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Baked Chicken Pesto

This recipe for Baked Chicken Pesto evokes summer, when basil (a key ingredient in pesto) is ready for harvesting. Here, store-bought pesto saves time. Chicken Pesto also tastes great when grilled on a preheated outdoor grill for 3 to 6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken.

Baked Chicken Pesto

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20–30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)

4 teaspoons commercially prepared pesto

4 pieces shaved lean ham

2 tablespoons olive oil

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 large garlic clove, minced

  1. Flatten the chicken breasts with a meat mallet to achieve a uniform thickness on all sides.

  2. Spread 1 teaspoon of pesto on each chicken breast and top each breast with 1 piece of the ham. Fold each chicken breast in half lengthwise and secure each one with a wooden toothpick or skewer.

  3. Make a marinade by blending together the olive oil, pepper, and garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken breasts in a baking dish and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.

  4. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Bake the chicken for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Per serving: Calories 292 (From Fat 108); Fat 12g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 157mg; Sodium 250mg; Carbohydrate 2g (Dietary Fiber 0g); Protein 44g; Potassium 642mg.

Serve over pasta with a light cream sauce using evaporated skimmed milk, fresh tomatoes, and basil.

To make your own pesto, place 1 cup firmly packed basil leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup pine nuts in a food processor and blend until the mixture is a finely chopped paste.

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