Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet with the most flavorful chicken rubbed in pesto/Parmesan and the creamiest sauce all done in 30 minutes!  Serve with pasta, rice or potatoes for an easy, palate pleasing meal! 

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

Last month I was asked to speak on Simple Meals and do a cooking demo for a group of women in my church.  And while I don’t consider Carlsbad Cravings necessarily “simple”  (easy yes, simple no, as I love to add whatever seasonings/ ingredients will make my dishes the best ever, because you deserve it), I am no stranger to simple meals.  After cooking multiple times a week, I love me some simple meals.  My number 1, can’t-get-any-easier meal recommendation was and will always be Slow Cooker Meals.  In fact, when someone says they can’t cook, I always tell them to start with the slow cooker.  Dump.  Run.  Eat.

My second simple meal suggestions is the rice cooker – you can add virtually anything to your rice cooker, especially if you have a steamer basket for veggies.  If you don’t, you can still dump in black beans, tomatoes, corn, chicken, any spices to cook with the rice and then stir in any sauces when the rice/chicken is cooked at the end of cooking  (I love Alfredo and peas) .

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

My third simple meal suggestion (and the one I demoed) is Skillet Chicken.  One Skillet.  Thirty Minutes.  A million sauce variations.  With the same basic cooking technique and by adding either pesto, Parmesan, mustard, balsamic, lemon, cilantro, sun-dried tomatoes, etc., to your sauce base of chicken broth and a little heavy cream/half and half (optional) you have opened the door to endless possibilities of one skillet chicken meals. But today we are drooling over one of my favorites – 30 Minute Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet!

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

As in all skillet chicken meals, you start with two large chicken breasts that you slice horizontally to create 4 fillets.  With 4 thin fillets, you are guaranteed juicy, moist, tender chicken (when you follow cooking instructions below) and super quick cooking time!  To make this Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet extra DE-LISH, I combined Parmesan, pesto, Dijon and a splash of honey and caked it all over the chicken.  At this point you can prep your asparagus and mushrooms and then proceed to cook or you can let your chicken rest in the fridge and come back to it when you are ready to cook.

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

After you cook your chicken, you saute your mushrooms and shallots in a little olive oil/butter and remaining pesto from the chicken, then sprinkle in flour and garlic, cook for one minute then slowly stir in your chicken broth/cornstarch and heavy cream.  The heavy cream is optional for extra silky creaminess but if you are trying to save calories then the sauce is still wonderfully flavorful without it….but its only ¼ cup so go for it. 🙂

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

I added asparagus and peas to my skillet for an extra taste of summer but you could also add bell peppers, zucchini, etc. and simmer in the sauce until tender crisp, then stir in your Parmesan and add your chicken back to the skillet…

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

Then serve over pasta, rice or potatoes –  all vehicles to drink in the creamilicious sauce and tender Parmesan Pesto Chicken.   Then eat.  And awe.

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet - this is the BEST one skillet Chicken! the chicken is rubbed in pesto/Parmesan for amazing flavor and the sauce is the creamiest, most flavorful, all done in 30 minutes! I love mine with pasta, my husband loves his with potatoes!

Creamy Parmesan Pesto Chicken Skillet

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced horizontally to create 4 thin fillets
  • olive oil for cooking

Pesto Chicken Rub

  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Parmesan Pesto Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (optional)
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Instructions

  • CHICKEN: In a small bowl, whisk together all of the Pesto Chicken Rub ingredients. Rub mixture all over chicken and let sit at room temperature while you prep your veggies (up to 30 minutes) or refrigerate up to 8 hours then bring to room temperature before cooking.
  • When ready to cook, heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook 2-3 minutes or until golden, flip, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook 4-7 minutes (depending on thickness) or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to plate and tent with foil.
  • SAUCE: Reduce heat to medium and melt 1 tablespoon butter in 1 tablespoon olive oil (do not wipe out skillet). Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes then add shallots, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes; cook 3 more minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle in flour and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring often (it will be thick).
  • Turn heat to low. Slowly stir in half of the chicken broth. Whisk remaining half of broth with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and gradually add to skillet followed by cream/half and half. Bring to a simmer for 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Add ¼ cup pesto, chicken bouillon (optional) asparagus and simmer 2 minutes or until asparagus is crisp tender and sauce has thickened. If sauce becomes too thick, add chicken broth or cream to thin.
  • Stir in peas followed by Parmesan until melted. Add chicken back to skillet. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with/over noodles, potatoes or rice and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

Notes

*This sauce is still wonderfully flavorful without the half and half/heavy cream so if you want to save calories you can definitely skip it – but if you want to add some extra creaminess, its divine.

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32 Comments

  1. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! This dish has so many wonderful components! I especially like your recipes because they are complex yet easy, but also because I usually have all the ingredients on hand! PS I’m all for the cream! Thank you!

    • Jen says

      What a nice comment Dorothy, thank you so much! I like to think the accessible ingredients makes the long list of them less intimidating 🙂 And I love that you are all for the cream 🙂

  2. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! This has nothing to do with this post. I log onto MSN Food & Drink and have seen several of your recipes lately.
    However, they give credit to “Carl’s Bad Kitchen”! Don’t know if you can do anything to correct it, just thought I’d let you know. 🙂

    • Jen says

      bahahaha! I’ve seen that a few different places and it always makes me laugh- definitely a more creative name then what I have! Thanks for letting me know Dorothy, I’ll see what I can do 🙂

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Malia, so happy you are enjoying them! Thanks for sharing and I hope you love it!

  3. Malinda @Countryside Cravings says

    I’m drooling!! Your dishes always look and sound AMAZING!!!! And good job getting in front of people and doing a demo, I’m way to chicken to do those things!

    • Jen says

      Thank you Malinda, you are way too nice to me! I am sure you would do amazing if you were doing a cooking demo – its much easier to talk about something we are obsessed with 🙂

  4. pamela stack says

    I would like to say that I made this recipe tonight for dinner and my husband and I loved it. it was very tasty. thanks again, its a keeper.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Pamela, thank you so much for your comment! I am so happy its a keeper – the ultimate compliment 🙂

  5. Therese says

    Another 5 Star meal last night!! Loved it!!! Will double it next time which is never a bad thing. 🙂 Who doesn’t want more of a good thing!

    • Jen says

      Hi Therese, sorry for my delayed response as I am just getting back from Lake Powell without any service but I loved coming back to your comment, thank you! I am so happy this was a 5 star meal – wahoo – and needing to double it is a great compliment 🙂

  6. Trisha says

    This was so yummy! I loved all of the flavors together. I especially loved the marinade on the chicken – it was perfect. I may even use the pesto marinade on chicken in the future even when I don’t feel like making the sauce. I love your recipes. Thank you.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Trisha! Hearing that you love my recipes brings a big smile to my face 🙂 – thank you! I am so happy you loved this recipe as well and yes, the marinade is very diverse – you could use the chicken for so many different things!

  7. Sue says

    Gosh, I use so many of your recipes that I feel I should start commenting! This one was yum but I did a couple silly things that I need to share just in case other people try short cuts like me. I cook for lots of teenagers so used 7 chicken breasts and didn’t cut them in half, like you said. Big mistake! I also didn’t use the low sodium broth. Ops! It made a massive amount of sauce so needs mashed potatoes or pasta to soak it up. I used baby potatoes which really wasn’t the best. Also, I kind of burnt the chicken breast marinade onto the pan, (but I got sidetracked by a problem with homework), I should have made the sauce in a clean pan because the burnt marinade ruined the flavour a bit. No leftovers so it wasn’t that bad! I look forward to making it again and doing better.
    By the way, I still get asked every single night if I am making sticky lemon ginger chicken! That is still the family favorite ! Sigh!

    • Jen says

      Hi Sue, I LOVE that you are commenting – I love hearing from the “other side” who make my recipes – so thank you! And thank you for sharing your “short cuts” that didn’t work out so well – I am amazed there were no leftovers – phew! Your family has great taste – the Sticky Honey Lemon Ginger Chicken is a favorite over here as well – sound like we both need to make it soon 🙂 Thank you for making my recipes, have a great week!

  8. Heather Grace says

    I made this the other night and OMG it was amazing! My husband is very outspoken if he doesn’t like something so when he says something is good I believe him and his exact words were, “wow this is awesome! Restaurant quality good!” Haha this is a keeper! Thank you! Love your site!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Heather, I am so happy this was a winner even with your critic husband – a small victory for both of us 🙂 Thank you so much for making my recipes – I hope you find a lot more keepers!

  9. Jen Oberst says

    This was amazing! When your 10 and 12 year old boys declare it the best meal you’ve ever made, you know it’s great. I’m the only mushroom lover, so I sauteed those on the side and used chicken tenders just to save a step. This will be in our regular rotation alongside many of your other recipes. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Wow, that is the ultimate compliment from your boys, awesome! and I’m so glad you were able to make it work for all of you by sauteing the mushrooms on the side 🙂 Thank you for trying my recipes and for taking the time to make my day!

  10. Kitty says

    Used this recipe as a guide tonight. We don’t care for mushrooms so skipped them. Hubby doesn’t like asparagus, had fresh green beans on hand, so subbed. This was my first experience with pesto. Served over quinoa. Yum!

    • Jen says

      Hi Kitty, I am so happy you were able to adapt this fit your family’s tastes, and it sounds perfect with quinoa! I hope you enjoyed your first experience with pesto – it seems to make everything better 🙂

  11. Jessie says

    We mad this last night. Our daughter who is an EXTREMELY picky eater ate every single bite last night. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe.

    • Jen says

      That is awesome Jessie, thank you! I am thrilled it was a winner even with the picky eater! Hopefully you can find more recipes for everyone here!

  12. Emilie says

    Hey Jen!

    My boyfriend and I absolutely loved this recipe!! Wondering if you happen to have the calories/macros per serving. I love getting into cooking more but am sometimes hesitant to try new things due to this. I have tried about 10 of your recipes by now and just LOVE your site. Maybe something to consider in future recipes for us fitness freaks!!

    Emilie

  13. Melanie says

    Is your pesto storebought? In Vancouver, I’ve only been able to find small bottles of pesto for $$$

    • Jen says

      Yes, I buy mine at Costco but you are welcome to use homemade!

  14. Awilda Sienicki says

    Hi, Do you have the nutritional facts for this dish? This dish looks great to modify for low car if you sub the flour and cornstarch for almond flour and xanthan gum. Might have to opt out the peas as well… but everything else looks amazing and so easy.

  15. Tam says

    Does this keep in fridge for a few days? Wanted to make ahead for a group dinner at the beach.

    Thanks

    • Jen says

      Hi Tam yes it will reheat well but you’ll just have to take care not to overcook the chicken or it will get tough. You might want to swap the breasts for thighs so they reheat better.