This one-pan pesto chicken and vegetables is the perfect weeknight meal! It comes together in about 20 minutes or so and you can throw in vegetables you have on hand. Use homemade basil pesto if you have it, but you can use a store-bought jar for a shortcut.

Be sure to watch my video for how to make pesto chicken below!

pesto chicken and vegetables in a pan

One of my favorite things to order when we go out is creamy pesto chicken, but it's actually an easy meal to make at home any time of the week.

This basil pesto chicken and vegetables recipe takes a one pan, a few familiar ingredients, and about 20 minutes to make. It is probably one of the juiciest chicken breast recipes I've tried! And the flavors are incredible.

The main flavor maker here is my homemade basil pesto (you can make it in advance in keep it in the fridge for all sorts of recipes including caprese chicken). But if you need a shortcut, you can use store-bought pesto. I like to finish this dish with a splash of lemon juice to brighten everything up!

ingredients for chicken pesto. Chicken cutlets, vegetables, cherry tomatoes, pesto, cream, basil and pine nuts

Here's what you'll need

  • Chicken breast cutlets (about 1 ½ pounds). No need to pay extra money for cutlets though, you can start with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and simply cut them in half horizontally to create thinner pieces. This helps the chicken cook quickly and evenly without drying out, and it's also a great way to serve more people. (watch the video
  • Vegetables. I chose zucchini, red bell pepper, and red onions. These are three I often have in my fridge for all sorts of Mediterranean cooking (but you can use other vegetables you have on hand like asparagus or green beans).
  • Tomatoes. About 1 cup of any small tomato you like. I went with grape tomatoes.
  • Basil pesto and cream (⅓ cup of each). This is really where all the flavor and that little bit of liquid comes from. I used heavy cream, but you can use a nut milk if you like (I do think a little bit of cream really does make a difference).

How to make pesto chicken (step-by-step):

This easy pesto chicken comes together in one pan. You start by sauteeing the chicken briefly. Saute the vegetables next. Then, put them together with the basil and cream mixture and add the finishing touches. Here is how it goes (print-friendly recipe below):

  • Season and cook the chicken cutlets. A little kosher salt and black pepper on both sides of the chicken cultets, then sear them in a large skillet with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil (about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until fully cooked). Remove the chicken and set aside for now.
Cooked chicken cutlets in skillet
  • Cook zucchini, bell peppers, onions and grape tomatoes. Add a little more extra virgin olive oil to the same skillet if you need to. Add the vegtables. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Saute, tossing a few times, until the vegetables are cooked.
cooked vegetables in the skillet
  • Mix together the basil pesto and cream (⅓ cup of each) in a small bowl.
  • Put the chicken back in the skillet with the vegetables. Pour the basil and cream mixture on top. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let everything cook together for 1 or 2 minutes (you're only looking to warm up the pesto and cream mixture, you don't want it to cook too much). Remove from heat.
  • Add lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Garnish with some toasted pine nuts and a few basil leaves (optional).
cooked basil pesto chicken with vegetables

Serve it with

One obvious way to serve chicken pesto is with your favorite pasta. If you want to make some sauce for the pasta, feel free to double or triple the amount of basil pesto and cream mixture to toss it in.

You can also also serve this pesto chicken with your favorite grain (rice, farro or even couscous will work). And if nothing else, add a slice of your favorite crusty bread.

For a fun Italian-style dinner, start the meal with Panzanella salad!

You may also like

Pesto Pasta

Italian Baked Chicken

Pasta Primavera

Easy Chicken and Mushroom Recipe

50+ Top Mediterranean diet recipes. For all recipes, visit us here JOIN MY FREE E-MAIL LIST HERE.

4.84 from 122 votes

Pesto Chicken Recipe with Vegetables

Suzy Karadsheh
pesto chicken and vegetables in a pan
One-pan chicken pesto and vegetables makes the perfect weeknight meal in 20 minutes! I recommend homemade pesto for this recipe, but you can totally use store-bought pesto for a shortcut if you need to.
Prep – 10 mins
Cook – 10 mins
Cuisine:
Italian
Serves – 6 people (up to)
Course:
Main Course

Equipment

  • Large skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 lb chicken breast cutlets
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 zucchini cut into half moons
  • 1 red bell pepper cored and cut into strips
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • 1 cup about 5 oz grape tomatoes
  • cup basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • cup cream
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Toasted pine nuts for garnish optional
  • Fresh basil for garnish optional

Instructions
 

  • Pat chicken breast cutlets dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. (Boneless skinless chicken breasts can be used, simply cut them in half horizontally so that you have thinner pieces. Watch the video to see how I do this).
  • In large cast iron skillet, heat a little bit of extra virgin olive oil (about 2 tbsp) until shimmering but not smoking in a cast iron skillet. Add chicken to the heated skillet and cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning over once. Remove from the skillet and set aside for now.
  • If needed, add a little bit more extra virgin olive oil to the skillet. Add zucchini, bell peppers, onion, and grape tomatoes. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes or so, tossing occasionally, until the veggies have softened.
  • In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together the basil pesto and cream.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet. Pour the pesto and cream mixture in. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for a minute or so.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat, add lemon juice and lemon zest. Add pine nuts and fresh basil for garnish. Serve hot with your favorite grain or plain orzo pasta.

Video

Notes

  • Chicken breast cutlets are simply chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been cut in half horizontally so they are thinner for even and quick cooking. If you can not find chicken breast cutlets, you can simply use chicken breast meat and cut them in half as described. 
  • To serve with your favorite pasta, feel free to double or triple the amount of basil pesto and cream mixture to make a bit more sauce for your pasta. 
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in a tight-lid container for 2 nights or so. You can warm it up stove-top over medium-low heat briefly (you may need to add a little liquid to help it). 
  • Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices. 

Nutrition

Calories: 245.8kcalCarbohydrates: 4.6gProtein: 25.7gFat: 13.3gSaturated Fat: 4.6gCholesterol: 91.8mgSodium: 269.2mgPotassium: 570mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 2.5gVitamin A: 1192.5IUVitamin C: 33.2mgCalcium: 43.8mgIron: 0.7mg
Tried this recipe?

Share it with the world

I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
Learn More

Get our best recipes and all Things Mediterranean delivered to your inbox.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

How many stars would you give this recipe?




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night as I had made pesto earlier in the week to use up some of the basil in the garden. We eat a lot of vegetables and this was a delicious recipe. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    This was amazing! I used the last of my basil cubes frozen in olive oil during summer for the pesto. From the picture, it looks like my veggies weren't sauteed as long as yours. The tomatoes were wild. Like little packets of surprise when they burst in your mouth. We were all exclaiming over them.

  3. 5 stars
    Delish! We tripled this recipe for meal prep and it reheated wonderfully. There is something for everyone with this here - plenty of veg and plenty of protein (added extra of both) and served with penne (no orzo at the shops). Easily adaptable to whatever produce you have on hand. We are a professional athlete home and we always need new ways to get LOTS of protein and veggies into meals. This will become a staple for our meal planning 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    A delicious recipe. The homemade pesto isn’t difficult, and so tasty! I used less chicken meat (abut half) than the recipe calls for. Also made your Greek spinach rice to go with it. The meal was a great success. Thanks Suzy!

  5. 5 stars
    Wonderful recipe like all of the rest of your recipes. Im so grateful I have found your website.

  6. 5 stars
    I was searching for a chicken pesto recipe, I had everything except for the zucchini, so I figured this was the one. And it was! Easy to make and was restaurant caliber. Definitely a keeper. Thanks,

  7. 5 stars
    This was even better than I thought it would be 🙂
    Definately will make again and share with friends!

  8. 5 stars
    Wonderful as always! Made this tonight bit I cheated a bit. Had the pesto in the freezer and a leftover chicken breast (only cooking for one). Cooked up the veggies and served over penne. So easy and tasty!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this with vegan pesto and served over banza cavatapi. Next time will be gf orzo. I did zucchini, green beans and tomatoes. Yum!!

  10. 5 stars
    Greetings from the south of France

    Just made this recipe for my wife and daughter. Excellent results, easy, tasty, moorish. We served a green salad, couscous and spinach with it. Thanks

  11. I just made this tonight and my husband and I loved it. We will definitely make it again and we have leftovers which is perfect! Two nights of goodness! Thank you!

  12. I want to make this tonight have lots of veggies on hand, pesto, chicken, etc. My issue is I don't have cream or yogurt on hand....would sour cream, cream cheese or coconut milk work? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Dawn! Sorry I'm just seeing your question. I have never personally tried any of those with this particular recipe, so it's hard for me to be 100% sure, but I think any of them would probably be okay here.

  13. 5 stars
    Loved your recipe, had to find it again as I didn't save it last time. So easy and tasty. Using the ingredients that I had available at the time, I tried Greek yogurt instead of the cream and sun-dried tomato pesto. It was a winner. Cant wait for dinner tonight.