Pesto Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Bake
I adore these flavors together... adddoorrreee... I am slightly obsessed with basil in general - especially when you put it together with tomato and mozzarella. Perfection! I first had a version of this at my best friends house and I have been waiting to make this at home. We had some leftover sliced mozzarella after making this delicious pizza recipe and I knew we had to give this chicken dish a try!
Tender chicken smothered in delicious rich pesto and tucked in with melty mozzarella and a roasted slice of tomato. The only thing I was missing was fresh basil to sprinkle on top - but there was none available when I had gone shopping last, so we just left that off. My sister added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to hers!
I look forward to making this dish again soon - it was the perfect light lunch with some steamed green beans. You could add some garlic bread or rice if you wanted a more filling, substantial meal.
Pesto Tomato Mozzarella Chicken Bake adapted from Julia's Album
4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
salt and pepper
1 TBS minced garlic (jarred)
1/2 cup basil pesto
2 tomatoes medium, sliced
8-oz fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
Optional: balsamic vinegar, fresh julienne sliced basil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pound chicken to even thinness (or for the larger breasts, I like to cut them in half separating the thinner piece from the thicker piece, and slice the thicker piece in half horizontally).
- Season chicken on both sides generously with salt and pepper. Brown chicken over medium to medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet with 1-2 TBS olive oil (cook in batches).
- Place browned chicken in a 9x13 baking dish.
- Spread the minced garlic over the tops, then spread the pesto. Top each piece with a slice of mozzarella followed by a slice of tomato.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Optional - drizzle lightly with a touch of balsamic vinegar just before serving, and sprinkle with fresh basil.