Baked Chicken Pesto Recipe

Baked Pesto ChickenThis 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.

Baked Pesto Chicken

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).

Baked Chicken Pesto Recipe
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 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
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put Italian dressing in small food processor, add ½ the basil, pulse a few times, then add the remaining basil. Pulse several more times.
  3. Add the almonds and pulse until well chopped, then add the cheese & pulse until the pesto is mostly smooth, a few chunks is fine.
  4. Place chicken in medium size mixing bowl, add all the pesto and mix well.
  5. Dump the chicken out into a large baking dish (preferably around 8x11), making sure to include all the dressing, spread whatever sticks in the bowl over the top.
  6. Pop it in the oven & bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Serve over pasta or rice or as a standard entree.


pesto chicken roasted pepper and swiss sandwich Leftover Pesto Chicken is delicious in a sandwich like this one. Pesto Chicken, Roasted Pepper & Swiss


  1. says

    What a delicious new way for my family to enjoy chicken. Thanks!

  2. says

    Thank you! I’m forever looking for new chicken recipes!

  3. says

    We eat a lot of chicken, it is always nice to find a unique recipe and a different way to make it.

  4. says

    This is so funny… my husband just discovered pesto (really) and loves it, so this is the perfect recipe for me to try. Thanks!

  5. says

    It just so happens that I have a bottle of dressing at the ready. :)

  6. says

    That looks easy and delicious–and leftovers would make a great pizza, too.

  7. Eletha says

    This has become one of my favorite ways to make chicken, and has also become my go-to pesto recipe.

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