Served with fresh pesto, mozzarella, tomato, and basil, this easy keto pesto chicken recipe is juicy, tender, and bursting with flavor! It's super easy to make, can be made with chicken breasts or thighs, and can also be made dairy-free, paleo, and whole30 friendly.
This baked keto pesto chicken recipe is not only tender, juicy, and flavorful, but it's a great last-minute keto chicken recipe to make when you don't feel like cooking!
It can be made with chicken breasts or thighs and only requires a few simple ingredients. Then, top with mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil for an extra fresh and flavorful chicken dinner.
It's especially perfect to make in the summertime when tomatoes and fresh basil are abundant!
Here are the simple ingredients:
- Chicken - Use chicken breasts or any cut of chicken thighs. I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs.
- Salt & Pepper - To season the chicken.
- Basil Pesto - Use my homemade whole30 pesto or storebought, it's up to you!
- Fresh Mozzarella - This usually comes in a ball or log and has more moisture than the shredded variety. While I prefer fresh, the shredded variety will also work. Or you can omit the mozzarella if you are dairy-free.
- Tomatoes - Any slicing tomato works well! I love to make this in the summertime using fresh tomatoes from my garden 🍅
- Fresh Basil - For garnish. I love to chiffonade my basil. To do this, simply stack the basil leaves, roll them, then slice to make pretty ribbons.
Frequently asked questions
The recipe is written using bone-in skin-on chicken thighs because I love the crispy skin! However, you can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts! If using one of these options, be sure to look at the notes in the recipe card to find the modified baking times.
Yes! To make this low-carb pesto chicken recipe whole30, paleo, and dairy-free, simply omit the mozzarella cheese and use my homemade whole30 pesto.
Start with the pesto. You can use store-bought or my homemade whole30 pesto recipe.
If you're using my homemade pesto recipe, simply mix all of the following ingredients into the bowl of a food processor:
- fresh basil
- pine nuts
- lemon juice
- blanched almond flour
- sesame seeds (optional)
- onion powder
- sea salt
- nutritional yeast
Then, slowly drizzle in olive oil or avocado oil until it reaches the right consistency.
Then, place the chicken on a broiler pan or lined baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and cover with pesto.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Then, top with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. Bake 5 more minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes to lock in the juices and serve with ribbons of basil!
What to serve with it
- Pasta- Since this dish has an Italian flare, it would go great with some pasta! For low-carb, I recommend zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
- Veggies - Low-carb veggies such as roasted asparagus, broccoil, or even a side salad would also be delicous!
Have you tried this Keto Pesto Chicken? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Keto Pesto Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil Or Oil Of Choice - for greasing pan
- 4 large Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs - see notes below if using a different cut of chicken
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ cup Basil Pesto
- 4 ounces Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 - 2 medium Slicing Tomatoes - thinly sliced
- Fresh Basil - for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Then, line the bottom of a broiler pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and grease the top with oil (alternatively, you can use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil if needed).
- Prepare the pesto if you're not using storebought.
- Place the chicken on the prepared pan and season both sides with salt and pepper. Then, cover the chicken with the pesto.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Top the chicken with fresh mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. Bake 5 more minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then serve with fresh basil.
- To make this keto pesto chicken recipe whole30, paleo, and dairy-free, simply omit the mozzarella cheese and use my homemade whole30 pesto.
- If using bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, I recommend using a broiler pan because the added airflow allows the skin to get extra crispy. If you don't have a broiler pan, you can place a folded cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.
- For boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs: Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Add the mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, then bake an additional 5 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- If your chicken breasts are really thick, cover with plastic wrap and pound with a mallet until they are around 1 inch thick, otherwise, they may take longer to cook through.
- While I prefer fresh Mozzarella, the shredded variety can be substituted.
Nutritional information is approximate and may vary.
Looking for more information on the keto diet? Check out these resources: