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Pesto Chicken Bake

Updated: Aug 7, 2021

Calling all busy cooks! This ultra-simple, one-pan meal is for you. It’s super colorful, healthy, and bursting with fresh flavors. Roasted chicken tenders and potatoes are topped with homemade vegan pesto and paired with fresh green beans and vine-ripen tomatoes. A simple 10-minute prep is all you need to have this mid-week dinner on the table in under an hour! It can easily be doubled for a healthy make-ahead lunch for the next day.

Recipes adapted from Taming Twins and Minimalist Baker


Man, I love a good sheet pan dinner. This cooking method is a healthier way of cooking because it uses very little oil. And since the prep is so minimal, it almost makes me feel like I’m getting a night off from cooking. This dish consists of fresh, colorful, simple ingredients. I used boneless, skinless chicken tenders, small, buttery, yellow new potatoes, fresh green beans, and juicy grape tomatoes. But who is the star of the show? The pesto. I adore pesto. With only a few ingredients it adds a ton of flavor. This easy recipe comes together in about 5 minutes and only contains 8 ingredients: fresh basil, walnuts or pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, water, and salt. Wait. What about cheese? The nutrition yeast takes the place of the traditional parmesan cheese, keeping this recipe dairy-free. Nutritional yeast is a savory inactive yeast made from sugarcane and beet molasses. It is not to be confused with active yeast for making bread. This powder or flake-form yeast is savory, nutty, and has cheese-like flavors. It is used frequently in vegan recipes to emulate cheese flavor. Pesto is so versatile. Try it on eggs, pizza, in pasta, in salad dressings, or your favorite soup recipes. You can store it in the fridge for one week or freeze it in ice cube trays for up to one month.



To make this a meal prep meal, divide the Pesto Chicken Bake into 6 reusable, microwave-safe containers. Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.



Let’s get cooking!

 

Ingredients


Chicken and vegetables:

  • 2 pounds of new potatoes or small red potatoes, washed and cut in half or quarters, depending on size

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 pound, boneless, skinless chicken fillets

  • 1 recipe vegan pesto (below) or store-bought pesto

  • 1 pound of fresh green beans, washed and snipped

  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes or small grape tomatoes

  • 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper, plus more to taste

  • 1 large sheet pan (please note: I use 2 sheets pans because I doubled the recipe)

  • Foil and cooking spray, parchment paper or a Silpat liner

Pesto:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil (large stems removed)

  • 3 tablespoons of pine nuts or walnuts (I used walnuts)

  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

  • 3-4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

  • 3-6 tablespoons of water (plus more as needed)

 

How to make:


For the Pesto:

Please be sure to visit Minimalist Baker for the source recipe and original instructions.


Add the basil, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt to a food processor

  1. Blend/mix on high until a loose paste forms.

  2. Add the olive oil a little at a time (streaming in while the machine is on if possible) and scrape down sides as needed. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the desired consistency is reached. You want a thick but pourable sauce.

  3. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. You can add more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor, more salt for overall flavor, more nuts for nuttiness, garlic for bite/zing, or lemon juice for acidity.

  4. Store leftover pesto covered in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

For the chicken and vegetables:

Please be sure to visit: Taming Twins for the source recipe and original cooking instructions.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. In a medium bowl, add the prepared potatoes, olive oil, garlic powder, dried parsley flakes, onion powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss well to coat.

  3. Add the prepared potatoes to a sheet pan that is covered in foil, parchment paper, or Silpat liner.

  4. Bake for about 30 minutes

  5. Move the potatoes to one side of the pan and add the chicken fillets to the middle of the baking sheet.

  6. Spoon the pesto on top of the potatoes and chicken. I used a small rubber spatula to disperse the pesto evenly on top of the chicken and I gently tossed the pesto with the potatoes using a spatula.

  7. Add the green beans and tomatoes to the remaining third of the pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the green beans are softened to your liking.

  9. Serve with additional pesto if desired.

  10. Enjoy!

  11. Please scroll to the bottom to share your comments and feedback.


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