Easy Creamy Pesto Chicken

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This creamy pesto chicken recipe is made with 4 simple ingredients that make a delicious and family-friendly chicken dinner! This pesto chicken bake recipe is the perfect go-to for baked chicken recipes for busy weeknight meals.

A glass casserole dish filled with creamy pesto chicken and next to a plate served with pesto chicken bake.

We have been making this 3-ingredient baked pesto chicken recipe for several years now and have recently discovered a new-found love for creamy pesto chicken. These recipes are very similar, except the recipe, I am sharing today is, well, creamy!

A picture showing the cover images for all three cookbooks written by Aileen Clark.

You may also like: Crockpot Pesto Chicken

What makes creamy pesto chicken creamy?

The secret to making a creamy pesto chicken recipe is softened cream cheese. When you mix cream cheese together with pesto, it creates this creamy sauce that melts right into the chicken as it bakes. The trick to a creamy pesto chicken bake is ensuring your cream cheese is actually softened. You should easily be able to press a thumbprint into the cream cheese.

A colorful plate served with cream pesto chicken and roasted squash.

How to make creamy pesto chicken?

  1. Start by butterflying your chicken breasts to make each one into two thin slices.
  2. Mix softened cream cheese and pesto together.
  3. Spread creamy pesto on chicken.
  4. Sprinkle chicken with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
An image showing the four step process of making creamy pesto chicken.

What do you eat with pesto chicken?

We love pairing pesto chicken with a green salad topped with cherry tomatoes. Creamy pesto chicken is also great with roasted tomatoes or roasted cauliflower. If you are looking for more chicken recipes try our recipe for Baked Chicken Caprese.

A bite of creamy pesto chicken on a fork resting on the plate of food.

How to soften cream cheese?

  • The first way to soften cream cheese is to set it out at room temperature for about an hour. This gives the cream cheese plenty of time to softened and ready to mix with other ingredients.
  • The second way to soften cream cheese is with the microwave. Heat it in 10-second increments until softened, but not melted.
  • The third way to soften cream cheese is in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until softened, making sure to stir regularly.
A red striped tea towel under a plate of creamy pesto chicken.

What is pesto made of?

Pesto is traditionally made of olive oil, basil, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. There are other variations made with kale, different oils, and different nuts. I have even tried sun-dried tomato pesto and it was totally dreamy.

We LOVE the jar of pesto sold at Costco and buy it regularly. I like to keep it on hand for this pesto chicken dinner recipe along with topping quesadillas and anything else my heart desires.

What do I put pesto on?

  • Pasta
  • Quesadillas
  • Pizza
  • Chicken

A red striped towel under a colorful plate topped with creamy pesto chicken and roasted zucchini.

Creamy Pesto Chicken

Aileen Clark
This creamy pesto chicken recipe is made with 4 simple ingredients that make a delicious and family-friendly chicken dinner!
4.65 from 28 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Dish Recipes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 508 kcal


  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella​


  • Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish and set aside.
  • Mix softened cream cheese and pesto together in a small bowl.
  • Place butterflied chicken breasts in a single layer in baking dish.
  • Spread pesto cream cheese over the top of each piece of chicken.
  • Sprinkle cheese over each piece of chicken.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


It's important to use softened cream cheese as cold cream cheese will not mix well with the pesto.


Serving: 1piece of chickenCalories: 508kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 29gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 490mgSugar: 3g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
A colorful plate filled with creamy pesto chicken and roasted zucchini.

I love making creamy pesto chicken on those busy nights when I just need to get dinner on the table. The simple 4 ingredient recipe makes my life easier! If you tried this recipe, please let us know what you thought with a rating or comment. You can also tag us on social media using @aileencooks.

4.65 from 28 votes (27 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    I found this looking for low carb recipes and I have made it a few times now. It’s a hit every time! I change it up by using red pesto (green has been voted better at our house) and I also use chicken tenders, because then there’s more chicken that has soaked up the goodness that is this sauce. YUM! This recipe will be in rotation now, probably forever.

  2. I LOOOOOVVEE this recipe so much! And it’s so crazy easy!! Instead of chicken breasts, because we all love the sauce the most, I use chicken tenders. This is forever going to be in our rotation. Thank you!