Garlic Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Bake

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I have this sort of tendency to watch Ina Garten when I’m off from work. Yeah, I mean she can be pretentious and what not, but her food is pretty damn good.

Pesto Ingredients
Pesto Ingredients

Anywhooo. I wanted to make a chicken bake. I’m going to a Christmas party on Saturday and I wanted to try out a new recipe before I brought it to the party. I remembered one episode she made a garlic lemon-y chicken bake that sounded pretty superb ( And I bet it smelled pretty superb too). And I mean, come on, who doesn’t love garlic? Amiright? I’m pretty sure I season more with garlic than I do with pepper. That is not even a joke.

Okay. I really need to learn to stay on topic. So partially inspired by Ina’s little chicken bake, I decided I wanted to do a pesto with a garlic sauce for the chicken to bake in. Let me tell you…the smell was outta this world. Basil-y and garlic-y and and fresh. It smelled so warm and delicious. I added mozzarella on top before baking and a little parmesan. This chicken bake is perfect for your next weeknight meal or easy holiday bake.

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For the Pesto: (Yields about 3/4 cup pesto)

  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Simply blend or pulse all ingredients in a food processor for about 2-3 minutes or until mainly smooth with tiny chunks still visible.

For the Chicken Bake: (Yields 4 chicken breasts)

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper
  • 3/4 cup pesto (see above)
  • 8 oz fresh whole mozzarella cheese, sliced into chunks
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 4 slices (optional)
  1. In a medium baking dish, pour wine, lemon juice, and olive oil and garlic.
  2. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and then place in the baking dish and fully coat with pesto.
  3. Top with mozzarella on the chicken breasts and tomatoes in the dish.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes, until chicken in cooked thoroughly.

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