I love using pesto in recipes because it adds tons of flavor in one fell swoop, which is super important when it comes to busy weeknights. This Creamy pesto Chicken is absolutely stunning on the plate, yet it’s super fast and easy. This is another one of those great “date night” dinners for when you want to impress someone, but you’re nervous so you also need something easy and fool-proof. 😅
What Kind of Pesto to Use
The beauty of this dish is that you can use just about any type of pesto. I used a basil pesto this time around, but a red pesto would also be awesome. Pesto can be on the pricey side, but there are several brands that are a bit more affordable. Look for Alessi, Barilla, Classico, or Filippo Berio.
What Else Can I Add?
This deliciously creamy pesto sauce pairs well with several different ingredients, if you want to take this dish up a notch. Try adding spinach, artichokes, or broccoli for some extra veggies. Or if you want to make this dish extra indulgent, add some grated Parmesan on top, too. I probably also wouldn’t be against adding bacon. 😏
What to Serve with Creamy Pesto Chicken
This chicken has a super lush and creamy sauce and you won’t want to waste a single drop, so make sure to serve this chicken with pasta, rice, or garlic bread to soak it all up. You can spoon the chicken and sauce over a bed of pasta or rice, or serve the chicken and sauce in a bowl with some crusty bread for dipping.
Because the sauce is so rich, you’ll definitely want to serve up something light and fresh on the side, so this is the perfect opportunity to make a simple side salad.
Creamy Pesto Chicken
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1.3 lb. total) ($6.59)
- 1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)
- 1/8 tsp pepper ($0.01)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided ($0.32)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half ($2.00)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream ($0.62)
- 1/4 cup pesto ($0.99)
- Fillet the chicken breasts into two thinner pieces (or pound the chicken to an even thickness then cut each breast in half to create four portions). Season the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (about 7-10 minutes total). Remove the chicken to a clean plate.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet along with the minced garlic and halved grape tomatoes. Sauté for about five minutes, or until the tomatoes start to soften and lose their shape.
- Add the heavy cream and pesto to the skillet with the tomatoes and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking.
- Add the chicken back to the skillet with the tomatoes and sauce, turning to coat the chicken. Allow the chicken to simmer in the sauce for just a few minutes more to heat through. Serve hot.
See how we calculate recipe costs here.
How to Make Creamy Pesto Chicken – Step by Step Photos
Fillet two boneless, skinless chicken breasts into two thinner pieces (or you can pound the chicken to an even thickness and then cut each piece in half horizontally to make four portions). Season the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the chicken breast and cook on each side until golden brown and cooked through (7-10 minutes total). Remove the chicken to a clean plate.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, 1 pint of grape tomatoes (halved) and 2 cloves of garlic (minced). Sauté the tomatoes and garlic in the skillet for a few minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to soften and lose their shape.
Add ¼ cup pesto and ½ cup heavy cream to the skillet. Stir to combine. Allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Taste the sauce and add salt or pepper if needed.
Add the chicken back to the skillet and coat it in the sauce. Simmer the chicken in the sauce for a few more minutes or until heated through.
This sauce is so creamy and delicious, you’ll want to lick your plate!
Excellent! Another Monday trying to figure out dinner. Had pesto & fresh chicken breasts but no idea how to put them together. Didn’t have heavy cream, but half and half worked perfectly. I also added some fresh chopped broccoli along with the tomatoes, ’cause it needed to be used today. Muey bueno!! A total keeper, very adaptable as I don’t tend to measure ingredients. Thank you!
Made this with shrimp instead of the chicken. It turned out absolutely delicious! Great quick and tasty recipe!
Loved it. Easy and fast.
I’ve made this for myself as is and absolutely loved it! My boyfriend has dairy issues, so I tried subbing the heavy cream for half chicken broth/half oat milk and it was delightful! My boyfriend loved it!! Definitely not as thick as the original, but still very satisfying!
This was delicious! The only thing I’m gonna try next time is adding some sliced Parmesan after adding the chicken to the sauce. I just LOVE cheese 😅
This has made it into the weeknight rotation because of how simple and delicious it is.
I agree — super easy— very delicious — it’s adaptable. We made it last night and it got added to my recipe “box”. (Plug here for AnyList — check out the app for a place to save recipes, create shared grocery lists and super easy menu planning) If I find a recipe, we try it — if it’s a keeper, it gets added to AnyList. (And — no — I have nothing to do with the app, am not paid to say this — I just love it!)