All the great flavors of a caprese salad with seared chicken breasts in this easy one-pan dinner! Serve it over zucchini noodles, pasta, quinoa or rice.
Is summer really almost over? We’re still having plenty of afternoons that call for splash parks and swimsuits but the occasional mornings have a hint of chill in the air.
Even the hint of fall means it’s game on for enjoying the last of all this late summer produce. My favorite little helpers have been picking the last of the cherry tomatoes from our garden boxes (and putting in overtime as blog hand models).
We’ve also had enough basil growing out in a raised bed to make many batches of pesto all summer long. This skillet dinner dish is an ode to late summer. Fresh basil transformed into pesto, caramelized cherry tomatoes, a good dose of olive oil, thick slices of mozzarella, all served over seared chicken breasts. It’s fast, easy, and colorful too!
And to serve this for dinner, all you need is something to serve it over. Rice or pasta are easy wins around our dinner table. Zucchini noodles tossed with a little extra pesto are nice too. (And make use of yet another late summer produce item that we seem to have way too much of.)
Newborn days around our house mean we’re eating a lot of take-out and Whole Foods salad bar. But we’re sneaking in a few easy late summer meals like this one too. 😉
- 1 ½ oz Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1 oz Parmesan or Romano Cheese
- ¼ cup Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1-2 cloves Garlic
- ⅓ Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 lb Chicken Breasts, Boneless and Skinless
- 2 Tbsp Oil, cooking
- 2 cups Tomatoes, grape or cherry, halved
- 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 4 oz Mozzarella Cheese, thinly sliced
- Fresh Basil Leaves, for garnish (opt)
- To make the pesto: Combine basil, parmesan / romano cheese, pine nuts, and garlic (use 1-2 cloves depending on how much you like garlic) in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. With the food processor running, slowly add in olive oil until the pesto is smooth. Add an extra tablespoon or two of olive oil if needed to make the pesto fairly smooth and easy to spread with a spoon. Season to taste with some salt and black pepper.
- Turn on the oven’s broiler (use the low setting if available).
- Slice chicken breasts in half to thin them out. Season on both sides with some salt and pepper.
- Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and swirl the pan around to spread it. When oil begins to shimmer, add chicken breasts and cook, without moving them, until chicken is well seared on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, combine tomatoes and chopped garlic. Stir in a pinch of salt.
- Flip chicken breasts over and add tomatoes to the pan so they are all around the chicken breasts (but not on top). Continue to cook the chicken and tomatoes until the chicken is nearly cooked through and the tomatoes are starting to caramelize and soften on the bottom of the pan.
- Top each piece of chicken with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Transfer skillet to the oven and broil until the cheese melts.
- Spoon pesto over each piece of chicken. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
- Serve chicken with tomatoes. This is great over pasta, zucchini noodles (as in the photo above), quinoa or rice!
We just got back from a weekend in New York City where we attended a wedding and showed June the city. (She slept through most of it.)