Easy Pesto Chicken Bake

I am always looking for great, easy ways to prepare chicken. Since I regularly keep a small supply in the freezer, it’s an easy way for me to pull together a dinner when I have been less than diligent in my meal planning. This incredible and easy pesto chicken bake was one of those instances where I was able to create¬†a recipe from what I had on hand!

I made a quick and amazing pesto sauce for the pesto baked chicken first. Summer is amazing because there is always fresh basil growing at my house! Combined with a little garlic, chopped hazelnuts, pecorino romano and olive oil it was an easy and winning sauce.
I made a quick and amazing pesto sauce for the pesto baked chicken first. Summer means there is fresh basil growing at my house, so pesto sauce is always easy to make! Combined with a little garlic, chopped hazelnuts, pecorino romano and olive oil it was such a winning sauce. It tasted a little assertive raw but once it baked it mellowed out to perfection.
After I made the pesto sauce, I decided to marinate the chicken for a bit. I used buttermilk, dried basil and dried onion for loads of flavor. The acidity in the buttermilk also tenderized the chicken and kept it juicy! I let the chicken sit in the marinade for 15 minutes.
After I made the pesto sauce, I decided to marinate the chicken for a bit. I used buttermilk, dried basil and dried onion for loads of flavor. The acidity in the buttermilk also tenderized the chicken and kept it juicy! I let the chicken sit in the marinade for 15 minutes.
Once the chicken was done marinating, it took no time at all to put the pesto chicken bake together. I made sure to let the excess marinade drip off before I put them into a small baking dish. Then I smothered them both with the fresh pesto and lots of fresh smoked mozzarella! That all baked to perfection for about 30 minutes.
Once the chicken was done marinating, it took no time at all to put the pesto chicken bake together. I made sure to let the excess marinade drip off before I put them into a small baking dish. Then I smothered them both with the fresh pesto and lots of fresh smoked mozzarella! That all baked to perfection for about 30 minutes.

When the pesto chicken bake was done it smelled so amazing! Then when I bit in it tasted even better than it smelled. The chicken was so tender, juicy and flavorful on its own. Smothering it in that easy pesto sauce and fresh mozzarella took it way over the top! I couldn’t believe how simple it was to make either. I loved having another great chicken dish to add to my arsenal and it had the Italian flair I love so much. Hope you all enjoy!

Easy Pesto Chicken Bake
Easy Pesto Chicken Bake
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Easy Pesto Chicken Bake
Easy Pesto Chicken Bake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Servings: 2
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
Ingredients
FOR THE PESTO SAUCE
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
FOR THE CHICKEN BAKE
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion
  • 2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 thin slices smoked mozzarella
Instructions
  1. First, make the pesto sauce. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree it all together until it is a thick, chunky sauce. Set it aside. Then marinate the chicken. Stir the buttermilk, dried basil and dried onion together in a bowl. Then submerge the chicken in it and make sure both sides are coated. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for 15 minutes. While the chicken is marinating, pre-heat the oven to 375 and get out a small baking dish.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade when it is done and let all of the excess drip off, then transfer it to the baking dish. Discard the remaining marinade. Season the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper each, then smother each chicken breast with half of the pesto sauce. Place two slices of mozzarella on top of each chicken breast to cover them both almost completely. Bake the chicken for about 30 minutes. Then serve immediately with your favorite sides!

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