Baked Pesto Chicken

Yesterday marked the start of October, and with it my Halloween decorating and the start of P90X. The former made me almost giddy, the latter not so much. Halloween, for whatever reason, is one of my absolute favorite holidays and my bin of decorations in the storage closet was haunting me (bad pun intended) to be let out and dispersed throughout my apartment. My husband came home from work and said “where are the Halloween decorations?” and for one split second my Martha Stewart heart broke until I realized he was kidding. Touché.

Yesterday I found a recipe on SkinnyTaste (which is probably one of my favorite blogs ever) for skinny chicken pesto bake and I just had to make it. Mondays seem to be my grocery shopping days anyway so the timing was perfect. The original recipe uses a homemade pesto sauce, but for lack of time I used a store bought pesto which was still fantastic and much less work. I would like to try making some pesto with my fresh basil though at a later date…stay tuned. This recipe can also be done on the grill but I don’t have one – see the original recipe for how to do that.

This recipe could really not be easier…anyone (and I mean anyone) could do this. It tastes like something you might order at a restaurant but it only requires 4 ingredients and takes 20 minutes from start to finish!

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced or pounded (can take 2 breasts and fillet them in half)
  • 4 tsp pesto sauce (store bought or homemade – up to you!)
  • 1-2 tomatoes, sliced thin (if you’re not a huge tomato person, dice the tomatoes and sprinkle less over the pesto)
  • 6 Tbsp part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place chicken on foil-lined baking tray and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread approximately 1 teaspoon of pesto sauce on each chicken breast. Place tray in oven and bake 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and place slices of tomatoes on top of pesto sauce. Add a layer of shredded mozzarella to the top and place tray back in the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. Serve and enjoy! See? ANYONE could do this.

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