(gluten free, soy free, peanut free, nut free option, dairy free option)

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner idea, this Tomato Pesto Chicken is the MVP folks. Just tomatoes, pesto, chicken breast, and parmesan cheese (plus oil and a sprinkle of black pepper) is all you need to whip up a heck of a tasty meal. It pairs really well with rice, pasta, or potatoes and a side of greens!

Ingredients you’ll need for this Tomato Pesto Chicken:

  • oil
  • chicken breasts
  • ground black pepper (optional)
  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  • basil pesto
  • parmesan cheese, grated
tomato pesto chicken

Sear/brown the chicken before baking

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!

Make it nut free with nut free pesto

You can either use store-bought nut free pesto, or make your own! Pesto typically uses pine nuts, so you can easily replace them with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.

tomato pesto chicken

Omit the cheese & use dairy free pesto to make it dairy free

This recipe uses parmesan cheese, but you can easily omit it! You can also use a pesto that doesn’t have cheese if you want this recipe to be dairy free.

tomato pesto chicken

Use store-bought pesto or homemade

The Costco pesto is one of my favourite store-bought pestos, and it works really well in this recipe! I use basil pesto in this recipe, but any type of pesto would work well. If you’re up for making your own, pesto is really easy to make yourself, especially if you’re fortunate enough to grow your own basil! If you want to make homemade pesto but don’t have access to a bunch of fresh basil, I have a Spinach & Basil Pesto recipe that uses spinach to fill the void!

tomato pesto chicken

Other chicken recipes you may enjoy:

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tomato pesto chicken

Tomato Pesto Chicken

  • Author: Megan Lange
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Yield: 16 chicken strips 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A quick and easy dinner idea! Pairs well with rice or pasta and a side of greens.


  • 23 tbsp oil
  • 4 large chicken breasts, cut into strips (~4 strips per breast – should be enough to fit into a 9x13 baking dish)
  • ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ~1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. 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. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with 1 tbsp oil. Line the baking dish with 1 cup of halved tomatoes. Place the browned chicken on top of the tomatoes.
  4. Spread around 1 tsp of pesto onto the top of each chicken strip, enough to cover each strip with a thin layer of pesto.
  5. Top the chicken with the other 1 cup of halved tomatoes and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165F.
  7. Serve warm! This pairs really well with rice or pasta and a side of greens (broccoli, asparagus, a salad).
  8. Store in a shallow airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Bake

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