Baked Pesto Chicken

This Baked Pesto Chicken takes just minutes to prep, is simple, tasty, and the perfect meal to add to your dinner rotation.

When I’m short on time and ingredients, dinner recipes like this Baked Pesto Chicken saves the day. For the same reasons, I also frequently make Ranch Chicken, and Lemon Pepper Chicken—only a small handful of ingredients and ready in about 30 minutes!

Baked Pesto Chicken topped with mozzarella cheese and two tomato slices.

few ingredients, lots of flavor

Are you looking for a way to change up that boring ol’ chicken dish?

Today we have the BEST Baked Pesto Chicken recipe that is amazingly simple to whip up and is super yummy! What we love most about this recipe is its simplicity.

I’m all about simple dinner recipes, so I’m glad we found this one. It would be perfect served with your favorite salad and side.

Depending on your love for Pesto, you can add or take away as needed. Because we love pesto, there was no skimping on our end. And, of course, we always tend to add more cheese, which I don’t feel bad for. 🙂

No matter how much pesto or cheese you add, you really can’t mess up this Chicken with Pesto recipe. There are only a few ingredients, but the result is amazing!

Pesto Chicken – a 2-step recipe

This Pesto Chicken Recipe is about as easy as it gets. The chicken needs to bake for about 40 minutes, but the actual preparation takes only a couple of minutes!

PREP. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil with cooking spray.

COAT. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with pesto to coat (you can use our homemade pesto recipe if wanted).

BAKE. Place chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and top with tomatoes and cheese. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

SERVE. Serve warm and ENJOY! This chicken is delicious on its own, or with cooked rice, pasta, or healthy zucchini noodles.

Chicken breasts covered with basil pesto in a baking dish for making baked pesto chicken.

Recipe Tips

Pesto. Use canned pesto or make your own at home using fresh basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. This Pesto Sauce post has the full recipe. 

Chicken. I used two full-sized chicken breasts weighing about 6 oz each. Use an equal amount of boneless skinless chicken thighs and bake for 25-30 minutes or chicken tenders and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tenderize the chicken with a meat tenderizer, or rolling pin, before coating it with the pesto. Not only does it help the chicken to be tender, but it can help create an even thickness so the chicken will cook evenly. 

Chewy chicken can be the result of a few factors:

  • Muscle condition, known as woody breast, is a muscle condition that causes the chicken to be pale in color, hard to the touch, and have a poor texture.
  • Other factors include undercooking or overcooking the chicken. 

Storing Info

Make ahead of time. Make this Baked Pesto Chicken according to the directions, except for adding the tomato. Save those to add right before baking. Store one of the following ways:

  • Fridge: Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
  • Freezer: Place Basil Pesto Chicken in a freezer-safe airtight container, label, and freeze for 1-3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Bake according to the recipe directions.

STORE. Place leftover Pesto Chicken in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven, or in the microwave if you’re in a hurry.

Baked pesto chicken on a plate served with pasta.

Recipe FAQ

What goes well with baked pesto chicken?

I love serving this tasty chicken with Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad or Oven Roasted Red Potatoes.

Can I use pesto sauce from a jar?

I am all about saving time, so using a canned pesto is always okay!

For more baked chicken recipes, check out:

Baked Pesto Chicken Recipe

5 from 16 votes
This Baked Pesto Chicken takes just minutes to prep, is simple, tasty, and the perfect meal to add to your dinner rotation.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 341 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated basil pesto
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 3 plum tomatoes sliced (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with pesto to coat. Place chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Remove from oven and top with tomatoes and cheese. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve warm and ENJOY!


Adapted from Food.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I am on a very very low salt diet. It would be very helpful if you included the nutriton label as well. I would like to know the sodium amount per serving.

      1. 5 stars
        Lil Luna, just keep the recipes coming regardless of nutrition information. I think a cook can eye it and get the idea of “nutrition.” What a great site! Just discovered and will be preparing for New Years Evening! Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    This was very tasty. I will definitely be making this for my family again. The cheese and tomato are so yummy together.

  3. wow had for dinner tonight so much flavor can’t wait to have it again thanks for sharing

  4. 5 stars
    I love pesto but I’m the only one in my family that does. I love that I can freeze the recipe in individual portions.

  5. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Chicken definitely needs the 30-35 minutes. I was worried it would be dry, but it was still juicy! I marinaded the chicken in the pesto for about an hour before cooking (Along with salt + Pepper and a little garlic). I turned on the broiler at the end once I added the cheese and tomatoes. Also cracked a little bit of fresh pepper over the tomatoes. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. You are so welcome! Thank you for sharing what you did. That sounds great! Happy you liked it!

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe was so easy to make, and perfect for a weeknight meal! I bought chicken breasts and sliced them in half so they wouldn’t be so thick, and cut the baking time down to 25 minutes. I bought store-bought pesto which made the prep so quick and effortless, and then added sliced mozzarella cheese and sliced cherry tomatoes for the last few minutes of baking. I served the chicken with plant-based protein pasta and it was delicious!! My husband ate seconds and we didn’t feel heavy afterwards. It was a quick, light, healthy meal and perfect for weeknights!

    1. Oh thank you so much for sharing what you did! It all sounds delicious. I’m so glad the chicken recipe was a hit!