I had half a jar of pesto sauce leftover from making some pasta salad a while back and was trying to figure out a way to use it other than just dumping it on pasta. (I had previously used the pesto to make a really yummy pesto and spinach pasta salad that I found on the food network website. It was a total hit at a bbq and I had to throw together a quick second batch when people gobbled up the first one.) Some quick googling led me to the idea of brushing the pesto onto chicken. Sounded simple and yummy enough! I decided to fancy it up but stuffing the chicken with asparagus and mozzarella, and made some sauteed spinach on the side.
Pesto Baked Chicken with Asparagus
Chicken Breasts (1 for each person)
Pesto Sauce (someday I will make it fresh but this time I was using the pre-made fresh stuff from the grocery store)
Asparagus (4 or 5 stalks for each chicken breast)
Mozzarella Cheese shredded
Salt & Pepper
Split the chicken breasts with a knife but be careful not to slice all the way through. Grind a little salt and pepper on the chicken and then brush both sides and the inside with the pesto sauce. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus and stuff them inside the chicken, then sprinkle with a little of the mozzarella.
|stuffed chicken breasts before cooking|
Place in a greased baking pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in oven preheated to 375 degrees for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes sprinkle some mozzarella and parmesan on top of the chicken breasts and bake uncovered and additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned on top.
1 big bag of fresh Spinach
a few cloves of garlic minced
2T olive oil
Salt & Pepper
|spinach after about 5 minutes|
Heat olive oil on the stove and saute minced garlic. Add in spinach leaves and season with a little Salt and Pepper. Cook the spinach by stirring with a wooden spoon, until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes.
I have to say that this was incredibly simple and easy to make, tasted great, and looked nice enough that I would serve it to guests. I really loved the pesto flavor on the asparagus and will totally make asparagus with pesto again.
PS- I'm stuck serving on a Jury, am going to Vegas for two days, attending a wedding, and moving all in the next two weeks so I doubt I'll have anytime to make anything blog worthy. Boo. Its been three days since I've really cooked anything and I miss it!!