Basil Pesto Crusted Chicken Breasts with Zucchini

This dinner turned out pretty amazing, considering it’s not what I intended to make! The initial intension was going to be hummus crusted chicken breasts but as I was starting dinner, I realized I didn’t actually have any hummus – that was silly! So Basil Pesto chicken was born…

First things first: Chop the zucchini into bite sized pieces & add them to a ziplock bag. Add the diced onion & peppers, too. (Diced red potatoes would have been good in this, too, so I’ll add them the next time I make it.) Then add the avocado oil & seasoning. I used about a tablespoon of McCormick’s Garlic Onion Pepper & Salt. Zip the bag & smoosh it all around to make sure each piece is coated evenly. Then dump the bag into a casserole dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.

Because my chicken breasts come from Costco & are ginormica, I cut them in half & also pounded them out ^^^ a little bit. When they were laying on the cutting board, I covered them loosely with a piece of plastic wrap & then gently pounded them to make them a little bit more uniform in size. (The nice thing about doing this is it makes the breasts more tender because pounding them out breaks the muscle fibers.)

Lay the chicken over the zucchini & then sprinkle with salt & pepper (or garlic pepper, or seasoned pepper).

Now spoon the basil pesto over each breast so that they’re pretty much covered up.

Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs over the whole thing, and then spray lightly with cooking spray. This gives it a little extra brownness/crunchiness.

Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes, or until the chicken reads 165 degrees with a meat thermometer.

I served this with lentils & a fresh fruit salad. It was delicious, filling, & healthy! And makes great leftovers to take for lunch the next day. Enjoy! 🙂

Basil Pesto Crusted Chicken Breasts with Zucchini

Fantastically flavorful chicken with vegetables.  
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Basil Pesto, Chicken breasts, Zucchini
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 mini sweet peppers, diced
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp McCormick’s Garlic Onion Black Pepper & Sea Salt If you don’t have this on hand, you can make your own by sprinkling a little onion salt or garlic salt, black pepper, and garlic powder or onion powder.
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut in half to make 8 pieces
  • 2 tsp seasoned pepper or garlic pepper
  • 8 tbsp basil pesto jarred or homemade
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  • Dice zucchini & squash into bite sized pieces.  Add them to a zip lock bag with the onions & peppers.  Add the avocado oil & McCormick’s seasoning. Zip the bag closed & smoosh all around to ensure every piece is coated evenly. Dump the bag into a 9 x 13 casserole dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. 
  • Lay the chicken breasts on a cutting board and set a sheet of plastic wrap over the top.  Gently pound out the chicken to make them uniform in size, about 3/4 of an inch thick.  
  • Lay the chicken over the veggies in the casserole dish.  Sprinkle the chicken with seasoned or garlic pepper.  
  • Spoon about a tablespoon of basil pesto over each breast, making sure to cover each piece of chicken. 
  • Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the whole casserole dish.  Spray a light layer of cooking spray over the crumbs.  
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.  Enjoy! 
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