This Pesto Chicken Bake recipe is an easy low-carb protein-packed main dish. Tender chicken breasts stuffed with the fresh vibrant flavours of tomato & pesto with creamy melted mozzarella cheese.
Here at The Busy Baker we’re always looking for new ways to elevate the humble chicken breast. If you’re anything like us you’ve probably got a few chicken breasts in your freezer right now just waiting to be turned into something delicious.
This Pesto Chicken Bake recipe is one of our favourite ways to turn basic chicken breasts into something spectacular – it’s packed with so much flavour (we LOVE the combination of fresh pesto and tomato!) and it’s full of melty delicious cheese. It’s a truly show-stopping main dish that’s low in carbs and perfect for the whole family.
If you’re eating low carb or Keto, serve this Pesto Chicken Bake with a delicious side salad, like our famous Olive Garden Salad recipe, or our favourite Air Fryer Broccoli or Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli. If you’re turning it into a family meal, our favourite Classic Pasta Salad is a great way to complete the meal, or if you’re looking for comfort food, try our favourite mashed potatoes on the side.
We love a delicious low carb meal and we’ve shared so many of our favourite low carb or keto meals and desserts here on The Busy Baker. Here’s a list of some of the best:
- Best Ever Low Carb Cheesecake
- Low Carb Cauliflower Mash
- Low Carb Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps
- Easy Low Carb Brownies
- Keto Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Low Carb Ham and Broccoli Crustless Quiche
- Low Carb Italian Chopped Salad
- Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna
- Baked Balsamic Bruschetta Chicken
- Low Carb Chicken Shawarma Bowls
- Keto Pizza Bites with Cauliflower
- Keto Ice Cream
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To make this recipe you’ll need these ingredients (paid links):
- chicken breasts
- olive oil
- garlic powder
- pesto (use store-bought pesto from a jar, or make your own using our easy homemade pesto recipe)
- fresh tomatoes
- mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Artichoke: Replace the tomato slices with canned artichoke hearts for an extra savoury flavour.
- Roasted Red Pepper: Slather chicken breasts with pesto and add roasted red pepper strips for a sweet and smoky twist.
- Mushroom: Sauté sliced mushrooms until tender and mix them with pesto. Stuff the chicken breasts with this mixture instead of fresh tomatoes. Top with cheese and bake.
- Feta or Goat Cheese: Replace the mozzarella cheese in this recipe for feta or goat cheese for an extra savoury flavour.
- Caramelized Onion: Sauté sliced onions until caramelized and add them instead of the sliced tomatoes for a French onion and pesto fusion recipe.
- Avocado: Add avocado along with the tomato, cheese and pesto, or simply top the chicken breasts with chopped avocado after baking for a creamy addition.
One of the most important tools for any baked, roasted, or grilled chicken recipe is an instant-read thermometer. Measuring the internal temperature of the chicken ensures it doesn’t become overcooked and dry out, and it also ensures it’s cooked through to a safe internal temperature. Here’s a list of our favourite tried and true instant-read thermometers at different price points (paid links):
- Lavatools Javelin Instant-Read Thermometer
- ThermoPro Instant-Read Thermometer
- OXO Good Grips Precision Instant-Read Thermometer
We also recommend these kitchen items for making this recipe (paid links):
Time needed: 45 minutes
Follow these steps to make the perfect pesto chicken!
- Preheat your oven.
The temperature is key for achieving the perfect browning on top and melty, bubbly cheese, so be sure to preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
- Prepare the ingredients.
Slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella cheese in 1/4 inch think slices.
- Prepare the chicken.
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and make 5-6 slits in each breast (about 1/3 inch apart from each other). The slits should be a bit diagonal (from the top side to the bottom of the breast) and go 3/4 deep in the breast.
- Season the chicken.
Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and rub the mix on the chicken breasts (including the slits) on both sides.
- Add the pesto.
In your baking dish, add the olive oil and the chicken breasts slit side up. Add little dollops of pesto in each slit.
- Stuff the chicken.
Starting at the bottom, add a slice of mozzarella and a slice of tomato in each slit (with the mozzarella laying on top of the tomato).
- Prepare for baking.
Spread the rest of your pesto on the breasts (between the slits). Add the shredded Parmesan all over.
- Bake to perfection.
Bake at 375 Fahrenheit (190 Celsius) for 25-30 minutes until the mozzarella is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
What goes with pesto chicken?
Pesto chicken is best served with your favourite pasta, potatoes, steamed or roasted veggies, or a side salad.
What is pesto chicken made of?
This pesto chicken bake is made with fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts, pesto, slices of fresh tomato, mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
Can I freeze pesto chicken?
Yes, you can freeze pesto chicken although we recommend freezing it before baking for best results. To bake it, thaw it in the refrigerator for 24 hours, place the cold pan in a cold oven, preheat the oven, and when the oven reaches temperature set the timer as directed in the recipe.
How long to bake pesto chicken?
This pesto chicken recipe bakes for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 74 degrees Celsius or 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
We hope you love this recipe as much as we do! Let us know in the comments below, what’s your favourite low-carb main dish? We’d love to know!
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- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
- Slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella cheese in 1/4 inch think slices.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and make 5-6 slits in each breast (about 1/3 inch apart from each other). The slits should be a bit diagonal (from the top side to the bottom of the breast) and go 3/4 deep in the breast.
- Mix the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and rub the mix on the chicken breasts (including the slits) on both sides.
- In your baking dish, add the olive oil and the chicken breasts slit side up.
- Add little dollops of pesto in each slit.
- Starting at the bottom add a slice of mozzarella and a slice of tomato in each slit (with the mozzarella laying on top of the tomato).
- Spread the rest of your pesto on the breasts (between the slits). Add the shredded Parmesan all over.
- Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) for 25-30 minutes until the mozzarella is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
- Serve immediately.
Make-Ahead InstructionsTo make this recipe ahead of time, simply follow the recipe as directed until just before baking. Cover well and place the pan in the fridge. When you’re ready to bake, place the cold pan in a cold oven (to prevent the pan from breaking in the oven), letting the pan heat up with the oven. Once the oven is preheated, set the timer and bake as directed in the recipe.
Storage and Reheating InstructionsOnce baked, store this pesto chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be reheated in the microwave or in the oven (covered) until heated through.
Freezer InstructionsTo freeze this recipe, we recommend assembling as directed in the recipe and freezing before baking. To bake after freezing, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Bake by placing the cold pan in a cold oven. Turn the oven on and when it reaches the temperature indicated in the recipe, start the timer as directed. You may need to add an extra 5-10 minutes of baking time, but be sure to test the internal temperature of the chicken (as indicated in the recipe) to be sure it’s done and to be sure it doesn’t over cook.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
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