For the month of January, I was assigned The Bitchin' Kitchin'. My favorite part of SRC is browsing the blogs and trying to decide what recipe to choose. It's never an easy decision but I have vowed to try to always make a savory recipe since I never have ANY trouble finding new sweet recipes. We love all things basil at our house. During the summer, it is plentiful! We harvest springs for caprese salad, make mojitos or use in recipes. As the weather cools and we say goodbye to our basil plants, I often pick up a jar of Kirkland's pesto at Costco. It's every bit as good as homemade and easy to use in recipes.
When I saw Ellie's recipe for Basil Pesto Chicken, I decided it would be a wonderful reminder of summer, despite the snow covered ground. This is a tasty chicken dish! Easy to prepare and healthy for you too!
Basil Pesto Chicken
Recipe Courtesy of The Bitchin Kitchin slightly adapted from Kalyn's Kitchen
makes ~4 servings
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~1 lb chicken)
- Salt, fresh ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper for seasoning chicken
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 1/2 - 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Trim the chicken so any visible fat and tendons are removed. Cut the chicken breasts lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on how thick or thin you would like them.
3) Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper as desired. Don't use too much salt, as cheese will be added later on to the chicken.
4) Spray a 9" x 12" (or 8.5" X 12.5") baking dish with non-stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish.
5) Lay the chicken strips over the pesto, then spread the remaining 1/4 cup basil pesto over the chicken.
6) Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes, or just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. (Don't cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.)
7) When the chicken is barely cooked through, remove the foil and sprinkle the chicken with the grated mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until the cheese is melted. Serve hot.