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  • Baked Pesto Chicken

    Posted on | January 24, 2011 | 10 Comments |

    Pesto Chicken

    I just got back from a weekend of total binge in Portland with four foodies, where we consumed enough calories to survive an entire week. So tonight I needed something light and green, and this baked pesto chicken with a simple arugula salad is exactly what the doctor prescribed. You can use any kind of pesto for this, even store-bought ones. I made a quick one with some walnuts, pine nuts, basil, garlic and lemon. I have a ton of pesto recipes on this blog, feel free to use any of those for this.

    Once you have the pesto, rest is very simple. Just sear the chicken breast on the stove top, coat liberally with the pesto on both sides and transfer to a 400F oven and cook for 30 mins, voilà, your dinner is ready! If you really need a step-by-step recipe, scroll down to the bottom.



    • 3/4th cup pesto  (store bought or use one of these pesto recipes)
    • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 tsp vegetable oil
    • Salt and pepper for seasoning


    Wash the chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towels. Create three deep gashes on one side with a sharp knife.  Pre-heat the oven to 400F

    Grease a large oven-proof grill pan or sauté pan with the vegetable oil. Place the pan on the stove and when it is smoking hot, place the chicken breasts with the gashed sides on top. Season well with salt and pepper. Let the chicken sear for 3 minutes, then turn it over. Spread half of the pesto on the seared side. After searing the other side for 3 minutes, switch off the stove and turn the chicken breasts over. Now spread the remaining pesto on the gashed side, making sure to push as much of the pesto as you can into the gashes.

    Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

    Remove from the oven, and slice horizontally into thin strips and serve over a salad for a quick dinner.

    Category: Chicken, Dinner Recipes, Phase 1, Quick-fix healthy meals

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    10 Responses to “Baked Pesto Chicken”

    1. nags
      January 24th, 2011 @ 11:10 pm

      recently tried psto at home and loved it!

      January 25th, 2011 @ 3:57 am

      This post just made me hungry! I love everything about this dish. And I can’t wait to try it.

    3. Arch
      January 25th, 2011 @ 6:34 am

      Love the step-by-step pics…The first pic is superb…I tried fish curry with mango and the fried fish for dinner a couple of days back, from the book you sent me…it was really yum ! Thanks so much for the book again…

    4. aartee
      January 25th, 2011 @ 8:20 am

      Wow.Sig, thats a very simple looking dish, but am sure its gonna be delicious….will try it soon.

    5. nancy@skinnykitchen
      January 25th, 2011 @ 8:57 am

      Anytime a bunch of foodies get together it’s a blast!
      This baked chicken recipe sounds very yummy…

    6. Raul
      January 26th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

      Another fan of your Recipes from Malaysia.


    7. Lakshmi
      January 31st, 2011 @ 10:23 am

      When I see a recipe like this, I think how can I make the same as vegetarian. Looks yummm

    8. Miri
      February 20th, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

      Arugula to the baked chicken must have been a nice addition – I just posted an arugula and shrimp recipe and it was a very nice combination as well.

    9. Ingrid
      April 5th, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

      This is a truly delicious recipe, and so easy, if you already know how to make pesto. I will be making this a lot from now on. Thanks!

    10. Carol
      February 17th, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

      south beach phase 1 hase been getting boring…this can save the day!