Add in your Parmesan cheese
Step Seven: Add in your Parmesan cheese | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Step Eight: Add in your walnutsStep Nine: Add in your sugarStep Ten: Add in your oilStep Eleven: Blend all of your ingredients togetherStep Twelve: Pull your chicken out of the ovenStep Thirteen: Plate your chicken and spread your pesto sauce over the top of each breastYum!We served ours with garlic bread and quinoa with asparagus.
Step Eight: Add in your walnuts
Step Eight: Add in your walnuts | Source
Step Nine: Add in your sugar
Step Nine: Add in your sugar | Source
Step Ten: Add in your oil
Step Ten: Add in your oil | Source
Source
Step Eleven: Blend all of your ingredients together
Step Eleven: Blend all of your ingredients together | Source
Step Twelve: Pull your chicken out of the oven
Step Twelve: Pull your chicken out of the oven | Source
Step Thirteen: Plate your chicken and spread your pesto sauce over the top of each breast
Step Thirteen: Plate your chicken and spread your pesto sauce over the top of each breast | Source
Yum!
Yum! | Source
We served ours with garlic bread and quinoa with asparagus.
We served ours with garlic bread and quinoa with asparagus. | Source

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 chicken breast
Calories 360
Calories from Fat225
% Daily Value *
Fat 25 g38%
Saturated fat 4 g20%
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 3 g1%
Sugar 1 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 31 g62%
Cholesterol 73 mg24%
Sodium 231 mg10%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
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Personal Review

Boy was the pesto in this recipe amazing! I definitely cannot think of a single thing to improve it except maybe ... 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.

Quick Poll

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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Victoria Van Ness

    Comments

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      • VVanNess profile imageAUTHOR

        Victoria Van Ness 

        2 months ago from Fountain, CO

        Very. And the pesto sauce is amazing. You almost want to just eat it all by itself.

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 

        2 months ago from Home Sweet Home

        wow spinach over the chicken, healthy dish

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