This pesto chicken tray bake is the flavourful one pan meal you need for a busy weeknight dinner! Chicken breasts are nestled alongside fresh vegetables and baked in the oven for a healthy family meal. Dairy-free, gluten free and low histamine recipe.
Tray bake recipes are always a go-to in my home for those days when you need the oven to do the work for you as time is tight. You may also like to see my baked chicken with apples and honey and baked cod with pesto for more ideas!
And for a fun skillet chicken that is so easy to make, my blueberry chicken is perfectly flavourful with just the right amount of sweetness.
This chicken tray bake is super simple to put together, and quite versatile as you can use the pesto of your choice. It's a kid-friendly meal too!
Why this recipe is so good
- Easy to make – tray bake recipes are always a go-to for busy days, and this chicken bake requires very little ‘hands on’ time.
- Flavourful – pesto is such a gem for being able to add so much flavour to dishes.
- Gluten free (and dairy free) – this baked chicken is suitable for a gluten free diet, just check the ingredients of the stock you are using if store-bought.
This oven baked pesto chicken focuses on fresh ingredients, and a few pantry staples. The main ingredients you will need are:
- Chicken - I suggest buying good quality, and of course as fresh as you can. You need the amount for two servings, so adjust to your appetite!
- Chicken broth - using homemade would be best if you have some to hand (or in the freezer!), but store-bought is good. My low histamine readers will want to check ingredients.
- Basil - you need fresh rather than dried to make the pesto.
- Pumpkin seeds - make sure they are plain, and not the salted variety. The Terrasoul organic pumpkin seeds are good.
I’ve used a simple basil and pumpkin seed pesto in this recipe, but you can of course make your own or use a store-bought option.
Some other options you may like to try:
Make sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients and their quantities!
Step by step instructions
Make the basil pesto by combining the ingredients and blending to a thick paste. Give it a taste and adjust the oil or other ingredients to preference.
Place the diced vegetables on your tray. Nestle the chicken breasts in between the vegetables. If the chicken is on the larger side, you may wish to cut into smaller pieces, as I have done.
Spoon the pesto on top of the chicken. Don’t worry about it being perfectly done – rustic is always good! Pour the stock around the chicken so that it covers all of the tray.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165F using a meat thermometer.
Recipe tips and notes
- If your chicken breasts are on the larger side then I would suggest slicing into smaller fillets. This will both reduce cook time, and make it easier to ensure they are thoroughly cooked through. Using a meat thermometer is also helpful.
- Dice the vegetables into fairly similar sizes so they cook evenly.
- Check the tray bake after about 30 minutes. If It looks too dry, add a touch more stock.
How to serve
You can serve this baked chicken by itself for a lower carb dinner option, or with a green salad.
If you wish to, then you can also pair with mashed potato, couscous, rice or quinoa.
More chicken recipes to enjoy
Pesto chicken tray bake
- 2 chicken breasts cut into smaller pieces, if required
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- ½ green bell pepper
- 2 small leeks diced
- ½ cup chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Make the pesto by combining all the ingredients in a blender, and blending to the texture of your preference.
- Add vegetables to your baking tray and nestle chicken breasts in between. Spoon the pesto onto the chicken breasts. Pour the chicken broth around the chicken and over the vegetables. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is full cooked with an internal temperature of 165F.
- Cut the chicken breasts into smaller pieces if required. If they are larger, then you will need to adjust the cook time for a little longer.
- Personally, I think a more 'chunky' pesto consistency works better for this dish.
- Pour the broth around the vegetables, but not over the chicken as this may cause the pesto to become too wet or come off.
- If after around 30 minutes the tray bake looks as though it could become too dry, add more broth.
- Check that the internal temperature of the chicken is 165F.
- chicken broth will have variable scores depending upon ingredients used.
- garlic, which scores 1.
- leeks, which score 1 and have a ? as a liberator. There is a note: 'in small amounts, usually well tolerated'. Swap out for chunks of white onion if preferred and better tolerated.