The last time I posted a two-ingredient chicken recipe, my blog blew up. Big time. Y’all loved it! So I just HAD to share my latest two-ingredient concoction: Pesto Baked Chicken Breasts. DELICIOUS! And SUPER versatile. And SUPER easy.
The two ingredients? You guessed it: pesto and chicken. And some extra salt and pepper, for good measure.
The recipe is below, but I’ll spoil it a bit for you, because I’m just so excited about how SIMPLE this meal is. Here it is. Are you ready? Coat chicken with pesto, salt, and pepper… and bake. THAT’S IT.
Theoretically, you can just coat the chicken with the pesto and nix the salt and pepper, but I always find that plain chicken breasts need lots of seasoning in order to meet their full potential. I added salt and pepper so the plainness of the chicken would be balanced out.
Making your own pesto is very easy, but for extra convenience, a store-bought prepared pesto will definitely do the trick. I whipped up a quick basil pesto to use up some almost wilted basil I had leftover, but you can use whatever kind of pesto you want (cilantro jalapeno and arugula lemon are two of my favorites).
I cooked four chicken breasts this weekend and made Greek salads all week for work with the chicken cut up into them. Lunchtime prep has been super convenient, not to mention eating a delicious healthy meal like this midday makes me happy and energized (something I need desperately right now as a teacher nearing the end of the school year). This is an excellent recipe to make in bulk to add to salads, sandwiches, pizza, etc. during the upcoming week (and you know I love make ahead meals!). And of course, it’s an excellent recipe to make for an easy, no fuss weeknight dinner.
One word of caution: boneless, skinless chicken breasts tend to overcook easily. Keep an eye on them. I usually cook them for 30 minutes and they come out perfect, but because sizes of the pieces of chicken may vary (as well as oven temperatures), you may need less or more time. When in doubt, use a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest part of the biggest piece of chicken: when the temperature reaches 165, it’s done.
Also, try and resist the urge to cut into the chicken immediately upon removing it from the oven. Letting it rest for a few minutes will allow the juices to redistribute and will result in moister meat.
If you want to get really fancy, you can pound the chicken to a uniform thickness in order to ensure even cooking throughout each piece. I wasn’t feeling fancy, so I skipped this step (and encourage you to do the same if you are short on time, in the name of convenience).
Foolproof, insanely easy recipe below :-) Enjoy!
Two Ingredient Pesto Baked Chicken Breasts
- Preheat oven to 375 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together chicken, pesto, salt, and pepper until chicken is thoroughly coated.
- Place chicken breasts on prepared baking sheet. Spread extra pesto left in the bowl on each piece.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Traditional pesto usually has Parmesan cheese. To make this paleo/whole30/dairy free, make sure you use a pesto with no cheese.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.