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close-up of a spoon serving a portion of pesto chicken from a cast iron skillet

Pesto Chicken

This pesto chicken recipe is cheesy, quick to make, and has irresistible fresh tomatoes in a luxurious pesto sauce. Top it all off with melted mozzarella, and you've got a 30-minute chicken dinner that's special enough for guests.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword baked pesto chicken, pesto chicken recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 348kcal


  • 2 large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or dry white wine
  • 1 (10 ounce) package little tomatoes (grape or cherry) cut into halves
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • Fresh basil optional, to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 400F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
  • Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner cutlets. Season them with the garlic powder and some salt & pepper.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes/side or until golden (but don't overcook as it will be finished in the oven). Transfer chicken to a plate.
  • To the skillet, add the garlic, broth, tomatoes, pesto, and Italian seasoning.
  • Scrape up and brown bits from the bottom of the pan and cook until the tomatoes start to lose their shape and release the juice (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the chicken back in. Top the chicken pieces with the mozzarella.
  • Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 5 minutes and then carefully broil for another few minutes to brown the cheese (watch it carefully so it doesn't burn). If you don't want to broil, I'd cook the chicken in the oven for 7 minutes or until it registers 165F.
  • Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately. I recommend serving it with something that will absorb the rich sauce like mashed potatoes or rice.


  • If you don't own an oven-safe skillet, transfer the chicken to a baking dish for the baking portion of the recipe.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 588mg | Potassium: 647mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1216IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 188mg | Iron: 1mg