How To Make Pesto Parmesan Chicken

Author: Jenny J. Brown
December 19, 2022

This pesto parmesan-crusted chicken is a special favorite of mine. Years ago during our wedding reception, it was actually served as lunch. I tried some during the luncheon and wanted to dive in headfirst and finish mine and everyone else’s, but I held back because I was wearing an all-white suit. My kids and I have a tradition of cooking a special meal together on our anniversary that they affectionately refer to as “Anniversary Chicken.” Eating it with our Creamy Bowtie & Asparagus Pasta brings back happy memories of being married.

New recipes and flavor combinations are some of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. You can make this delicious Chicken Pesto Parmesan dish using items you already have in your pantry. This dish is both easy and tasty to prepare.

What is pesto parmesan chicken?

Pesto is the dried ground red pepper of the Capsicum family. It adds flavor and color to food without counting calories or fat. Pesto comes in several varieties, such as sweet, hot, smoked, etc. The main difference between these varieties is their heat level.

Sweet pesto is mild in taste and usually contains less than 30% capsaicin (the chemical compound responsible for spicy heat). Hot pesto is medium in heat level and contains around 40%-60%. Smoked pesto is very strong in spiciness and has a higher percentage of capsaicin.

This recipe uses only three basic spices—salt, black pepper, and pesto. There are no exotic ingredients needed. But if you don’t have them, go out and get some today.

We need tools or equipment

a food processor, a mortar and pestle, a filter, and a roasting pan. To make this in an air fryer, you need an air fryer, or you can use an oven or pan.

Recipe 1(Baked)

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Serving: 4 people
  • Cooking Difficulty: Easy
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course type: Main course

Nutrition Information

Amount per Serving

  • 364 Calories
  • 18g Fat
  • 8g Carbs
  • 42g Protein
  • Ingredients
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Half cup pesto
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • One egg, beaten
  • Two tablespoons milk
  • Four skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ cup butter melted


  • Set oven temperature to 400 degrees F to bake. Lightly coat a shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • To make the coating, whisk together the flour, parmesan cheese,salt, and pepper. The egg and milk should be mixed separately.
  • Coat each piece of chicken in egg, then dredge in the flour mixture. Spread the Pesto evenly over the chicken and place it in the baking dish.
  • In a preheated oven, bake the dish for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is done and the cheese is browned.

Recipe 2(Air Fried)

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Serving: 4 people
  • Cooking Difficulty: Easy
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course type: Main course

Nutrition Information

Amount per Serving

  • Calories: 480 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Protein: 31g
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated Fat: 17g
  • Cholesterol: 139mg
  • Sodium: 868mg
  • Potassium: 487mg
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Vitamin A: 866IU
  • Vitamin C: 2mg
  • Calcium: 166mg
  • Iron: 2mg


  • Four boneless, skinless chicken halves
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Pesto


  1. Put the breadcrumb mixture in a bowl and add the Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  2. Butter the chicken breasts and then coat them in the sauce. Finally, cover yourself completely in the breadcrumbs.
  3. Spread out in a baking dish and coat with pesto.
  4. Air fry at 375 degrees for 30–35 minutes – Avoid burning and overcooking.

Recipe 3(On Stovetop)

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Serving: 4 people
  • Cooking Difficulty: Easy
  • Cuisine: American
  • Course type: Main course

Nutrition Information

Amount per Serving

  • Calories 292 Fat 11g
  • Carbohydrates 31g
  • Fiber 6g
  • Sugar 8g
  • Protein 16g


  • Cheese, Parmesan, 1 Cup, Freshly Grated
  • 1/2 cup panko or other bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, or to taste
  • 1 tsp of dried minced garlic
  • one teaspoon of pesto
  • two big breasts of chicken skinless, boneless, and halved horizontally for two larger breasts or four smaller ones.


Coat the ice: Put the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked pesto in a shallow dish. Shake off any excess cheese before dredging the chicken breasts.

To prepare the chicken, melt two tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Stir in the chicken breasts and heat for 5–6 minutes on each side or until golden and fully cooked. If you find that the chicken is browning too rapidly yet still raw, Reduce the heat and cook it more slowly. Place the finished chicken on a serving dish.

For the sauce, use a paper towel to remove any excess parmesan cheese from the bottom of the pan. In the pan, throw some garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and the remaining butter. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Use chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Combine the heavy cream and the rest by stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To complete the dish, put the chicken back in the pan and cook it for one more minute to reheat it before serving. Then, remove the pan from the heat and serve the chicken with the sauce. Assemble with spaghetti or steaming vegetables right away.

How to store the recipe?

This is a simple dish that may be kept fresh in the fridge. If thoroughly cooled, it can be stored for 3–5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. However, this meal does not fare well in the freezer, so it is best to prepare it the day of, or at most, a few days before serving.

Why would you love this?

Easy and fast: This dish can be prepared by even the most inexperienced home cook. The finished meal is as wonderful as anything you’d have at a fancy Chinese restaurant.

Primitive components:

This dish is perfect for a weeknight dinner since it allows you to utilize all of the food you have on hand, including items from the freezer and pantry. As a result, both money and effort are saved.

It’s simple to modify: Feel free to use any ingredients you have on hand. It works as the main course of a dinner or accompaniment to another dish.


You can make the recipe your own by adjusting the spice with a dash of nutmeg or some extra red pepper flakes if you like spicy food or throwing fresh greens like spinach or broccoli. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors and components. For example, you can use milk instead of some cream to adjust the sauce’s richness or make it more nutritious. You can use dry white wine instead of chicken broth if you like.

Expert Tips

This recipe is simple to scale up by a factor of two or three. I have served it at numerous church and family occasions, and it is always gobbled up. It’s easy to prepare a lot, and it keeps well in ovens and similar appliances.

Sometimes, we’ll cut the chicken into strips before breading and baking to make it more “child friendly.” The baked cheese crust is so crunchy it almost mimics fried chicken.

Cook until done. In 30–40 mins, the chicken will be done entirely, and the juices will run clean. If the chicken takes longer than 40 mins, it’s probably overcooked.


1. Is There Something I Can Substitute for Panko Breadcrumb?

 Instead of ordinary panko breadcrumbs, you may use toasted shredded bread, cracker crumbs, crushed melba toasts, or anything else you have on hand.

2. Is there a way to make gluten-free chicken parmesan?

Yes. Panko breadcrumbs can be substituted with gluten-free panko. You won’t be able to detect the difference; I’ve used them before.

3. When Will the Chicken Be Done?

A meat thermometer with an instant-read feature is the most reliable tool for determining when chicken is cooked. For example, a dry chicken breast results from cooking beyond 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. What should I serve with this dish?

This is an easy question. The answer is always “rice.”

5. How to Freeze Pesto Chicken?

To freeze chicken, place it in a freezer bag with all the air removed. Then add an ice cube tray to the bag and fill the rest of the space with water. This will help keep the chicken from drying out. You can also try freezing the chicken whole without adding any other ingredients.


Cooking has always been my passion since I was young. My mom taught me how to cook from scratch, and now I am teaching my kids the same thing. Cooking is a great way to spend time together and share our culture. Pesto is traditionally cooked with garlic, oil, and oregano, but I’ve added some extra herbs and spices to give the chicken a bit of flavor. We hope our article seems helpful to you.

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