How to Make 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 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.
- 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
|Serving size: 1 chicken breast|
|Calories from Fat||225|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 25 g||38%|
|Saturated fat 4 g||20%|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 3 g||1%|
|Sugar 1 g|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 31 g||62%|
|Cholesterol 73 mg||24%|
|Sodium 231 mg||10%|
|* 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.|
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.
There are so many ways to make pesto. What ingredients are your favorites?
© 2018 Victoria Van Ness