Baked Pesto Parmesan Chicken With Garlic

Baked pesto Parmesan chicken

Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 55 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
542 Calories
36g Fat
3g Carbs
50g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 542
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 46%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Sodium 305mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 50g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 137mg 11%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 435mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Serve this tasty and easy baked chicken with potatoes and a tossed salad. Use a quartered chicken, thighs, leg quarters or whole legs, or split breasts to make this tasty recipe.

If you have fresh basil consider making your pesto from scratch. It's easy and tastes better than store-bought. See the easy-to-follow instructions for basic homemade basil pesto and spinach pesto variation below the recipe.


  • 1 (4-pound) chicken, quartered, or about 4 pounds chicken parts

  • 4 tablespoons prepared pesto

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • Juice of 1 lemon, or about 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Steps to Make It

  1.  Line a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan with foil and then lightly grease the foil.

  2. Trim excess fat and remove the skin from the chicken, if desired. Sprinkle the chicken pieces lightly with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and place in the prepared pan.

  3. Combine the pesto, garlic, and lemon juice; rub the mixture evenly over the chicken pieces. Cover the pan tightly with foil and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. 

  4. Heat the oven to 375 F.

  5. Remove the foil and drizzle the chicken breasts lightly with olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. Juices will run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork. The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 165 F (USDA Guidelines). 

  6. Sprinkle with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese and continue baking for about 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Optional Homemade Pesto

  1. Combine 2 cups of fresh basil leaves and about 1/3 cup of pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse 5 to 7 times to chop the basil finely. Add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic and pulse 4 or 5 times more. With the processor running, add 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream. Transfer the pesto to a bowl. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, as desired.

  2. Store fresh pesto in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for about 1 week. If you won't be using the pesto right away. A thin layer of olive oil drizzled over the pesto will keep it looking fresh and bright.

  3. Freeze homemade pesto -- without the cheese -- in an airtight freezer bag or container for up to 6 months. Add the cheese before using. 

  4. Spinach and Basil Pesto - Follow the recipe above, but use half spinach leaves and half basil leaves.

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