Baked Pesto Chicken Recipe

This baked pesto chicken is not only super fast and easy to make, it’s totally delicious and makes it super easy to serve chicken yet again.

More and more, I find myself making very simple recipes. But the truth is, these sorts of recipes are how I’ve eaten most of the time these past few years. Quick, simple meals that come together with just a few ingredients (usually based on what I have in the fridge).

A black, cast iron skillet sits with two chicken breasts covered in pesto sauce and fresh basil sprinkled over the top in this Baked Pesto Chicken Recipe.

Not that most of my recipes are overly complicated, because I’m pretty sure most of them are pretty simple to follow. But the number of ingredients makes a difference both in flavor and prep time, not to mention a tight budget.

However, getting good flavor from fewer ingredients is not always a simple matter. The ingredients you choose at that point become much more important decisions if you want to end up with something that is actually palatable. So I’m slowly retraining myself to specifically use fewer ingredients in my day to day cooking and so far, I’m not doing too badly!


Nothing could be simpler. Once you spread the pesto over the top of your chicken breasts, place them in a cast iron skillet and place it in a pre-heated oven. Cook until the chicken reaches at least 165 F. on a meat thermometer. Simple!


The truth is, you can serve this chicken many different ways. One way is to chop it up after cooking it and toss it in with some angel hair pasta and even some fresh, chopped, cherry tomatoes. Other options would be to toss with brown rice or even just serve it with a simple vegetable like asparagus.



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Pesto Chicken in a cast iron skillet.

Baked Pesto Chicken

A simple, easy, delicious way to make chicken for dinner.... again.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 158kcal


  • Cast Iron Skillet


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast (2 breasts)
  • 2 tbsp. basil pesto (see recipe link above for recipe)


  • Set your chicken in a cast-iron skillet
  • Cover it with pesto.Bake at 350 F. for about 30-40 minutes or until the chicken reaches at least 165 F internally.
  • Serve with veggies and brown rice for a complete meal.


Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.


Serving: 0.25the recipe | Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 420mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. I always enjoy receiving your posts/recipes, but was curious to find out what was causing the lack of sponsor support for bloggers? Are companies less willing to offer/pay for ad space?



    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Cynthia – I has to do with the way company’s are advertising. Instead of going to one network with all of their advertising dollars, they are spreading themselves over multiple networks, which allows for far less income for each blog. At least, that’s the way I understand it.

  2. What type of pan should we use if we don’t have a cast iron skillet? Will this impact baking time?


    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Rebecca – If you have one, I would use a glass or pyrex baking dish. Cooking times should be approximately the same. But I would check it about 10 minutes before the cooking time is up just to be sure.

  3. I just purchased a set of cast iron cookware… I’m really loving cooking with it, and clean up isn’t that bad.. I always feared it would be awful.. it’s easy! I noticed you had 2 recipes for cast iron today! Thanks!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Heather – And more on the way!! 😀

  4. Alessandra says:

    What is a good brand of clean pesto??

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alessandra – I will look next time I’m at the store. I have made my own for so long now, I don’t recall the brand I used. I’ll check though.

  5. Alessandra says:

    Ahhh I didn’t even notice that was a link to a recipe! I just assumed it was bought like the baked chicken parmasen sauce (which was so easy/good btw!)

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Alessandra – No worries! 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

  6. When cooking the chicken breast in a cast iron skillet in the oven, do you put any type of oil in the skillet?

      1. Did you put pesto on both sides of the chicken breast?

        1. Sha – You can, sure. Totally up to you. If you are concerned about added fats, then use a little of the pesto on the bottom of the pan. If not, just give it a quick spritz with an oil sprayer. Just make sure it’s a cast iron pan. Other types don’t work as well in the oven.