This quick Easy Baked Pesto Chicken recipe comes together in about 30 minutes! Can’t beat that. I love it because I almost always have these ingredients on hand so it’s a good last minute dinner. 

Pesto Chicken

Originally posted September 24, 2015

Have you ever fasted? I’m LDS, and we fast for 2 meals on the first Sunday of every month.

Here’s how you know you’re fasting:

  • Somehow everything smells like chocolate doughnuts
  • the chewed-on crusts from your kid’s abandoned sandwiches suddenly look like the most delicious food you have ever seen in your life.
  • the smell of the crock pot that you inevitably prepared feels like it is actually going to knock you out.

Baked Pesto Chicken

It’s kind of pathetic how hard fasting is for me. If I’m not being careful, I get super grumpy and lethargic. Only 2 meals! Fasting is not easy…but it is a choice.

I recently read a story about a girl who trained herself to “not think about food” every day until school was over, so that she could focus on not failing out. She’s an American, and she grew up hungry. It was not a choice for her.

Pesto Chicken Recipe

And it’s not a choice for way too many kids in our country. I can hardly believe this, but 3 out of 5 elementary teachers say they regularly see kids come to school hungry.

Nobody wants that. Safeway is running their Hunger Is campaign this September (2015), and if you want to help there are two ways: you can donate at the checkout in participating stores (Albertsons, Safeway, Randalls, etc.)

Easy Baked Pesto Chicken from The Food Charlatan - Safeway Visit

Or you can buy products from participating brands–awesome brands that you already use, like Con Agra (Marie Calender’s, Healthy Choice, Bertolli’s and PF Changs), Coke, Unilever (with brands like Best Foods and Breyers), Kellogg’s, and Campbell’s. For each product purchased, a meal will be earned for a hungry child.

That’s not hard, right? Certainly not as hard as going a whole school day with nothing to eat.

How to make Baked Pesto Chicken

I used Best Foods mayonnaise in this recipe. It’s a classic: you’ve heard about putting mayo on poultry right? I’ve even seen recipes for Thanksgiving turkeys that call for mayonnaise. I’m tell you, its amazing and makes the chicken so moist.

Basil Pesto Chicken

I mixed it with pesto first and sprinkled some panko on top, which added such great flavor and the perfect crunch. These are things I always have in my kitchen, so it’s a perfect crap-it’s-5pm-again-where’s-dinner meal. I also included a little recipe for some pasta I made on my second trial. There aren’t any pictures, but it was so good that I didn’t want to forget what I did.

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Easy Baked Pesto Chicken

4.87 from 15 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
This quick Easy Baked Pesto Chicken recipe comes together in about 30 minutes! Can't beat that. I love it because I almost always have these ingredients on hand so it's a good last minute dinner. 


  • 4 chicken breast halves, 1.25 pounds
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup Hellman's, Best Food's Mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs, panko is best


  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray (lay some foil down first for super easy cleanup!)
  • Pat each chicken breast dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Lay the chicken breasts on the baking sheet a few inches apart from each other.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and basil pesto. Spoon the pesto on top of the chicken, trying to keep it from sliding off the edges. You don't need to use all the sauce (try not to contaminate what you don't use so you can serve it with the cooked chicken).
  • Sprinkle the top of each chicken breast with a good amount of panko bread crumbs, I used at least 3 tablespoons total.
  • Bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes. I highly recommend a meat thermometer, you want to get it to 165 degrees. Juices should run clear.
  • Remove from the oven and serve immediately!

Quick Pesto Pasta (optional)

  • Cook 1 pound of pasta according to package instructions. Drain and add 1/2 stick butter, 1/4 cup pesto, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, and pepper to taste.


Serving: 1chicken breast | Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 498mg | Potassium: 437mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 463IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 365
Keyword: baked panko, chicken, Pesto
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Other easy chicken recipes!

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Asparagus: (one of the top recipes on The Food Charlatan!)

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Asparagus from The Food Charlatan

Pistachio Pesto Chicken:

Pistachio Pesto Chicken from

Garlic Lime Chicken: <<one of those delicious, stupid easy recipes :)

Garlic Lime Chicken from

Slow Grilled Mustard Chicken:

Slow Grilled Mustard Chicken from The Food Charlatan

More easy chicken recipes from friends:

Healthy Sweet and Sour Chicken from Crème de la Crumb
Brown Sugar and Garlic Barbecue Chicken from Yellow Bliss Road
Holy Yum Chicken from Table for Two

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons Safeway . The opinions and text are all mine. Of course!

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