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baked chicken breasts covered in cheese and pesto in a white dish

Creamy Pesto Chicken

Creamy Pesto Chicken - moist tender chicken breasts topped with cream cheese and basil pesto then oven baked for a quick low-carb dinner.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Modern Australian
Keyword creamy pesto chicken, baked pesto chicken, basil pesto chicken
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories Per Serve 240 kcal
Author Lee-Ann Grace | Chef Not Required

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto (see notes)
  • 4 tbsp spreadable cream cheese/cream cheese spread I used light
  • cup shredded mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180c/350f.

  2. Using a meat mallet, flatten any thicker parts of the breasts to make them as even as possible, then sprinkle both sides with garlic powder (½ tsp) and salt and pepper (to taste).

  3. Heat olive oil (1 tbsp) in a large frypan, and fry the chicken on medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side, then place chicken in a baking dish. The chicken doesn't need to be cooked through at this stage because it will finish cooking in the oven.

  4. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese spread (4 tbsp) and basil pesto (2 tbsp), mixing well to incorporate. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over the top of the chicken.

  5. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella (⅓ cup) evenly on top of cream cheese mixture, then bake for 20 mins or until cooked through (see notes).

Recipe Notes

Use a meat mallet to give the thicker end of the breast a bit of a bash - you want to make the thickness of the breast as even as you can. This will help them cook evenly.

Browning the chicken in the pan or skillet before they get topped with the cream cheese mixture really imparts a lot of flavour into the finished dish. Definitely don't skip this step!

I like to use a meat thermometer to check if the chicken is cooked, it should have an internal temperature of 74c (165f) at it's thickest part. See Cooking temperatures | NSW Food Authority for more info.

I recommend using homemade pesto for this recipe. Not only does it taste out of this world good, but it doesn't have any weird ingredients or sugar added! You can find a recipe for basil pesto here.

*Please note that the amount of calories per serve is provided as a guide only, as ingredients and cooking methods can vary greatly*