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Dinner, Food

Basil Pesto Baked Chicken

I’ve seen this recipe floating around Pinterest on many occasions and finally decided I’d give it a try. Having never tried pesto before I had no clue what to expect. To be honest, pesto looks kind of gross and like I’ve said before I’m a picky eater and would just prefer to eat pasta with Alfredo sauce everyday. It’s usually a safe bet that I’ll turn my nose up to anything “green” when it comes to food and it usually takes a lot of persuading to get me to try anything new. I’m getting better and I’m becoming less reluctant to try new things, but baby steps, people.

I’m a picky eater and I blog about food. The irony is not lost on me.

One of my big “wants” for the kitchen is a food processor and not having one makes it hard to make things like, well for instance, pesto. When I went to the grocery store to buy our meals for the week I was pretty sure there had to be some kind of “pesto in a jar” out there, but the only one I could find was by Classico. Back before I started making my own Alfredo sauce I used, on many occasions, Classico’s Alfredo sauce, so I knew I liked the brand pretty well and decided take a chance on this pesto in a jar.

The smell. Oh my goodness, the smell permeated the whole house. Super strong, that pesto in a jar. It didn’t smell bad, but 3 hours later and I’m still getting whiffs of it. Mike loved it and went back for seconds. He said the cheese on top really cut down on the strong flavor of the pesto, but he really didn’t care for the tomatoes. Me? I took about 3 bites and I was done. My tastebuds were overwhelmed. And now my stomach is growling as I write this. The dog, however, got the benefit of what was left on my plate tonight and she was pretty happy about that. I’m in no way saying this is a bad recipe. I’m just not normal when it comes to food. So, take Mike’s opinion of the dish and run with it. Give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • 3 1/2 ounces basil pesto (I used Classico Traditional Basil Pesto. If you’d like to make the pesto yourself, click here for a recipe.)
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Italian seasoning

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Lightly coat baking dish with olive oil (I didn’t do this because the jarred pesto had A LOT of oil in it. And when it was done the chicken was swimming in oil. My suggestion would be to maybe drain off a little of the oil if your using the pesto in a jar. Or not, your call.)
  3. Place chicken breasts in a 9 x 13 baking dish
  4. Spoon basil pesto on each chicken breast and spread to coat the top.
  5. Place to tomato slices on top of the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place mozzarella slices on top of the tomatoes and spring with Italian seasoning. I used about half a teaspoon because the basil pesto was super strong.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink.
  8. Plate and serve with a nice salad.

 

I had one extra chicken breast that I had to squeeze in there.

 

I didn’t use quite as many tomatoes as the recipe called for.

    

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