Creamy pesto chicken with roasted tomatoes

Creamy pesto chicken with roasted tomatoes

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(187 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 4
A fast and filling, all-in-one chicken dish

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal545
  • fat33g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs22g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre1g
  • protein40g
  • salt0.82g
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  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 tbsp Homemade pesto (see recipe below)



    Pesto is a generic Italian name for any sauce made by pounding ingredients together.


  • 85g mascarpone
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 100g breadcrumb, preferably from day-old bread
  • 175g baby tomatoes, on the vine



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • handful pine nuts
  • handful basil leaves


  1. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Use a small sharp knife to make a slit along the side of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Mix together the pesto and mascarpone, then carefully spoon a quarter of the mixture into each chicken breast and smooth over the opening to seal.

  2. Brush a little oil, about 1 tsp, all over each chicken breast and season well. Tip the breadcrumbs onto a large plate and season. Place each breast on the plate and press all over with the breadcrumbs. Place in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish along with the tomatoes (kept together on the vine in a couple of bunches). Drizzle over the remaining oil.

  3. Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until the chicken starts to turn golden and is cooked through. Scatter over the pine nuts and cook for 2 mins more. Sprinkle with basil leaves and serve with new potatoes or crusty bread.

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Comments (187)

hj11's picture

Easy, and really tasty! I've now made this for different guests all of whom have loved it!

ordonnel's picture

This is very nice. I spread the sauce over the top instead of filling it in. I wouldn't eat this every day as it is quite creamy. Very tasty.

GingerRoo's picture

I made this last night. It takes a lot longer to make than the 15 mins stated if you're going to make your own pesto, too. I found my food processor didn't make a smooth enough paste - the recipe says to use a small one but I only own one food processor so was stuck with that. If you mix the pesto ingredients with the mascarpone then blitz it, it's better, although I only discovered this after scraping lumpy pesto from the food processor a number of times before blitzing it again in a bid to make it smoother. Once that was done it was fairly easy to put together and looked amazing. I had enormous chicken breasts so covered it loosely with foil for 15 mins then cooked it for longer. It tasted lovely - just a shame no-one else in the family agreed! Too pesto-ish for the kids and too creamy for the hubby. A simple recipe full of flavour.

saschlet's picture

Enjoyed this. Made pesto exactly as it said (avoiding temptation to make the GF minty pea pesto!) and used light Philadelphia; used the tomatoes but made a non-bread crumb with blended cauli, quinoa, Parmesan and herbs. It was v good (even toddlers liked it!) so it was healthy with added veg & protein!

JanieMT's picture

Very easy and tasty. I often just spoon the cheese and pesto mixture over the top of the chicken rather than making pockets - tastes just as good!

curlyjefferson13's picture

Really nice. I used red pesto with Philadelphia and added some pan-fried pancetta. Had to be used up in the fridge, but it was really delicious. Served with roasted peppers and red onions as well as the tomatoes and enjoyed without breadcrumbs for a low carb dinner!

victorias28's picture

Lovely, i'd never thought about pesto chicken instead of garlic kiev. Used ready made breadcrumbs mixed with garlic, and seasoning. I served with potato waffles (needed to use) and corn on the cob.
TIP! Ensure chicken breasts are of similar size so they cook at the same time. I didn't measure how much pesto (shop bought) to use and just spooned in a lot into the chicken pockets (needed to be used up!). This made it a little bit too strong so make sure you measure.

Annie17's picture

Sorry to ruin it folks, but I found this recipe a little bland. Edible, yes, but I don't think I'll be making it again.

elsdevere's picture

I dont eat chicken so did with salmon, was fab!!

cooksAlot's picture

I wrapped the chicken breasts in bacon instead of using bread crumbs and had this with roasted veg. Was absolutely delicious and I will definitely be cooking this again soon, my Husband loved it too.

audreymcahill's picture

This dish is amazing... made with roasted tomatoes on the vine and new baby potatoes! It's probably my best dish on bbcgoodfood!

moirashaw1's picture

Made tonight for my husband and self. Didn't have mascarpone so just used pesto( used recipe given). Brushed chicken with oil and patted breadcrumbs in. Tomatoes added a lovely freshness. Will definitely make again.

Lu27's picture

A really nice recipe, results in tasty chicken which is a bit different. Great for when you are cooking for lots of people.

lyndziloo's picture

i did this using red pesto as i didnt have any green pesto in and didnt have all the stuff to make it homemade. I also added garlic to the breadcrumbs! I served it with roasted asparagus that had been coated with olive oil and balsamic syrup. I also served it with some wedges that I had tossed with a tiny bit of rosemary, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic and oregano. It was lovely!! My new favourite dish I think.

carolfmurphy's picture

Did this dish for 20 people using chicken fillets. Marinated the chicken fillets first in garlic oil black pepper and lime juice. Drained all this and grilled for about 2 minutes on each side . Poured over the bought pesto and marcapone topped with oiled gluten free breadcrumbs and heated and toasted. Delicious! Part roasted tomatoes first then added when cooking.

sharangoose's picture

I stumbled upon this because I had chicken breast and mascarpone I needed to use up.
I had some red pesto open in the fridge so used that instead of making my own. I halved the recipe as only for two. However, I would do all of the sauce recipe next time and maybe put the extra in a ramekin in the roasting tin to bubble away and use to pour over veg.
I also wouldn't roast the toms for quite as long next time.
I would cook this for friends, I thought it was delicious. Think I will serve with roast potatoes, green beans and carrots.

christine007's picture

There are some comments on this recipe which appear t be about how to earn lots of money for no effort. Given the quality of the spell in/grammar I think they are probably a scam!

julesgirl's picture

Also used shop brought pesto but it was still great!

julesgirl's picture

Made this the other day and it was delic!! Didn't hav any pine nuts but it still tasted great!


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