tomato pesto chicken

Tomato Pesto Chicken

(vegan, gluten free)

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner idea, this Tomato Pesto Chicken is it. All you have to do is brown the chicken, then bake it in a pan with tomatoes, pesto, and parmesan cheese. It pairs really well with rice, pasta, or potatoes and a side of greens.

Browning chicken in a pan

Cooking tip

Browning the chicken before baking it gives the chicken a lot more flavour. The intention is not to fully cook the chicken before baking it (that would just dry it out), but to brown the outside of the chicken in a hot, greased pan to increase the flavour and improve the texture. It creates a nice browned outside and a juicy, tender inside.

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tomato pesto chicken

Tomato Pesto Chicken

  • Author: Megan Lange
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Bake
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A quick and easy chicken recipe, with pesto and tomatoes.


  • 23 tbsp vegetable oil (for browning the chicken)
  • 4 large chicken breasts, cut into strips (~4 strips per breast)
  • ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter + 1 tbsp vegetable oil (for sautéing the mushrooms)
  • ~1 cup pesto (as much as you want, enough to roughly cover the chicken)
  • ~2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a baking dish with oil.
  2. Brown the chicken: Place a large pan with 1-2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully place around 4-5 chicken strips into the pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Brown each side of the chicken strips for 3-4 minutes per side. You may season the chicken with ground black pepper while it’s browning in the pan. The chicken shouldn’t be fully cooked through, this step is just to brown the outsides before you bake it!
  3. Place the browned chicken and sautéed mushrooms into a greased baking dish and spoon on the pesto (enough so that each piece of chicken is coated). Top with tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165F.
  5. Serve warm! This pairs really well with rice or pasta and a side of greens (broccoli, asparagus, a salad).
  6. Store in a shallow airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Keywords: tomato pesto chicken