This Pesto Baked Chicken recipe is great because it takes very little time to prep and there are very few ingredients involved. You will need:
- Raw or frozen chicken breasts (one per person)
- Your favorite pesto (I like Buitoni’s)
- Tomatoes, sliced (2-3 slices per breast)
- Fresh mozzarella, preferably sliced not shredded
Before you start preparing the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet in foil. It is important to use a baking sheet with sides because the juices of from the chicken will run while its baking. Place your chicken breasts on the prepared baking pan. One of the beauties of this meal is that it is so simple to make
for one person, or to add more chicken breasts on the pan for last minute guests. If you are using frozen chicken breasts you do not need to let them thaw, but consult the package directions for baking time.
Now that your chicken is on the pan, spread the exposed side of each breast with the pesto. I LOVE pesto so I always use double the amount you need, which is only about 2 tablespoons per breast. Place the pan in the preheated oven, middle rack, for about 40 minutes if the chicken breasts are frozen. You will probably only need 25-30 minutes for raw chicken breasts depending on their size.
With 3-5 minutes left for baking time, top each chicken breast with the sliced tomato and slice mozzarella. Once the cheese is melted you can remove the breasts from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
This recipe is so simple and so versatile. It is really great for a last minute gourmet meal. Instead of pesto you could use tapenade, butter, or another favorite sauce. You can substitute the tomatoes for another vegetable and you can use any type of cheese.
Serve with a side of rice or vegetables and enjoy!