Baked Basil Pesto Chicken Recipe

An easy baked basil pesto chicken recipe in just 25 minutes! Aromatic pesto, sweet tomatoes, and gooey mozzarella make pesto chicken breast juicy and flavorful.

Full ingredients + instructions are on the recipe card at the end. Before you scroll or jump down, don’t miss the useful tips in the post!

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This baked pesto chicken recipe is one of my oldest last-minute lazy chicken dinners, I’m surprised I haven’t shared it with you yet! It only takes about 5 minutes to prep, it’s loaded with fresh and simple ingredients (chicken breast, basil pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes!), and it’s a crowd pleaser for kids and adults alike. Try it once, and I’m pretty sure this basil pesto chicken breast will be a go-to meal in your family too, especially in the summer months when there’s so much basil everywhere.

I make my pesto mozzarella chicken with chicken breast, but you can also use chicken thighs if that’s what you have around. I also love making pesto salmon — it’s just as easy, and uses the same method and ingredients, minus the mozzarella.

What Is Pesto Chicken?

This healthy chicken pesto recipe features chicken breast that’s topped with pesto sauce, mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes. It’s fresh and flavorful, with Italian flair.

Pesto Chicken Recipe Ingredients

This chicken with pesto and mozzarella comes together with just 5 ingredients, plus salt and pepper:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts – Look for breasts that are about the same size so they cook evenly. I use free-range chicken from here delivered to my door.
  • Basil pesto – I’ve linked to my pesto recipe, but you can also use store-bought. It’s up to you.
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese – This will come in a ball or a log, and contains more moisture than “regular” semi-firm mozzarella. Regular shredded or sliced mozzarella does work as well, but I think it tastes better with fresh mozzarella.
  • Roma tomatoes – The size of roma tomatoes works well for this dish, but you could use any slicing tomato.
  • Fresh basil – Look for basil without any brown spots on it.
  • Sea salt & black pepper

Mozzarella pesto chicken breasts in a baking dish

How To Make Pesto Chicken

Let me show you how easy it is to make chicken with pesto sauce:

  • Bake chicken. Place chicken breasts into a large baking dish (this one is the perfect size and goes from oven to table beautifully!). Season both sides with salt and pepper, then spread the top with pesto sauce. Bake.
  • Add toppings. Layer the mozzarella cheese and tomato slices on top of chicken and bake for another 5 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
  • Rest. Let chicken rest (this locks in the juices) and serve with fresh basil ribbons on top.

Gif showing how to make pesto chicken

TIP: If you prefer your chicken to be browned, you can pan sear chicken breast first in an oven safe skillet for 3-4 minutes per side (until browned but not fully cooked through). Then, add the pesto and other toppings, and transfer to the oven for 5-10 minutes until chicken is cooked and cheese is melted.

Storage Instructions

You can make this ahead, but it’s best baked fresh. If you’d like to prep some of it ahead you can:

  • Make pesto (if not using store bought)
  • Assemble chicken in baking dish and season and top with pesto. Wrap with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Can you freeze pesto chicken?

Yes, you can freeze baked pesto chicken for 2-3 months.

Reheating instructions:

Reheat the chicken in a 350 degrees F oven if possible for the juiciest chicken, but the microwave will work as well. The toppings make a pesto chicken bake less prone to drying out than a plain chicken breast.

Plate with basil pesto chicken and brocoli

What To Serve With Pesto Chicken Breast

Wondering what goes well with pesto chicken? Try one of these options:

Reader Favorite Recipes

The recipe card is below! Readers that made this also viewed these recipes:

Baked Basil Pesto Chicken Recipe

An easy baked basil pesto chicken recipe in just 25 minutes! Aromatic pesto, sweet tomatoes, and gooey mozzarella make pesto chicken breast juicy and flavorful.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 25 minutes

Servings 4 servings


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Get RECIPE TIPS in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!

Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

  2. Place chicken breasts into a large baking dish, with enough room to have space between them. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Spread pesto over each chicken breast.

  3. Bake for 20 minutes.

  4. Top the chicken with mozzarella, then tomato slices. Bake for about 5 more minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

  5. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then top with fresh basil to serve.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1 chicken breast

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories 383

Fat 26.9g

Protein 49.8g

Total Carbs 4g

Net Carbs 2.5g

Fiber 1.5g

Sugar 1.4g

Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List.

Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.

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