Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baked Pesto Chicken

I'm sure all you Martha types out there made homemade pesto with the end of season basil plants in your garden.  And that pesto will make this recipe just wonderful! But for those of us who quit watering around mid August, you can get a quality pesto in the refrigerated section of a good grocery store or Sams Club (those jarred ones at the grocery store by the spaghetti sauce? Well, don't buy them). 

This chicken was a real hit with the whole family!  And we all love roasted broccoli.  I added a little rice (about 1/4 cup per serving) when I realized all the yummy pesto sauce the chicken had made while cooking.   A big hunk of garlic bread would be awesome, too, but I've gotta wear a swimsuit next week so I'm steering clear of garlic bread right now....

Baked Pesto Chicken (another Pinterest recipe find)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese (I used fresh mozzarella because it melts so well)

Preheat oven to 375; Cut each chicken breast lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces strips.

Spray a 9x12 casserole dish with non-stick spray, then spread 1/4 cup basil pesto over the bottom of the dish. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread 1/4 cup more basil pesto over the chicken.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, until chicken is firm and cooked through.

Remove foil and sprinkle chicken with 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. After 5 minutes, turn on the broiler and cook until cheese is lightly browned.