Hands up who loves easy skillet chicken dinners that you can have on the table in barely 15 minutes? You only need six or seven basic ingredients to make this stunning version with pesto parmesan sauce!
One of my favourite things to cook is easy chicken dinners. You wouldn’t know, would you, with a whole 28 of them posted on the blog already!
But what I DON’T really have already are a lot of skillet chicken dinners – just this stove-top Mediterranean chicken casserole (an old post, but a beauty, all the same!), and this tasty one-pan cherry tomato and mozzarella chicken.
It really is time to change that.
Because who doesn’t love being able to pull out ONE PAN (preferably a cast iron skillet, because they’re just so cool), slice a couple of chicken breasts in half across the width, pan fry briefly until cooked, then make a super quick and easy sauce in the same pan with all the tasty bits left behind?
And then be all finished and ready to eat within 15 minutes?
Slicing the chicken width-wise makes sure that it doesn’t take very long to cook. Just a quick few-minute flash in the pan on each side and you’re done. Take it out of the pan and keep warm while you make the sauce so that it doesn’t overcook.
The other great thing about this skillet chicken with pesto parmesan sauce is that it’s made with just a few main ingredients… chicken, garlic, stock, pesto, cream, and parmesan. That’s just 6 ingredients. Plus optional mushrooms, which personally I think you should add.
The sauce doesn’t need any sort of thickening agent such as flour or corn flour. The pesto and parmesan take care of that.
I love to serve this with roasted tomatoes, preferably still on the vine – just because they look prettier that way! Because of course pesto goes perfectly with tomatoes.
You can serve this on top of pasta, rice, potatoes, or just lots of crusty bread to mop up the sauce. My personal favourite is tagliatelle. If you like pasta with pesto sauce, you’ll love this too. You end up with a richer, creamier, altogether more delicious version of the traditional version! What’s not to love?
As usual, I’ve made sure there’s plenty of sauce. We don’t like to skimp on our sauce around here! And hopefully it doesn’t bother you that it’s quite green! Don’t worry – it’s deliciously green!
15-minute skillet chicken with pesto parmesan sauce
- 2 large chicken breasts sliced in 2 across the width (to make 4 thinner slices of chicken)
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 4 ounces mushrooms sliced (optional)
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto (about ¼ cup)
- 4 tablespoons heavy / double cream (about ¼ cup)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan plus extra for grating over at the end
Heat up a medium skillet with a big drizzle of oil, then pan fry the chicken for a few minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm by covering with foil.
Without cleaning the pan, add the garlic and mushrooms and stir until the mushrooms have cooked down nicely (a couple of minutes).
Add the chicken stock, pesto and cream to the pan and let bubble for a minute or two until slightly reduced. Then stir in the parmesan.
Add the chicken back into the pan, spooning over the sauce. Serve over pasta, mashed or roast potatoes, rice, or bread (your choice!). Scatter over a bit of extra parmesan to serve, if you like.
Try to resist the temptation to overcook the chicken – you want to keep it nice and moist and juicy! Check it’s just cooked through in the thickest part, then remove from the pan.
Serve with pasta, rice, or mashed or roasted potatoes. My favourite accompaniment is tagliatelle, but it’s your choice of course! A few peas are nice on the side, too, for extra veggie goodness. Mmm!
I also really like to serve this meal with roasted tomatoes. Just drizzle with a bit of olive oil and bake at 180C / 355F for about 15 minutes.