Baked Pesto Chicken Recipe
This quick & easy baked pesto chicken recipe is a great way to use up an end of season abundance of basil. For cost savings, almonds rather than pignoli nuts are used to make the pesto. Italian dressing provides oil, seasonings and a touch of tenderizing tang from the vinegar. Lil' Foodie and I CHOWED this chicken. I really like the way the pesto mixture works like a really moist and flavorful topping, and a bit of delectable gravy-ish stuff puddles at the bottom of the casserole. I'd planned to ladle marinara over the pasta I served with this, but chose instead to just plop the chicken on top of it, since it was so flavor packed.
I case you didn't guess already. I will be making this again, and soon.
While it looks like there is breadcrumb in this, there is none, so this chicken pesto recipe is fine for our gluten-intolerant friends, just check your Italian dressing bottle to make sure none is slipped in there (it shows up in the weirdest places).
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
This flavor packed gourmet sandwich only takes a few minutes to assemble. It is a perfect way to use up any leftover pesto chicken. Plan ahead and roast a red pepper in the dish while baking the chicken, for fresh roasted peppers (far, far better than jarred). Enjoy some of the chicken for dinner, just save some along with a few tablespoons of sauce for the sandwiches.
Spread ½ tablespoon of pesto on one slice of bread and Dijon mustard on the other.
Top the pesto side with romaine, sliced pesto chicken, roasted peppers and cheese and close sandwich.
Baked Chicken Pesto Recipe
- 1 lb. chicken breast or tenders
- ½ cup Italian dressing
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ⅓ cup almonds sliver
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Put Italian dressing in small food processor, add ½ the basil, pulse a few times, then add the remaining basil. Pulse several more times.
- Add the almonds and pulse until well chopped, then add the cheese & pulse until the pesto is mostly smooth, a few chunks is fine.
- Place chicken in medium size mixing bowl, add all the pesto and mix well.
- Dump the chicken out into a large baking dish (preferably around 8x11), making sure to include all the dressing, spread whatever sticks in the bowl over the top.
- Pop it in the oven & bake for 25 minutes.
- Serve over pasta or rice or as a standard entree.