A new take on chicken parm! Pesto chicken parm uses jarred pesto to easily make a flavorful dinner in about 30 minutes.
2–3 thin chicken breasts
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg whisked with water to make the egg wash
1 jar pesto (6.5oz or 8oz), drained of excess oil
1/2 cup half & half
1/4 cup of reserved pasta water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 and 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese
2 cups dried pasta of your choice (I used mezzi rigatoni)
For garnishing: fresh grated Parmesan and finely chopped basil
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to box directions. Carefully reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, you’ll use it to make the pesto sauce.
2. Heat the oil and the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Dredge the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour, then the egg, then lastly the bread crumbs. Season both sides again with additional salt and garlic powder. Add to the pan and cook for 4:30 – 5 minutes, flip then cook for an additional 4:30 – 5 minutes. Internal temperature needs to read 165 degrees. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken, so I really recommend using a digital thermometer to avoid over or under cooking it.
3. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the pan and add to the baking dish. Gently use a paper towel and carefully dab any excess oil from the pan, then add the drained pesto and half & half and heat over low heat. Taste and add salt if needed.
4. Spoon this pesto sauce over the chicken, making sure to leave enough in the pan to coat the pasta. Top the chicken with as much Mozzarella cheese as you’d like, then broil until the cheese is browned and bubbly. For my oven that was just over 4 minutes.
5. While the cheese is broiling, add the reserved pasta water to the pesto sauce and stir, add the pasta and stir to coat all the noodles then turn off the heat. The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.
6. To serve, top the chicken with grated Parmesan cheese, finely chopped basil, and the pasta.
If you’re cooking 4 chicken breasts or want a thicker sauce for the pasta I suggest using doubling the pesto sauce ingredients.
Keywords: pesto chicken parm