Pesto Chicken is a healthy baked dish that is loaded with flavor. The pesto sauce is made with fresh basil, spinach, garlic, walnuts and Parmesan cheese that gets added right on top of the tender chicken to make each bite irresistible!


Each piece of chicken gets generously coated with some of the basil and spinach pesto, and topped with freshly chopped tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and walnuts.

  • 2½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, 4 pieces, pounded to ¾-inch thickness
  • black pepper, as needed for seasoning
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, (120ml), plus more for drizzling
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 cup basil, (30g, 1 ounce) packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 cup baby spinach, (30g, 1 ounce) packed
  • ¼ cup walnuts, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, ¼-inch dice
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  1. Place oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Drizzle both sides of the chicken breast with olive oil. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Place chicken in an ovenproof baking dish or skillet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until the internal temperature of the chicken is no longer pink and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 15 to 18 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the pesto. Place the basil and spinach in a resealable plastic bag. Use a rolling pin to lightly bruise the herbs and greens. Transfer to a food processor or blender.
  6. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Toast garlic until the outsides are lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally, about 8 minutes. Peel garlic and add to food processor.
  7. Place walnuts in the same pan and toast over medium heat, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to food processor.
  8. Add ½ teaspoon salt to the food processor.
  9. Process pesto by pulsing five times to help break down the greens.
  10. Turn food processor on low speed, as it's running slowly drizzle in ½ cup olive oil until a smooth pesto with some smaller pieces is formed, about 10 seconds from start to finish.
  11. Add the parmesan cheese to the pesto and process on low speed for 5 seconds.
  12. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Transfer pesto to a small bowl.
  13. Brush some pesto sauce on each cooked chicken breast. Transfer to a serving platter.
  14. Top chicken with chopped walnuts, tomatoes, and cheese. Serve extra pesto sauce on the side.

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