This recipe is every sort of awesome. It has pesto, fresh mozzarella, marinara, and it’s super fast and easy, making it a perfect weeknight dinner idea. I first saw the recipe, titled “Baked Pesto Chicken Parmesan” on one of my favorite food blogs, Iowa Girl Eats. Once I tried it and made a few minor tweaks to the original recipe, it was instantly in heavy rotation at my house and has now become my old standby dish. Whenever I don’t know what to make, I make this. It’s quick, easy, healthy, and everyone loves it. I add a lot more marinara sauce than the original recipe calls for, then serve it with whole wheat pasta and a green salad on the side.
Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Pasta
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded flat and cut into 2 pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto sauce
- 1-24 oz jar marinara sauce
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 1-oz
- 2 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. Place chicken breast halves in baking dish. Salt and pepper both sides to taste. Spread breast halves on both sides with pesto. Pour marinara into dish, covering chicken. Top each breast piece with a piece of cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. To serve, divide cooked pasta into 4 bowls. Ladle excess pasta sauce over pasta, then place 1-2 pieces of chicken over pasta in bowls.