Tag Archives: Pesto Chicken

Pesto and Bacon Chicken

We all have one of these pesto and bacon chicken recipes don’t we? Or at least some sort of recipe whereby we stuff a chicken breast with something gooey then wrap it in some sort of porky meat.  Delicious when done well; dry and horrible when done poorly (usually when cooking for someone you want to impress).

This recipe uses homemade pesto, although your can buy your own (but seriously, make ours, it’s really easy and very tasty indeed) and smoked streaky bacon, but feel free to riff with unsmoked bacon, non-streaky bacon or even prosciutto or pancetta.  And you may need a couple of cocktail sticks.  Try not to overcook it though because it will turn dry and horrible pretty rapidly.

Scared yet? Let’s begin.

Pesto and Bacon Chicken

Pesto and Bacon Chicken


  • 1 chicken breast per person
  • about 3-4 tbsp fresh pesto
  • 2-3 rashers smoked streaky bacon per person
  • 2 cocktail sticks
  • a little olive oil


  1. Unless you're preparing this several hours ahead, take the chicken breasts and bacon out of the fridge nice an early - an hour before in a cold kitchen won't do you any harm.
  2. Carefully, slice the chicken open along one side, but not all the way to the edges, so you're creating a pocket. When I say 'carefully, I mean don't cur yourself but also look where you're going. If you can get the slice in the chicken to pass through the middle depth wise, you have more chance of an evenly cooked chicken with the filling in the middle. Bear in mind that's it's to be stuffed too, so you need the right balance between having a pocket big enough to without the stuffing falling out everywhere, and actually making enough room to get lots of pesto in there.
  3. Next, spoon in and spread around the pesto.
  4. Stuff it as full as you like, but it's good to have a decent enough layer which will also let you close the pocket up again with relative ease.
  5. Now, grab your bacon. If the rashers are quite wide, cut them in half lengthways, then start to wrap them around the chicken at a slight angle, so that the next slice can join onto the first.
  6. Using cocktail sticks, skewer the chicken in a way that can take in the bacon and close that pocket you've made. 2 -3 cocktail sticks should be enough, but it's a good idea to count them so you can tell whomever you're serving how many they're looking for to avoid any unpleasant surprises!
  7. Preheat the oven to 180c. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and fry the chicken on both sides until the bacon is browning and crispy.
  8. Place on a baking tray in the centre of the oven for around 10 minutes (less if you cook it in the pan for a long, long time) and then check one they're cooked through by sticking a sharp knife into the thickest part of the breast to make sure none of the chicken is translucent. Cooking it through should be easiest if the chicken is an even temperature to start with by being out of the fridge.
  9. Serve with sweet potato wedges or pasta and peas and enjoy!
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If you like pesto, you could also try our Salmon and Broccoli Cous Cous Bowl or Pesto Chicken Quesadilla.

Pesto Chicken Quesadilla

This recipe was a bit of a spur of the moment idea and turned out to be ridiculously delicious. It’s a little bit naughty with the wrap and melted cheese….but everything in moderation….

The pesto is a bit of a departure from the traditional Mexican dish, but hopefully you’ll forgive me once you’ve had a bite. Hot, crispy, melty, cheesey, pesto….yeah just try it…

 pesto chicken quesadilla recipe 
To make one, you will need:

1 tortilla wrap (I used a seeded one for extra flavour and texture)

Grated cheese, I used a couple of handfuls of cheddar

1/2 red pepper

1/2 red onion

1 chicken breast

2 tbsp pesto (I used homemade pesto)

Dash olive oil

A griddle pan 

Serve with salad or vegetables 

how to cook onions and peppers 
  1. Add a little olive oil to a small frying pan. Slice the onion and pepper as you would for fajitas and gently fry this off until the onion is caramelised and the peppers are starting to soften. how to butterfly chicken 
  2. Preheat the oven to 180c. Prepare your chicken – I butterflied mine so that it would cook more quickly and evenly by slicing along the side of the breast (lengthways) as if I were cutting open a roll, then folded the top back so that it was half the depth and double the width, as above. how to make pesto chicken 
  3. Spoon the pesto onto the chicken and spread it out to coat it. Put on a tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked through.ideas for using up wraps 
  4. Now you can prepare your tortilla. Grate the cheese onto one half of the wrap…quesadilla recipe 
  5. Add the cooked onions and peppers (as if you were making a sandwich)…pesto chicken recipe 
  6. Once the chicken has cooked, slice it up, keeping the pesto on top, and later it onto the peppers, onions and cheese. chicken quesadilla recipe 7. Look how good it looks already!  what is a quesadilla  8. Now fold over the bare side of the wrap  into this sort of giant, flat taco shape, and place your griddle on medium to high heat (not too high as it could burn whilst you’re trying to melt the cheese). If you don’t have a griddle pan, a large frying pan will do the job but you won’t get the “I’m a big show-off” grill lines- no oil necessary; just a dry pan will suffice.how to make quesadillas at home  

9.  When the bottom is starting to brown abs crisp and the cheese is starting to melt, flip it over and repeat on the other side.best ever quesadilla   10. Check the cheese has melted and serve. If you don’t to share or get neat about things, cut it into triangles (like a pizza)…but this was my supper and I wanted  it to look giant!

chicken, pepper and cheese  quesadilla
You know you need this….