Have dinner on the table in just 30 minutes with this delicious Mozzarella Pesto Chicken Sheet Pan dinner. Everything bakes together in one pan in this family favorite - cutting down on dishes. It's also gluten free and lower carb.
Readers of my blog will know that I am a huge fan of the sheet pan dinner. Minimal preparation and clean up, yet maximum flavor.
In this dinner, juicy chicken breasts are topped with pesto and mozzarella and then baked along with fresh cherry tomatoes. You add the asparagus to the pan half way through cooking. Then everything is ready at the same time. Simple.
Finish this Mediterranean chicken dish with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic for maximum flavor.
This is easiest dinner ever to pull together, more of an assembly job, but it looks and tastes the business.
Plus kids just love a cheesy chicken breast. Is it just me - or do they love anything topped with melted cheese?
Why You Should Make This Pesto Chicken Sheet Pan
- With very little prep required and only 20 minutes in the oven, this simple, yet tasty dinner is ready in 30 minutes.
- With lean chicken breasts and veggies galore - this is a healthy dinner and looks wonderful when brought to the table.
- Its perfect for a midweek family meal - but elevated enough to serve for company too.
- If you are a fan of quick and easy sheet pan dinners then try my Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken, my Easy Salmon & Veggies, Sausage, Squash & Leek Bake or my Easiest Ever Chicken Fajita Sheet Pan Dinner.
Pesto Chicken Sheet Pan Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe below.
Chicken Breasts - I used 4 small chicken breasts, but you can also use 2 large breasts and cut them in half. Skinless and boneless chicken thighs or chicken legs are also an option if you prefer to eat the darker leg meat.
Pesto - I like to make my own fresh pesto as it is really quick to prepare and I often have a jar in the fridge.
If you fancy giving it a go it's super simple - try my Basil and Almond Pesto or my Easy Kale Pesto. However, if you are pushed for time, store bought pesto is absolutely great to use and I often use that too.
Mozzarella - I recommend using slices of fresh, soft mozzarella cheese for topping the chicken as that cooks best in the oven. It is also readily available in most stores.
Asparagus - use fresh asparagus and trim off the woody part at the bottom of the stem. You could also use other veggies like green beans; snow peas, zucchini or eggplant.
Tomatoes - I used a box of small tomatoes on the vine and cut them in half. You could also use baby plum or cherry tomatoes as an alternative.
How to Make Chicken Mozarella Bake
Find the full printable recipe below.
Season chicken breasts well, then spread with pesto and add sliced mozzarella.
Surround with halved small salad tomatoes on a lined sheet pan then bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and add fresh asparagus drizzled with olive oil.
Place under a medium high broiler (grill) for a further 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is golden and bubbling.
Serve with more olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil leaves.
Can I Put Chicken Directly On a Sheet Pan?
Yes, the chicken breasts can be placed directly onto the sheet pan and the remaining veggies and other ingredients scattered around it.
As an alternative I often like to line the tray with parchment paper or foil, which makes clean up easier.
How long should I bake a chicken breast at 425ºF?
425ºF/220ºC is a relatively hot oven and a chicken breast should be fully cooked in around 20-25 minutes depending on how large and thick it is. All ovens are different and you should always check chicken is fully cooked and the juices run clear before eating it. If you want to use a meat thermometer the internal temperature should read 165ºF (70º)
How to avoid drying out chicken breasts in the oven
Dry and rubbery chicken breasts are the worst.
Adding the layer of mozzarella cheese to the top of the chicken breast ensures they don't dry out, keeping the chicken juicy and tender.
What to do if the cheese starts to look burnt?
Keep an eye on the cheese, it should bubble up and just start to turn golden (see photo below). However, if the cheese starts to look too dark, place some tinfoil loosely over the sheet pan until the chicken is cooked through?
Variations of One Pan Pesto Chicken
- Chicken breast can be substituted with chicken thighs or legs.
- Cherry tomatoes are roasted along with the chicken. You can use any variety of tomato, however smaller tomatoes do hold their shape better when roasted whole.
- Want to pack in more veggies? No problem! Add other cut up vegetables to the pan that your family enjoy eating. Zucchini, eggplant, green beans and red onion would all work in the dish. Just make sure to check their cooking times.
- Once the dish comes out of the oven, you could also stir through some spinach or cut up kale and allow the leaves to wilt in the pan juices.
Tips For Making Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken
- Take time to properly season the chicken breasts, it really will make all the difference to the finished dish.
- For an added burst of freshness, add some fresh basil leaves to the dish just before serving.
- This is a dish best served fresh from the pan when it is at its most vibrant. The tomatoes do not reheat well and you also risk the chicken overcooking. They do make delicious cold leftovers though.
To Serve Pesto Chicken Sheet Pan
This is a great low carb meal in one sheet pan, so I usually serve it as it is.
However, if you want to add some sides I would recommend a simple green salad, a light potato salad Or some steamed green beans or broccoli. You could also add focaccia or crusty bread to help mop up all the chicken and tomato juices.
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More Easy Sheet Pan Dinner Recipe Ideas
Mozzarella & Pesto Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner
- 4 small chicken breasts - or 2 larger carefully cut in half
- 4 tbsp Pesto - jarred or fresh
- 8 slices Fresh Mozzarella
- 8 small Tomatoes - cut in half (or a box of cherry tomatoes)
- 1 bunch Asparagus - trimmed
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Fresh Basil Leaves - to serve
- Preheat the oven to 425°F/210°C.
- 4 small chicken breasts | Sea Salt and Black PepperSeason the chicken breasts with sea salt & pepper and lay them on a parchment lined sheet tray.
- 4 tbsp Pesto | 8 slices Fresh MozzarellaSpread each chicken breast with 1 tbsp pesto and lay 2 slices of mozzarella on top of each piece.
- 8 small TomatoesArrange the halved tomatoes around the chicken and bake for 10 minutes.
- Pull the chicken out of the oven and heat the broiler (grill) to medium high.
- 1 bunch Asparagus | Sea Salt and Black PepperArrange the trimmed asparagus around the chicken, drizzle with half the olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt,
- Put the sheet pan under the broiler (grill) to brown for a further 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (the juices run clear) and the mozarella is golden and bubbly.
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil | 1 tbsp Balsamic VinegarDress the cooked asparagus lightly with the remaining olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
- Fresh Basil LeavesServe with fresh basil leaves
This post was shared with the #cookblogshare community, which this week was hosted by Gluterama.