New Recipe: Creamy Pesto Chicken

By Emily Carver, Recent Arizona State University Nutrition Student

Are you known for a particular dish? Where anyone who comes over or invites you to a cookout, asks you to make it? I never thought I’d be the type to have one, but mine is this delicious creamy pesto chicken, and everyone who tastes it loves it.

Years ago, before the world of Pinterest, I was single, living on my own, and constantly hunting for quick and delicious recipes. I stumbled upon a cooking website (now since deleted) and watched a video of a woman cooking this creamy pesto chicken. This was way before recipe videos were a thing, so I was enamored by what I saw.


It looked so easy that I knew I had to make it. One thing I loved about this recipe was its all in one pan. Who doesn’t love a one-pan dish? I wrote down the steps and set out to make it myself, and it was a complete success.


Since that day over ten years ago, I have made it for people all over the world. From California to Mississippi to Germany; this dish has made its rounds and everyone who tastes it enthusiastically raves about it. I’ll always be grateful I chose to write this recipe down before it disappeared from the internet. Especially since I can now pass it onto you. I know when you make it, everyone will rave about it, too.


Creamy Pesto Chicken


Prep time
5 minutes
Cook time

25 minutes


3 servings



3 chicken breasts, flattened or sliced in half

1 TBSP olive oil

1/4 C water

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4-1/2 C pesto

Shredded mozzarella (or four cheese blend)

All the cherry/grape tomatoes you want


Heat oil in a large pan on med-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Once cooked, place chicken on a plate, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the water, whisking up the chicken bits. Add the cream cheese and whisk until combined. Add the pesto continuing to stir for about 1-2 minutes until all heated through. If the sauce looks too thick, add a tiny bit more water. Return the chicken to the pan, coating it in the sauce, then add cheese to chicken. Cover with a lid for about 2 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Add the tomatoes allowing them to warm through. Remove from pan, determine who gets the most tomatoes and enjoy!

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