All you pesto lovers… This is a dish dedicated to you. You are absolutely going to love my Creamy Pesto Chicken Skillet. Got some leftover Homemade Pesto in your refrigerator? You gotta try it with your chicken. Have some store bought pesto bottle lying somewhere in your cabinet? Use it and see how amazing your dinner turns out.
I love pesto myself. Maybe you’ve tried my Pesto Bruschetta Chicken or Pesto Shrimp and Grits. This creamy pesto chicken skillet is another great easy pesto recipe. It happens super fast, 3O minutes fast!
Come home from work and get this going with whatever veggies you have in stock. They can vary according to your preference. The only constant is pesto and cream…This is my winner, winner “fast” chicken dinner for you!
You will love this pesto chicken, ’cause…
- It’s an extremely versatile dish. It can accommodate any veggies, from carrots to zucchini to peas to broccoli… anything! Loaded with veggie power for your kids.
- It happens super fast.
- It’s loaded with amazing, delicious flavors.
- You can use any cut of your favorite chicken in this dish. It works well with bone in thighs, boneless thighs, chicken breast, tenders and even quarters.
These are the ingredients I used “TODAY” for Creamy Pesto Chicken
- Chicken – We used bone-in, skin on thighs. We love this recipe for boneless chicken thighs too.
- Veggies – Onions, bell peppers (the more the colors, prettier it will look), mushrooms, zucchini, cherry tomatoes. We sliced all the veggies except cherry tomatoes, which we are leaving them.
- Garlic – I loved it sliced, but you can finely chop it too.
- Seasoning – Salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
From here it’s a pretty simple affair…
How to make Pesto Chicken
Start by seasoning the chicken well with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and sear the chicken, skin side down for 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Plate it out.
In the same pan, remove any excess oil, leaving behind about couple of tablespoons and sauté all the veggies for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes.
Add in pesto sauce and give it a good stir for couple of minutes. Add in cream, stir well and cook for a couple of minutes.
Place the chicken thighs back in the skillet with the skin side up. Cover and cook till the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F. I like to cook chicken thighs a little more so they are fall of the bone tender, to around 190°F.
Adjust the seasoning like salt, as I like to do that in the end as pesto itself is kinda salty. Add cherry tomatoes towards the last 4-5 minutes of cook time, so they still retain their crunch.
That’s it… Finished. Don’t they all look pretty together? Taste and you will find they are super delicious too. You can garnish it with a few pine nuts if you have them around in your cabinet.
What to serve Creamy Pesto Chicken with ?
- Our first choice is over some pasta. Any of your favorite pasta shape are fabulous with this dish. Think penne, bow-ties, fusilli, orzo…
- Couscous and wild rice are great options.
- Some nice toasted crusty bread, like my No Knead Bread is perfect.
- For keto options, try cauliflower rice, zoodles or keto bread.
How long to store leftovers?
This is excellent to refrigerate for the next 3-4 days in an airtight container. Simply reheat in the microwave when ready to eat.
You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge and reheat gently in a pan, covered, or microwave it with a dash of water or cream.
That’s it… I am keeping it short and quick, just like the recipe itself. Pin and bookmark this great dish for all those busy weeknights and whip up a great meal in a zippy for your family. Take care and have fun…
Creamy Pesto Chicken, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Try these other great 30-minute meals!
Creamy Chicken Meatballs
Salmon with Mango Salsa
Flank Steak Fajitas
Kung Pao Chicken
Creamy Pesto Chicken Skillet (loaded with veggies)
This creamy pesto chicken skillet is a great weeknight dinner recipe. It happens super fast, 3O minutes fast! Tender chicken and loads of veggies in a delicious creamy pesto sauce. YUM!
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced
- 8oz cherry tomatoes
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 small green bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 small orange bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 zucchini, cut into strips
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade (see note 1)
- 1 cup cream
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp oil
- Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat and, once hot, sear the chicken skin side down for 5-6 minutes till it gets a nice golden brown color. Flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- In the same pan, discard excess oil if any, leaving behind 2 Tbsp oil and add in all the veggies except cherry tomatoes. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic and stir well.
- Add in pesto and combine well. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add in cream and mix well.
- Transfer the chicken thighs back into the skillet, skin side up. Cover and cook on medium low till chicken is cooked through and internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (see note 2).
- In the last 3-4 minutes, add in cherry tomatoes. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
- If you make this with fresh homemade pesto, it taste so much better than a store bought pesto bottle. Get the recipe for pesto here.
- The safe internal temperature for chicken is 165°F. For fall of the bone tender, I prefer cooking to 190°F.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 502Total Fat 38gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 211mgSodium 340mgCarbohydrates 12gFiber 3gSugar 6gProtein 34g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
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7 thoughts on “Creamy Pesto Chicken Skillet”
Hey! Just wondering how long to cook the chicken when you put it back in the pot on medium low? I know it depends but do you have an approximation?
Around 10-15 minutes. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can use two forks to separate some of the meat from the bone to make sure it is cooked to your liking.
I made it tonight. So, so good! I ate it with a garlic herb loaf.
Made this for my family tonight, and they all declared this could show up once a week. There were no leftovers.
Glad you enjoyed it, Sharon!
What type of cream? half & half, whipping cream, or…? Another recipe said ok to use nut milk, what do you think?
I used heavy whipping cream, but half and half would work as well. If you use nut milk, be sure to use an unsweetened variety. In that case, you might want to thicken it up with a little cornstarch.