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4.50 from 2 votes

Basil Pesto Chicken

Two Pan, Cheesy, Fresh and Delicious with Cheese Pulls, Pesto and Lovely Bright Red Tomatoes!  Who Can Resist this restaurant quality Basil Pesto Chicken? Not ME!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Basil Pesto Chicken
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 446kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker
Cost: $8


  • knife
  • cutting board
  • 9x13 baking dish
  • oven
  • saucepan
  • stove top
  • measuring cups and spoons


  • 4 lb chicken breast skinless/boneless
  • 1/2 Cup Pesto store bought is fine
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 4 Tbs Butter
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 4 leaves Basil chiffonade
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar


for the chicken breasts

  • Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9x13 pan with non stick spray.
  • Cut 4 large chicken breasts completely in half as pictured.
  • Butterfly each of those chicken breasts by cutting each one nearly in half again
  • Spoon 2 heaping tsp of pesto on each half
  • Top with 2 heaping tsp of shredded parmesan cheese.
  • Close the top half of the chicken over the bottom half and lay it into a baking dish
  • Once all of the chicken breasts have been prepared and laid into the baking dish, sprinkle the tomato halves over the top and sprinkle any remaining pesto and parmesan over the top as well.

For the Sauce

  • In a saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop heat butter, cream cheese, garlic and parmesan until melted. Whisk to remove any lumps as it heats.
  • As soon as the sauce melts, pour it over the chicken


  • Bake the chicken dish, uncovered for 35 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh basil chiffonade and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve hot.



  • For a lighter version, don't make the cheese sauce, simply top with fresh mozzarella slices. 
  • Try mozzarella slices on the inside of the chicken. 
  • Sprinkle fresh basil over the top. 
  • Bake as many or as few as you like in a single baking dish.  You can see from the photos that I had to use a large baking dish and a small one to serve the crowd that I fed! 
  • When cutting the chicken breasts in half, leave about 1/2 an inch at the side that isn't cut so that it holds together. 
  • If you buy the chicken breasts that are HUGE (about a lb per each), you'll need to cut those in half and then butterfly them as I have in the photos.  Small organic chicken breasts, you can simply butterfly. 
PRO TIP:  For best flavor, top with some grated fresh mozzarella as well. 


Calories: 446kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 178mg | Sodium: 682mg | Potassium: 860mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 764IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 1mg