Pesto Chicken Salad Recipe
The inability to make a decision to entertain our guests with the best dishes; or the dilemma to come up with dinner which requires less cooking time with guaranteed taste that can bring whole family together to your dining table on a weeknight. Which situation is more relatable to you?? Well.. Here is the recipe that can work out for both the situations.
It offers a combination of delicious looks and juicy flavors; making its way up to special dinner recipes list. And it doesn’t demand more cooking time which makes it perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. You would be surprised to see the combination of few ingredients turning out into a 5-star style of meal. Being the beginner-friendly dish, it strongly encourages people with no prior cooking experience with a promise of delightful outcome.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 mozzarella cheese slices
Salt to your taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 medium sized tomatoes(thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup homemade Basil pesto
¼ teaspoon of Italian seasoning(optional)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper(optional)
If you have extra 5 minutes on your hand make your own pesto. Homemade pesto makes it a lot tastier than the store bought variety. Start with roasting the pine nuts. Or you can use walnuts too.
Take 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, roasted pine nuts, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a blender and blend it roughly.
Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to this mix and blend it again to get the desired consistency. Transfer it to a bowl; sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of pepper on top of it. Use it immediately or you can store it in the refrigerator for 2 days, covered.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and non-sticky cooking spray. Set aside.
Rinse the chicken breasts with water; pat with paper towel to dry.
Place chicken breasts in a wide shallow bowl; coat it with ½ cup of freshly made basil pesto evenly.
Top it with tomato slices. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of the tomato slices. Now, sprinkle salt, pepper and shredded parmesan cheese on pieces. Finally add some Italian seasonings and bake it for 20 minutes. When the chicken cooked completely take the tray out of the oven. Decorate it with a few fresh basil leaves; serve this juicy and tender chicken with green salad and roasted sweet potatoes.
Notes & Tips:
Make sure to use same sized chicken breasts. This will ensure the equal amount of cooking time for all the pieces.
You can use ‘boneless’ chicken thighs or any other parts of the chicken for this recipe.
For less cleanup use zip lock bag instead of a shallow bowl to coat the chicken with pesto.
If you are not a fan of tomatoes substitute it with red peppers to add the colorful look to your dish.
Roast the garlic clove along with the pine nuts if the raw smell/taste is disturbing.