Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

The easiest pesto baked chicken with roasted tomatoes and melty mozzarella. It’s a one-pan recipe that comes complete with robust pesto roasted tomatoes, cooked chicken, and gooey mozzarella. Serve it over cooked pasta, rice, or with roasted veggies and garlic bread!

Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - an easy dinner idea that comes complete with roasted chicken and tomatoes in a pesto sauce! It's so good and easy to make! #bakedchicken #onepotmeals #chickenrecipes #easyrecipes #dinnerideas #dinnerrecipes #pestochicken | Littlespicejar.com

Hold the phone. 

It’s pesto baked chicken.

As in we’ve got the sauce, chicken, veggies, and cheese all in one dish. Tomatoes are in peak season, and so is the fresh basil, so before I trade all of that in for fall flavors (mainly pumpkin spice), I want to leave us all with something really memorable. And this pesto baked chicken hits the nail right on the head!

This one pot dinner comes complete with pesto roasted tomatoes that doubles as a veggie serving and as the sauce you drizzle on your pasta or rice. And hey, if you want to serve this alongside a hunk of crusty bread, I would not be mad at that, and I’m willing to bet, your family won’t be either. 

Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - an easy dinner idea that comes complete with roasted chicken and tomatoes in a pesto sauce! It's so good and easy to make! #bakedchicken #onepotmeals #chickenrecipes #easyrecipes #dinnerideas #dinnerrecipes #pestochicken | Littlespicejar.com

So basically, if you made my tomato baked chicken recipe, you need absolutely no other introductions. Please proceed to the bottom of the page, hit print, and make ASAP. This is version 2.0. It’s got the same key ingredients (chicken, tomatoes, and mozzarella) but with one new ingredient, you’ve got something completely different to add to the heavy dinner rotation that requires the same cooking instructions and time. And if you’re looking for something that cooks fast but has a competely different type of flavor, try this bbq version!

Don’t you just love that? I live for recipes that come together in one dish and don’t require a lot of thinking. At this point, the recipe for pesto baked chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella is forever seared into my brain.

It’s so so easy.

Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - an easy dinner idea that comes complete with roasted chicken and tomatoes in a pesto sauce! It's so good and easy to make! #bakedchicken #onepotmeals #chickenrecipes #easyrecipes #dinnerideas #dinnerrecipes #pestochicken | Littlespicejar.com

Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - an easy dinner idea that comes complete with roasted chicken and tomatoes in a pesto sauce! It's so good and easy to make! #bakedchicken #onepotmeals #chickenrecipes #easyrecipes #dinnerideas #dinnerrecipes #pestochicken | Littlespicejar.com

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE PESTO BAKED CHICKEN WITH MOZZARELLA AND TOMATOES?

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • White wine vinegar
  • Melted butter
  • Basil pesto (a homemade version)
  • Minced garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • Onion powder
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

WHAT DO YOU MARINATE THE PESTO BAKED CHICKEN WITH?

  • Olive oil 
  • White wine vinegar
  • Minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Red pepper flakes

HOW DO YOU MARINATE THE CHICKEN AND FOR HOW LONG?

The chicken doesn’t take very long to marinate, this can be ready to go in as little as 10-15 minutes, and if you have time, you can marinate the chicken for up to 2 hours. You want to avoid marinating for longer than that as the acid in the vinegar will start to breakdown the chicken. To marinate the chicken, just add all the ingredients (but the chicken in a zip-top bag, zip and give it a good shake. Once combined, add the chicken breasts, seal the bag and massage, so the chicken is covered in marinade.

Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - an easy dinner idea that comes complete with roasted chicken and tomatoes in a pesto sauce! It's so good and easy to make! #bakedchicken #onepotmeals #chickenrecipes #easyrecipes #dinnerideas #dinnerrecipes #pestochicken | Littlespicejar.com

Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - an easy dinner idea that comes complete with roasted chicken and tomatoes in a pesto sauce! It's so good and easy to make! #bakedchicken #onepotmeals #chickenrecipes #easyrecipes #dinnerideas #dinnerrecipes #pestochicken | Littlespicejar.com

DO I HAVE TO USE CHICKEN BREASTS FOR THIS PESTO BAKED CHICKEN?

Not at all! As always, you can swap the chicken breasts for boneless, skinless chicken thighs if that’s more your jam. We’ll season them the same way you would the chicken breasts.

HOW TO MAKE PESTO BAKED CHICKEN:

Here’s the fun part! While the chicken brines, we’ll toss the stuff that makes the pesto tomatoes and the pan sauce. My homemade pesto recipe works great here. You can add ALL the ingredients for the sauce (except the mozzarella) into the baking dish and stir to combine. I’m so lazy (and I encourage you to be as well) that I place the knob of butter in the baking dish, then placed the baking dish in the oven while it preheats so that I don’t have to zap it in the microwave in a separate bowl! If you decide to do the same, just make sure that the butter doesn’t burn or brown.Then just pop everything into the oven and allow it to roast.

During the last 5 minutes, you’ll add the shredded mozzarella to the top of the chicken breasts and pop the dish back in the oven under the broiler just long enough for the cheese to melt and become bubbly on top. You can make the pesto baked chicken without the mozzarella too if you’d like. Just let it stay in the oven for the last 5 minutes rather than popping it under the broiler.

Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - an easy dinner idea that comes complete with roasted chicken and tomatoes in a pesto sauce! It's so good and easy to make! #bakedchicken #onepotmeals #chickenrecipes #easyrecipes #dinnerideas #dinnerrecipes #pestochicken | Littlespicejar.com

HOW DO YOU SERVE PESTO BAKED CHICKEN?

The simple answer is however you like! I served it up over a bed of al dente spaghetti – it soaked up all the sauce beautifully along with a salad. But I could see how this would be lovely with toasted bread topped with those pesto tomatoes and chicken and roasted veggies on the side.

What I love most about this recipe is that you can make it fancy enough for company by serving parmesan roasted Brussel sprouts on the side with homemade pull-apart cheese bread. Or you can make it the most down-home meal with steamed broccoli, pasta drizzled with pesto baked chicken and tomatoes.

It’s probably the best 40 minutes I’ve ever spent on making food.

Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - an easy dinner idea that comes complete with roasted chicken and tomatoes in a pesto sauce! It's so good and easy to make! #bakedchicken #onepotmeals #chickenrecipes #easyrecipes #dinnerideas #dinnerrecipes #pestochicken | Littlespicejar.com

Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

The easiest pesto baked chicken with roasted tomatoes and melty mozzarella. It’s a one-pan recipe that comes complete with robust pesto roasted tomatoes, cooked chicken, and gooey mozzarella. Serve it over cooked pasta, rice, or with roasted veggies and garlic bread!

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Ingredients:

Chicken Marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon EACH: olive oil AND white wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 ¼ pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

Pesto Pan Sauce:

  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons EACH: white wine vinegar AND melted butter
  • ⅓ cup prepared basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. MARINATE: Add all the ingredients except the chicken breasts into a zip-top bag along with 1 teaspoon of sea salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Seal the bag and shake until combined. Add the chicken, seal, and massage so the chicken is covered in marinade; set aside for 10-15 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. PESTO PAN SAUCE: Add all the ingredients except the cheese to an oven-safe baking dish, along with a big pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Move the tomatoes around the edges and place the chicken in the center.
  3. BAKE: Bake uncovered for 18-25 minute (mine took 22 mins) or until the chicken is almost cooked through (how long it takes will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts you use.) Add the cheese on top of the chicken and place the baking dish in the oven under the broiler just long enough for the cheese to melt. Top with additional chopped basil or even parsley would work. Serve with crusty bread, pasta, rice, cauli-rice or steamed veggies on the side.

Notes:

  1. Bonus points: you can melt the butter right in your baking dish while the oven preheats. Just be sure to keep a close eye on it so the butter doesn’t brown or burn!

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Pesto Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Mozzarella - an easy dinner idea that comes complete with roasted chicken and tomatoes in a pesto sauce! It's so good and easy to make! #bakedchicken #onepotmeals #chickenrecipes #easyrecipes #dinnerideas #dinnerrecipes #pestochicken | Littlespicejar.com