Pesto chicken is a light and flavorful dinner with fresh vegetables tossed in pesto sauce and served over rice or pasta. It’s an easy meal that’s great when you’re craving something light.
We eat a lot of chicken at our house, so I’m always looking for new ways to serve it, so it doesn’t get boring. Chicken breasts are lean but can be pretty plain unless you dress them up with different flavors.
For this dish, I combine seasoned chicken with fresh zucchini and bell peppers for a light dinner. What makes it unique is the pesto sauce that is added just before you serve it. It gives the dish a fresh flavor without a lot of work.
This is the best chicken pesto recipe, especially if you use homemade pesto. It’s also really easy and a great option if you’re looking for weeknight dinner ideas.
Ingredients in Pesto Chicken
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- Sliced onion
- Sliced red bell pepper
- Diced zucchini
- Basil pesto – use store-bought or learn how to make pesto with fresh basil. It’s easy!
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
How to Make Pesto Chicken
Season the chicken with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken until it’s cooked all the way through. This usually takes less than 10 minutes.
Take the chicken out of the pan and set it aside. Warm more oil in the pan, and then cook the onions and peppers. Once they are softened, add the zucchini.
Add the chicken back to the pan along with the pesto. Stir to combine and cook until everything is heated. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
What is basil pesto? Pesto is an Italian sauce that’s easy to make with a food processor. It’s made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese and can be used in many recipes.
Can you use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? Yes, feel free to use thighs if you like them better.
What other vegetables will work in this dish? Lots of veggies will work. Try adding mushrooms, green beans, broccoli, or cauliflower. Depending on what you add, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
What to serve on the side? For a light meal, serve the chicken and vegetables on their own. Or, add some cooked rice, cauliflower rice, or pasta to make it a more filling meal.
How long does this dish keep? This is a great make-ahead dish for meal prepping. You can cook the chicken and vegetables and store them in containers for three to four days in the refrigerator.
If you like the flavor of basil pesto, this is a great way to use it. It gives the chicken tons of flavor and pairs nicely with the fresh vegetables for a meal that won’t leave you weighed down. I hope you enjoy it!
More Pesto Recipes To Try
Pesto Chicken and Vegetables Recipe
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- I large zucchini cubed into bite sized pieces
- ½ cup basil pesto add another ¼ cup if you like stronger pesto flavor, homemade or store bought. *Note, link to the Easy good ideas basil pesto
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook fully. About 5-8 minutes. Put chicken on a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Add another tablespoon olive oil along with onions and red pepper. Cook until they soften. About 1-2 minutes before onions and pepper are done, add zucchini.
- Place chicken back in skillet and add pesto. Combine fully. Let heat for about 2 minutes. Serve with parmesan cheese.
- This dish is good served over pasta or rice
- If you like veggies add in your favorites. Mushrooms are good in this dish
This is the best chicken recipe, especially if you use homemade pesto. It’s also really easy and a great option if you’re looking for weeknight dinner ideas.
Mel is an IT guy turned blogger and is discovering his love of cooking and photography. If you ever have Fantasy Football questions, he's your guy.