Intro to Cooking: Cheesy Pesto Chicken
Pesto. I’ve written this at least twice before, but…I love pesto. It’s literally one of my favorite things to make, eat and use in random recipes. Spaghetti feeling a little boring? Pesto. Sandwich need a little pick-me-up? Pesto. Plain chicken breast? Pesto. The best part? You can make pesto with any green veggie you want…except maybe iceberg lettuce (that’s be a little gross).
For this pesto recipe, I’m using tons of spinach — healthy, iron-filled spinach — and basil. Basil is extremely high in vitamin K, as well as iron and calcium. Basil is one of my favorite herbs and pairs really nicely with spinach and chicken.
Ready for a delicious chicken recipe that’s perfect for those chilly fall nights? Let’s get started.
Cheesy Pesto Chicken
You will need…
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 package of baby spinach (you can use regular spinach, but you’ll have to remove the tough stems)
- 1 bunch of basil
- about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
- about 1 tablespoon of toasted almonds or pine nuts (toast in a dry pan over low heat until evenly brown)
- two cloves of garlic (or two teaspoons of crushed garlic)
- about 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese
- about 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
- about 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
- a food processor, baking dish, and a frying pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking dish by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.
On a cutting board, trim any excess fat from chicken breasts. Spray a bit of nonstick cooking spray in the frying pan and place over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts until almost cooked through completely.
In a food processor, combine spinach, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese and toasted almonds or pine nuts. Blend until chopped thoroughly. Drizzle in olive oil until just combined. Place chicken breasts in baking dish and top with pesto. Sprinkle with sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve with rice or cooked penne pasta. Enjoy!
Note: This recipe serves about 2. It might also make more pesto than needed. Pesto can be saved in a airtight contained for up to a week.