Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

$11.07 recipe / $2.77 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.80 from 25 votes
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Are you ready for this? Because I wasn’t quite ready for how easy and delicious this meal was. When I sat down to eat my first bowl of these Pesto Chicken and Vegetables I was like, “Oh yes, I’m going to make this every single week.” It’s the perfect light, flavorful, and fast recipe for meal prep. And it’s just SO SIMPLE.

Pesto chicken and vegetables in a skillet

Vegetable Options

I used a summery mix of yellow squash, zucchini, red bell pepper, green beans, and red onion for this quick sauté, but there are a lot of options when it comes to the vegetables. Here are some other vegetables you could add:

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh corn
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach

The key thing to keep in mind when using different vegetables is when to add them to the skillet. For this recipe you don’t want to fully cook the vegetables. They should be just tender-crisp. So, keeping that in mind, add sturdy vegetables first and tender vegetables later to make sure they don’t get overcooked.

Can I Substitute the Chicken?

Yes, there are options for that, too! I think shrimp would be absolutely awesome in this recipe, as would tofu. If using tofu, I would do a cornstarch coating and fry it separately (see the technique used in this recipe) before tossing it together with the vegetables and pesto at the end.

How to Serve Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

I ate this dish as-is, just a bowl of flavorful chicken and vegetables. But there are more options! You could eat this over a bowl of rice, stir in some cooked orzo or quinoa, or even add them to a bed of greens. Honestly, I would probably even add them to a flat bread and top with mozzarella as a sort of vegetable pizza!

How Long Does it Stay Good?

I got about four days out of my pesto chicken and vegetables, but this can vary depending on the conditions in your refrigerator, freshness of the ingredients, and how long you cook the vegetables. As I mentioned above, you want to barely cook the vegetables for this recipe. Just make them tender-crisp so they don’t get too wilted. Not only does this give them great texture and a fresh, bright flavor, but they last a little longer in the fridge, too.

side view of a bowl full of pesto chicken and vegetables
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Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables

4.80 from 25 votes
This Easy Pesto Chicken and Vegetables meal prep is super fast and easy, and holds up well in the fridge for tasty lunches all week!
Easy pesto chicken and vegetables in a skillet with a spatula
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 30 minutes


  • 1 red bell pepper ($1.50)
  • 1 zucchini ($0.60)
  • 1 yellow squash ($0.50)
  • 1/2 red onion ($0.19)
  • 1.3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast ($6.67)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 cup frozen green beans ($0.67)
  • 1/3 cup pesto* ($0.73)
  • 1/8 tsp salt* ($0.01)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked pepper* ($0.01)
  • 1 Tbsp grated Parmesan* ($0.11)


  • Chop the bell pepper, yellow squash, and zucchini, and slice the red onion. I like to make different shapes for each vegetable, but aim to make the pieces all around the same size.
  • Cube the chicken breasts into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Once the skillet and oil are very hot, add the chicken and sauté until the chicken pieces are opaque (3-5 minutes – the chicken will continue to cook as you add vegetables).
  • Add the green beans to the skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes more, or just until thawed.
  • Add the bell pepper and red onion to the skillet. Sauté for 1-2 minutes more. If water is beginning to pool in the skillet, turn the heat up slightly. It should be hot enough that the water released from the vegetables evaporates quickly.
  • Add the yellow squash and zucchini to the skillet and continue to sauté 2-3 minutes more, or just until the squash softens slightly.
  • Turn the heat off, add the pesto to the skillet, and stir until everything is coated. Give the vegetables a taste and add salt, pepper, or more pesto if desired. Top with a light sprinkle of Parmesan just before serving.

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*You may need more or less pesto, salt, pepper, or Parmesan depending on the volume of your vegetables and your personal taste. 


Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 369.33kcalCarbohydrates: 11.68gProtein: 36.8gFat: 19.2gSodium: 423.15mgFiber: 3.43g
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Pesto chicken and vegetables in glass meal prep containers lined up side by side

How to Make Pesto Chicken and Vegetables – Step by Step Photos

Chopped vegetables on a cutting board

Chop the vegetables first so they’re ready to go. Chop one red bell pepper, one yellow squash, one zucchini, slice ½ of one red onion and measure 1 cup frozen green beans. I like to do different shapes for the vegetables, but aim to keep them roughly the same size.

Cubed chicken breast on a cutting board

Cut 1.3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast into ½-inch pieces.

Cooked chicken in the skillet, frozen green beans being poured in

Add 2 Tbsp cooking oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Once very hot, add the cubed chicken and sauté just until the chicken is opaque (3-5 minutes – it will continue to cook as you add more vegetables). Next, add the frozen green beans and sauté for a couple of minutes more, or just until thawed.

Red bell pepper and red onion added to the skillet

Next add the bell pepper and red onion. Continue to sauté a couple of minutes more. If you see water pooling in the skillet, turn the heat up higher. The heat should be high enough that any moisture released by the vegetables evaporates quickly.

zucchini and yellow squash added to the skillet

Finally, add the yellow squash and zucchini to the skillet. Sauté just a couple of minutes more, or just until the raw edge is taken off the squash.

Pesto being added to the skillet

Turn the heat off. Add about ⅓ cup pesto to the skillet and stir until everything is coated.

Finished pesto chicken and vegetables

Give the vegetables a taste and add salt, pepper, or more pesto if needed (I added a pinch of each).

pesto chicken and vegetables in a bowl topped with a pinch of parmesan

Top with a light sprinkle of Parmesan just before serving.

Three glass meal prep containers full of pesto chicken and vegetables

Perfect for meal prep!!

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  1. How long does this last for meal prep-looking for meal that will last for 4 days?

    1. I just use the microwave, 30-60 second intervals until hot, stirring between.

  2. where do you live that a zucchini is only 0.60?

    where I live a single zucchini is closer to $2-3 each…

    1. We’re in Nashville. The most important thing with budget cooking is to pick recipes based on what you can get in your area for a good price. So not all recipes will be a good choice for every person. :)

  3. Super easy to make and it was a dish I felt good about eating, but the end result was a little bland. I added some cumin to make it taste a little richer. I cooked some white rice to eat with this and added some soy sauce for flavor. I would recommend playing around with additional seasonings to make the flavor pop.

  4. a little bland. Also it’s probably way easier to sauté the chicken and veggies separately because the pan gets way too full and the veggies don’t sauté properly.

  5. Def needed more cook time on the veggies, but that being said, Absolutely LOVE this site! You are brilliant and this was a super easy recipe.

  6. Pesto tousqui! This turned out great. And one great perk of being a grown up is that I don’t even have to put the green beans in at all! Mine ended up as zucchini, bell pepper, butternut squash and broccoli. Bright, colorful and delicious!

  7. I LOVE this recipe. This week I made it for the 3rd time since i found it a few months ago, always as mealprep. Since the veggies are in season, and I always shop on saturday afternoon, when the chicken is marked down due to closed supermarkets on sunday (europe), i get away with about 1.90 per portion.

    Perfect meal for a known pesto addict.

    Thank you very much for all the amazing ideas!

  8. First meal made from Budget Bytes and it was so affordable, east and delicious! I couldn’t help but snacking on it before putting it aside for meal prep. I added some bow tie pasta just for a little carbs, but is good just as it!

  9. I made this for meal prep for the first time this week. It’s turned out *really* well. I think I’ll make a few changes the next time I make it, but it’s all aesthetics and making sure I time the veggies to my preferred crispness. I did add some leftover pasta to bulk up the dish, but even as I added the pasta I was pretty sure I didn’t need it. 

  10. Yummy! Made this tonight.  Aldi didn’t have yellow squash, we used two zucchini. Otherwise veggies as per recipe. We had five ice cubes of pesto from last summer. Just add those at the end and let them thaw. I made mashed potatoes because we had potatoes in the house. Like a stir-fry, prepping the vegetables takes longer than cooking. Hubby had a place to be and he got some before he had to leave.