Creamy Pesto Chicken

  • 10MINS
  • 35MINS
  • Serves 4
  • 376KCAL

Who doesn’t love a rich, indulgent chicken recipe? We’ve used green pesto and sun-dried tomatoes for a fresh, creamy sauce that’s so tasty and totally slimming friendly!

  • Batch Cook pinchofnom.com
  • Everyday Light pinchofnom.com
  • Freezable pinchofnom.com
Easy Peasy Creamy Pesto Chicken pinchofnom.com
5

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories376
  • Carbs9.6g
  • Protein39g
  • Fat19g
  • Sugars7.7g
  • Saturates6.2g

Creamy Pesto Chicken - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card below. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff in the blurb!

If you’re after a meal that’s light, tasty and super quick for a midweek dinner, our Creamy Pesto Chicken is perfect. This indulgent dish is really quick and easy to make. It even uses a few ingredients you probably already have handy in your store cupboard! 

The creamy chicken breasts are simmered in a flavourful green pesto sauce with green beans and sun-dried tomatoes. We’ve used jarred green pesto and tomatoes to speed things up a little – you can normally find both in the condiments aisle at the supermarket. Serve with chips, mash or fluffy rice for an easy dinner the whole family will enjoy!

If you want to cut the calories even further, you can use a handful of halved cherry tomatoes instead of sun-dried ones.

What diets is this Creamy Pesto Chicken suitable for?

This Creamy Pesto Chicken can be made gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions; 

  • Chicken stock cube

As always, take extra care when cooking for people with allergies and be sure to use different utensils, cookware and preparation areas.

How Weight Watchers friendly is this Creamy Pesto Chicken recipe?

  • You need to count 8 Points per portion of this Creamy Pesto Chicken recipe if you’re on WW Green. 
  • You need to count 7 Points per portion of this Creamy Pesto Chicken recipe if you’re on WW Blue.
  • You need to count 7 Points per portion of this Creamy Pesto Chicken recipe if you’re on WW Purple.

Do you need any special ingredients to make Creamy Pesto Chicken?

You can find ready-made jarred green pesto and sun-dried tomatoes in most supermarkets. They’re usually with the other condiments or in the chilled section.

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We’ve used ready-made jarred green pesto to speed things up a bit. You can buy it on Amazon for a little more expense!

You’ll want to use a large frying pan to make this dish. They’re handy for lots of different recipes!

How many calories are in this Creamy Pesto Chicken?

There are 376 calories per portion in this Creamy Pesto Chicken, which means it falls into our Everyday Light category. 

To cut down the amount of calories even more, you can simply halve the portion size and serve with a healthy accompaniment!

This Creamy Pesto Chicken is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

Step 1

Spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened a little.

Step 1 pinchofnom.com

Step 2

Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side to lightly brown.

Step 2 pinchofnom.com

Step 3

Add the chicken stock and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over and partially cover with a lid. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and shows no sign of pinkness and the juices run clear.

Step 3 pinchofnom.com Step 3 pinchofnom.com

Step 4

Stir in the green pesto, green beans and sun-dried tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until the beans are tender but not soft.

Step 4 pinchofnom.com

Step 5

Remove from the heat and stir in the reduced fat cream cheese until completely blended. If the sauce is too thin, keep simmering gently to reduce to your liking. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water and stir in.

Step 5 pinchofnom.com

Step 6

Taste the sauce and season with salt and black pepper if needed.

Step 6 pinchofnom.com

Step 7

Serve sprinkled with a few torn basil leaves and with an accompaniment of your choice.

Step 7 pinchofnom.com

Creamy Pesto Chicken - Pinch of Nom Slimming Recipes

What could I serve with this Creamy Pesto Chicken?

Creamy Pesto Chicken goes really well with these sides…

Creamy Mashed Potatoes pinchofnom.com
Easy Peasy
  • 25MINS
  • 176KCal
Parmentier Potatoes pinchofnom.com
Easy Peasy
  • 40MINS
  • 168KCal
Homemade Oven Chips pinchofnom.com
Easy Peasy
  • 35MINS
  • 96KCal
Fondant Potatoes pinchofnom.com
Easy Peasy
  • 50MINS
  • 180KCal

How do you know when Creamy Pesto Chicken is cooked?

You’ll need to cook this Creamy Pesto Chicken for around 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and no pinkness remains. 

Here in the UK, the standard advice is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and maintained that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep you and your family safe!

How long can you keep Creamy Pesto Chicken in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill.  You can keep leftovers of Creamy Pesto Chicken in the fridge for approximately 1 day or so.

Can I freeze Creamy Pesto Chicken?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer! 

How do I reheat Creamy Pesto Chicken?

From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes or until piping hot throughout.

From frozen: Defrost thoroughly overnight in the fridge and heat, loosely covered in the microwave for 4 -7 minutes or until piping hot throughout.  

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Creamy Pesto Chicken

  • Prep Time
    10 MINS
  • Cook Time
    35 MINS
  • KCals 376
  • Carbs 9.6G
  • WW Points:
  • Updating soon

Ingredients

  • 4 medium skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 medium onions peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
  • 400 ml chicken stock 1 chicken stock cube made up with 400ml / 2 cups of boiling water
  • 4 tbsp ready-made green pesto
  • 100 g fine green beans trimmed and halved
  • 50 g sun-dried tomatoes drained and roughly chopped
  • 180 g reduced fat cream cheese
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • low calorie cooking spray

For the garnish (optional)

  • a few basil leaves roughly torn

large frying pan

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Check out our oven temperature conversion guide.

Please do not screenshot this. Recipes are updated often

Instructions

  1. Spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened a little.
  2. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side to lightly brown.
  3. Add the chicken stock and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over and partially cover with a lid. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and shows no sign of pinkness and the juices run clear.
  4. Stir in the green pesto, green beans and sun-dried tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until the beans are tender but not soft.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the reduced fat cream cheese until completely blended. If the sauce is too thin, keep simmering gently to reduce to your liking. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water and stir in.
  6. Taste the sauce and season with salt and black pepper if needed.
  7. Serve sprinkled with a few torn basil leaves and with an accompaniment of your choice.

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Recipe notes

Tip: We recommend using a reduced-fat cream cheese rather than a fat-free cream cheese, in this recipe as it will make a richer, creamy sauce. It will also reheat more successfully after freezing.
Tip: If you want to reduce the calories in this dish further, use a handful of halved cherry tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes.
Tip: You can use ready-made green pesto from a jar or a chilled ready-made green pesto in this recipe. You can use sun-dried tomatoes from a jar or chilled sun-dried tomatoes.

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6 comments

See what others have to say

RebeccaTuesday 23rd November 2021

Hi, roughly how many calories would this be if we swap sundired tomatoes for cherry tomatoes as you suggested? Thanks. Looking forward to trying this tomorrow evening!!

Reply

    LisaThursday 25th November 2021

    Hi Rebecca.
    If you are changing ingredients in recipes we’d suggest you recalculate the calories yourself using a calorie counting app. There are loads of free ones available. This article on our website shows you how we calculate the calories in our recipes. Hope this helps! https://pinchofnom.com/how-to-work-out-calories-and-points-in-a-recipe/

    Reply

CathSunday 21st November 2021

Would red pepper pesto work with this recipe?

Reply

    SharonMonday 22nd November 2021

    Hi Cath, yes red pepper pesto would work in this recipe.Thanks for sharing your idea!

    Reply

KarinaSunday 21st November 2021

Hi could i do this in the slow cooker!

Reply

    LisaThursday 25th November 2021

    Hi Karina
    This recipe isn’t really suitable for a slow cooker as you need to reduce the sauce down until its thick and creamy. This is best done in a frying pan. Hope this helps and enjoy the recipe!

    Reply

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