Pesto mozzarella chicken is a quick and easy six ingredient dinner. Chicken breasts are coated in pesto, smothered in mozzarella cheese, and roasted in the oven in just twenty minutes.
If you're always on the hunt for quick and easy weeknight meals, you'll love my recipe for pesto mozzarella chicken. All you need are six ingredients and less than 30 minutes before dinner is on the table.
Pesto mozzarella chicken is simple, yet filled with flavor. There are two pre-made ingredients you'll need for this recipe: basil pesto and marinara sauce.
If you make your own pesto or marinara sauce at home, feel free to use them in this recipe. Or, pick out your favorites at your local grocery store.
Ingredients and substitutions
Mozzarella cheese can be substituted with an Italian five blend cheese or parmesan cheese.
Homemade or store bought marinara sauce will work in this recipe. Try my easy recipe for homemade marinara sauce!
I recommend using two large, boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half. Otherwise, pound your chicken breasts to about 1 inch thickness.
This step is important, because it ensures your chicken will cook quickly and evenly in the oven.
Ways to serve pesto chicken
I like to serve pesto mozzarella chicken on top of my favorite cooked pasta - spaghetti, penne, and bow tie pasta all work well.
Or, you can serve on top of rice, quinoa, or alongside your favorite roasted veggies.
Make ahead and freezing
This meal can be assembled in a freezer safe container and frozen for up to 3 months.
Thaw your frozen meal overnight in the refrigerator, then bake as directed below until cooked through.
Pesto Mozzarella Chicken
- 16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup marinara sauce *
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 8 teaspoons basil pesto
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 3 quart baking dish (or 9x13 baking pan) and set aside.
- Pound chicken breasts to 1 inch thickness. If chicken breasts are very large, you can slice in half and use a single chicken breast for two servings. Set aside.
- Pour marinara sauce into bottom of pan. Lay chicken breasts on top. Season tops of chicken breasts with salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
- Top each chicken breast with 2 teaspoons of pesto, spreading to coat. Top with mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
- Optional (but highly recommended) - Uncover, turn on broiler, and broil for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned on top. Watch carefully, as food will brown quickly under the broiler.
- This dish makes an excellent freezer meal. Prepare in a freezer safe dish, cover tightly with foil, and freeze raw for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator the night before. Bake as directed above.
- *If serving chicken with pasta, add more marinara sauce to pan as needed.