Chicken breasts with a cheddar-crumb topping, nestled in a creamy pesto sauce on a bed of roasted cherry tomatoes. This Easy Baked Pesto Chicken is a mouth-watering easy dinner that doesn't require any pre-cooking. Just add it all the dish and bake.
One-pan cooking doesn't have to be all about same-coloured food that spends all day in the slow cooker. Whilst I am a huge fan of coming home to a meltingly tender pork ragu or spicy chicken curry, sometimes we're out too early to start something cooking, and home too late and don't have a lot of time, but still want a delicious meal.
It's those days when you need a meal like this. All cooked in one tray, you can have a beautiful meal on the table in half an hour - and two-thirds of that time can be spent sat on the sofa enjoying a cup of tea.
The textures and flavours will make you so happy you skipped the beans on toast!
What do we need?
How to make this Pesto Chicken
***Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.***
- Chop up cherry tomatoes and mix with a little cornflour, salt and pepper, then stir in garlic, stock and pesto.
- Top the tomatoes with chicken breasts and spoon a little pesto on each, then sprinkle on some grated cheddar.
- Add my seasoned panko mixture (see the recipe card)
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- If you like, sprinkle on a few pine nuts halfway through the cooking time (Note: I'm adding them halfway through because I've tested this recipe and they'll burn if they're in the oven for the whole time).
- Once cooked, stir a little cream into the sauce.
Sprinkle with a few fresh basil leaves before serving.
- Try swapping out the pesto for harissa and adding olives for a spicy version.
- Try swapping the pesto for barbeque sauce and throw in some chorizo for a smoky version.
More Italian Inspired Recipes
Watch how to make it
Easy Baked Pesto Chicken Recipe
- 400 g (14oz) cherry/grape tomatoes - sliced in half
- 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 chicken stock cube - mixed with 120ml (½ cup) boiling water
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp fresh pesto
- 4 small chicken breasts - or 2 large chicken breasts, sliced in half to make 4 fillets
- 60 g (2.1 oz or just over hafd a cup) cheddar cheese - grated
- 25 g (½ cup) panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp pine nuts
- 3 tbsp double (heavy) cream
- Fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Place the cherry tomatoes in the bottom of a baking dish and sprinkle over the cornflour, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper. Toss together with your hands.
- Add the garlic, stock, red wine vinegar and 1 tbsp of pesto and stir together.
- Top the tomatoes with the 4 chicken breasts.
- Spread the remaining 2 tbsp of pesto on the chicken breasts and sprinkle on the cheese.
- Mix together the panko breadcrumbs, paprika, olive oil and the remaining ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the mixture on top of the chicken.
- Place in the oven to cook for 10 minutes, then sprinkle over the pine nuts.
- Place back in the oven to cook for a further 10-15 minutes - until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle.
- Remove from the oven and stir the cream into the liquid and tomatoes in the baking dish.
- Sprinkle fresh basil leaves over the dish and serve with some fresh pasta or some boiled potatoes.
This recipe was first posted in October 2014. Updated in November 2020 with new photos, video and improvements to the recipe.
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