Looking for a dish that's both delicious and healthy for the whole family? Look no further than Pesto Chicken Casserole. This versatile meal appeals to home cooks, health enthusiasts, and busy parents alike. It's easy to prepare, packed with flavor, and perfect for any night of the week.

Pesto Chicken Casserole


Here’s what you’ll need to make this tasty dish:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preparing the Pesto Sauce

Making pesto from scratch is easier than you think. Follow these steps for fresh and flavorful pesto:

  1. Gather Ingredients:
    • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1. Blend Ingredients:
    • In a food processor, combine basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and garlic.
    • Pulse until finely chopped.
    • With the processor running, gradually add olive oil until the mixture is smooth.
    • Season with salt and pepper.

    Marinating the Chicken

    To infuse your chicken with that delicious pesto flavor:

    1. Prepare Chicken:
    • Place 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large bowl or ziplock bag.

    1. Add Pesto:
    • Pour the freshly prepared pesto sauce over the chicken, ensuring each piece is well-coated.

    1. Marinate:
    • Cover the bowl or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight for maximum flavor.

    Assembling the Casserole

    Putting it all together is a breeze:

    1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

    1. Arrange Chicken:
    • In a casserole dish, arrange the marinated chicken breasts in a single layer.
    1. Add Cherry Tomatoes:
    • Scatter 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes around the chicken.
    1. Mix Sauce:
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup chicken broth, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
    1. Combine Cheese:
    • Sprinkle 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the chicken and tomatoes.

    1. Pour Sauce:
    • Pour the cream mixture over the top, ensuring everything is nicely coated.

    Baking the Casserole

    Achieve that perfect golden-brown finish:

    1. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the top is golden and bubbly.
    1. Broil (Optional):
    • For an extra crispy top, broil the casserole for an additional 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.

    Tips for Variations and Substitutions

    Catering to different dietary preferences? Try these variations:

    • Low-Carb Option:
    • Substitute heavy cream with coconut milk for a lighter, keto-friendly version.

    • Vegetarian Version:
    • Swap the chicken for thick slices of zucchini or eggplant.
    • Nut-Free:
    • Substitute pine nuts with sunflower seeds or omit them entirely.

    Serving Suggestions

    Complete your meal with these delicious sides:

    • Salad:
    • A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette pairs perfectly with the richness of the casserole.
    • Garlic Bread:
    • Serve with warm, crusty garlic bread to soak up any extra sauce.
    • Roasted Veggies:
    • For a balanced meal, add a side of roasted vegetables like broccoli or asparagus.


    And there you have it—a flavorful, nutritious Pesto Chicken Casserole that's perfect for busy weeknights or a special family dinner. With its ease of preparation and health benefits, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household.

    Ready to transform your cooking routine? Try this recipe today and savor the deliciousness! For more exciting recipes and cooking tips, book a call with one of our expert CloMo stylists and elevate your culinary skills.

    Happy cooking!

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