15-minute creamy pesto chicken with mushrooms and parmesan
If you're a fan of easy-to-cook pan fried chicken dinners that the whole family will enjoy, this creamy pesto chicken with mushrooms and parmesan could become one of your go-to quick and easy meals! Cut the chicken in half horizontally for perfectly pan fried chicken, then add just a few other pantry ingredients to make a delicious creamy sauce. Serve with pasta, potatoes, or rice, or just by itself with some toasted fresh bread. The best part? It's on the table in barely 15 minutes!
¼cupbasil pesto(homemade or good quality pre-made)
½cupevaporated milk(or double / heavy cream - evaporated milk is lighter)
⅓cupgrated parmesanplus extra for grating over at the end
black pepper(to taste)
fresh basil leavesto serve (optional - I often save a few from making the pesto)
Heat up the olive oil in a medium cast iron pan or frying pan. Pan fry the chicken for a few minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm by covering with foil.
Without cleaning the pan, add the garlic and mushrooms and pan fry for about 2 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 and any juices back into the pan, spooning over the sauce. Serve over pasta, mashed or roast potatoes, or rice, or by itself with fresh or toasted bread (your choice!). Scatter over extra parmesan and a few basil leaves to serve, if you like.
This makes a great meal for an average family of 4, but do bear in mind that the portions are on the smaller side. I think it's usually enough with sides e.g. roasted tomatoes and tagliatelle and bread, but if you're extra hungry feel free to add another chicken breast to the pan! (use a large frying pan, obviously!)
Getting the chicken just right
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. I find my chicken is usually cooked in 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness.
Recipe for homemade pesto
You can use a good quality supermarket pesto to save time, of course. If you'd like to make your own, however, there is a recipe for homemade pesto in this post.To make things even easier, here it is again: Put 2 handfuls of fresh basil, about 1/4 cup pine nuts, a small clove of garlic, 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in the bowl of a food processor (a mini one or small bowl of a bigger processor works well) and pulse a few times until well chopped and combined. You can make the pesto ahead. Just put in the fridge with a drizzle of olive oil over the top to keep it fresh and cover until you want to use it. Alternatively you can freeze it.
Evaporated milk or cream?
I usually use evaporated milk to make this recipe because it's lighter than cream. No worries if you prefer to use double / heavy cream, however!
How to serve your creamy pesto chicken
Serve with pasta, rice, or mashed or roasted potatoes. My favourite accompaniment is tagliatelle, but it’s your choice of course! A few peas or another vegetable 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.
Can you reheat the leftovers?
You can, but you might need to add an extra drizzle of water/stock/cream to thin out the sauce again. I'd add a little extra liquid, then microwave on 50% power for a couple of minutes at a time until piping hot (this way you won't end up with tough, dry chicken!).