This quick & easy chicken recipe is a great way to use up an end of season abundance of basil. Almonds rather than pignoli nuts are used to save on cost & Italian dressing provides oil, seasonings and a touch of tenderizing tang from the vinegar. Lil’ Foodie and I CHOWED this chicken. I really like the way the pesto mixture works like a really moist and flavorful topping, and a bit of delectable gravy-ish stuff puddles at the bottom of the casserole. I’d planned to ladle marinara over the pasta I served with this, but chose instead to just plop the chicken on top of it, since it was so flavor packed.
I case you didn’t guess already. I will be making this again, and soon.
While it looks like there is breadcrumb in this, there is none, so the recipe is fine for our gluten-intolerant friends, just check your Italian dressing bottle to make sure none is slipped in there (it shows up in the weirdest places).
- 1 lb. chicken breast or tenders
- ½ cup Italian dressing
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ⅓ cup sliver almonds
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Put Italian dressing in small food processor, add ½ the basil, pulse a few times, then add the remaining basil. Pulse several more times.
- Add the almonds and pulse until well chopped, then add the cheese & pulse until the pesto is mostly smooth, a few chunks is fine.
- Place chicken in medium size mixing bowl, add all the pesto and mix well.
- Dump the chicken out into a large baking dish (preferably around 8×11), making sure to include all the dressing, spread whatever sticks in the bowl over the top.
- Pop it in the oven & bake for 25 minutes.
- Serve over pasta or rice or as a standard entree.
Leftover Pesto Chicken is delicious in a sandwich like this one. Pesto Chicken, Roasted Pepper & Swiss