Today I sat down with the intent of telling all of you about making pesto rolled chicken like I promised in my last post (Fig and Kale Salad With a Balsamic Reduction). But somehow, three hours later, I still had not typed a single word! I did do research on how to adopt a cow!

Yes, you read that right. I want to adopt a cow. I love cows! They are amazing animals. I don’t want one to eat, but I would love to have it as a pet. Living in the middle of a major city isn’t the most conducive to barnyard animals in your backyard so I have been researching how to “sublet” one.

I have visions of the ol’ gal, Mac, and myself spending peaceful afternoons all playing together in an open field. But as Mac already resembles a cow, both in markings and grass consumption, Tyson thinks that is plenty. Pesto Rolled Chicken - Mac Cow

Back to real reason we are all here – Pesto Rolled Chicken!

It’s fast,

it’s easy,

it tastes great,

and there minimal effort for maximum flavor.

Put all of that together and you have yourself one heck of a weeknight dinner!

You can simplify things by using a store bought pesto, but all of my herbs are too beautiful outside to not take 5 minutes to make a fresh sauce. I didn’t have quite enough basil to make a true basil pesto, so I added spinach leaves to make up the difference. The only things you need are nuts (optional, but when I do add them I use almonds or cashews), Parmesan cheese, fresh ground pepper, and olive oil. Put it all in a food processor, give it a few pulses, and wham-bam you have a delicious fresh pesto!

Now that you have a homemade pesto whipped up, flatten your chicken breast. The best way to do this is to take plastic wrap, fold it in half to make a double layer, and wrap the chicken. Then use the non-pointy side of a meat tenderizer (professional terminology 🙂 ) to pound the chicken to about 1/4 inch thickness.

Smear a healthy layer of pesto over the entire top side of the chicken. I also added in clumps of goat cheese to give it a little more of the ooey-gooey-cheesy factor. Roll the chicken and use toothpicks to keep it closed. Place it open side down on a cookie sheet and it sprinkle with salt and pepper. It should look something like this… (sorry, I promise not to post too many pictures of raw meat)

Pesto Rolled Chicken

This goes great with the Kale and Fig Salad previously posted! Drizzle some of the balsamic reduction over top and enjoy!

Fig and Kale Salad with a Balsamic Reduction - Plated

If you make Pesto Rolled Chicken, please leave a comment and tell me all about it!

Serves 1 Pest Rolled Chicken

Pesto Rolled Chicken

Easy-peasy baked pesto chicken in under 1 hour!

15 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

1 hrTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 1 whole chicken breast (two pieces), trimmed and flattened to about 1/4 inche
  • 1 - 11/2 cup fresh herb leaves, I used a mix of basil and spinach, but you can also try mint and cilantro
  • 1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil * I didn't measure this out. I slowly streamed in the oil until it reached my desired consistency
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • goat cheese *optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and cover a cookie sheet with tin foil. Lightly oil the tin foil.
  2. Put herbs in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add in cheese and continue to pulse using a plastic spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
  3. While the food processor is running, slowly stream in oil to desired consistency. You want it somewhere between a paste and a spaghetti-like sauce. Make sure that it can spread easily without being too runny.
  4. Split the pesto in half and spread over the top side of each flattened chicken breast. If using, add in a few clumps of goat cheese.
  5. Roll the chicken and use toothpicks to hold it together.
  6. Place it open side down on the tin foil and lightly salt and pepper the top.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes until the top turns golden and the juices run clear.
  8. Drizzle with a Balsamic reduction and serve
Recipe Type: Entree