Keto Dinner

Easy Keto Pesto Chicken Recipe ????

Craving a keto-friendly twist on classic flavors? Our Keto Pesto Chicken recipe is a culinary delight, blending juicy chicken thighs with a rich pesto infusion. Dive into this simple, one-pan dish that’s not just low in carbs but also a feast for your taste buds.

Low-carb keto pesto chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, cauliflower and spinach served in a bowl with a spoon.

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Preparation and cooking overview

Start by seasoning the chicken thighs well and browning them in a skillet. Next, add the chicken stock, pesto, cauliflower, and spinach, and let everything simmer together. Stir in the heavy cream towards the end until it turns into a rich gravy. In just 25 minutes, your pesto chicken will be ready to eat.

Chef’s note

Top your pesto chicken with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a touch of Italian elegance. Feel like experimenting? Add a spicy kick by tossing in some red chili flakes just before you finish cooking.

Explore our chicken recipes today for a tasty adventure in the kitchen. The recipe for your next delicious meal is just a click away!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 Minutes
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Recipe Makes 4 Servings

???? Ingredients for this keto pesto chicken recipe

Here’s a list of all the ingredients you’ll need to prepare this low-carb pesto chicken at home:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
All the ingredients required to make keto pesto chicken are gathered and displayed on the table.

Ingredient substitutions

If you’re thinking of tweaking the recipe a bit, here are some keto-friendly swap ideas:

  • Sun-dried tomato pesto: Want a different flavor? Try a Genovese or classic basil pesto instead.
  • Cauliflower florets: Go for broccoli florets if you prefer a different veggie.
  • Olive oil: If you don’t have olive oil, use avocado oil in equal measure.
  • Spinach: Craving a different leafy green? Opt for Swiss chard or kale.

Additional ingredients

Elevate the flavor profile of the keto creamy pesto chicken with these optional add-ons:

  • Parmesan cheese: Sprinkle some fresh Parmesan on top of the chicken before serving for a cheesy touch.
  • Garlic: Boost the flavor by adding minced garlic to the skillet as you sear the chicken.
  • Red pepper flakes: For a spicy kick, sprinkle some red pepper flakes into the keto pesto sauce.
Homemade keto pesto chicken with veggies presented in a bowl and a spoon.

Cooking tools required

To make the keto pesto chicken, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Deep skillet or braising pan
  • Spatula
  • Meat thermometer

How to make Keto Pesto Chicken: step-by-step guide

Cooking methods

  • Pan-searing
  • Simmering
  • Steaming

Preparation steps

  1. Gather and measure all the ingredients.
  2. Dry the chicken thighs with a paper towel.
  3. Rinse the cauliflower and spinach under running water to clean off any dirt. After that, cut the cauliflower into small pieces and chop up the spinach.

Cooking instructions

  1. Rub both sides of the chicken thighs with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat.
  3. Once heated, place the chicken thighs in the skillet and brown them until they’re golden on each side.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock and stir in the sun-dried tomato pesto.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add the spinach and cauliflower into the skillet, then cover. Let it steam for about 5 minutes.
  7. Mix in the heavy cream, simmering on low until the sauce becomes rich and thick.
  8. Remove from heat. Serve your delicious chicken pesto while it’s hot. Enjoy!
Chicken thighs seasoned with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper on a plate.
Chicken thighs cooking in a cast-iron skillet.
Chicken thighs are getting cooked with chicken stocks in a cast-iron skillet.
Adding cauliflower and spinach to the cast iron skillet with chicken thighs.
Low-carb chicken pesto with veggies presented in a bowl with a golden spoon.

Chef’s pro tip

Make sure to sear the chicken thighs slowly to get a nice golden-brown crust – it’s really worth the wait. When you pour in the stock, only fill it halfway up the chicken. This way, the top stays crispy while the inside remains juicy and perfectly golden.

What to serve with the pesto chicken?

One of the best things about this pesto chicken is that it pairs well with various side dishes. Here are our top choices:

  • Keto Bread: This low-carb bread is ideal for mopping up the delicious pesto cream sauce from the chicken thighs.
  • Roasted Asparagus: Lightly charred asparagus is a simple yet elegant side for the hearty chicken thighs.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Pair the pesto chicken with a combination of grilled vegetables for a nutritious meal.
Homemade keto pesto chicken with veggies served in a bowl with a spoon.

How to make it healthier

  • Reduce salt: Opt for low-sodium chicken stock to reduce the sodium content of the dish.
  • Homemade ingredients: Prepare your own chicken stock and pesto sauce at home rather than purchasing store-bought versions.

Time-saving tips

  • Use chicken filets: Choose chicken filets over chicken thighs if you want to cut the cooking time in half. But remember, the extra flavor you get from bone-in chicken might be worth those few extra minutes.

What can I prepare ahead of time?

  • Seasoned chicken: Marinate the thighs hours before cooking to infuse more flavor.
  • Pesto sauce: If you’re going with homemade pesto, make it beforehand and store it in the fridge. It’ll stay good for up to a week. 
Focused shot of pesto chicken with veggies served in a bowl.

Storage and reheating instructions

Storage instructions

  • Refrigerator: Store any leftover pesto chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll stay fresh and delicious for up to 3 days.

Best reheating methods

  • Microwave: Transfer the leftover pesto chicken to a microwave-safe dish and heat for 1-2 minutes at full power.
  • Stovetop: Heat the leftover pesto chicken in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally and add a splash of chicken broth or water if the sauce seems too thick.

Recipe wrap-up and conclusion

This Keto Pesto Chicken recipe offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures, making it a must-try for anyone on a keto diet or simply looking for a healthier meal option. Whether you choose chicken thighs for their rich flavor or filets for a quicker cooking time, the combination of pesto, vegetables, and creamy sauce is sure to impress. It’s a satisfying, easy-to-make dish that’s perfect for any day of the week.

A close-up shot of keto pesto chicken served in a bowl.

Try these delicious keto chicken recipes for a change of flavor!

Frequently asked questions

Yes, pesto is generally keto-friendly as it’s made from high-fat, low-carb ingredients like fresh basil leaves, olive oil, nuts, and Parmesan cheese or tomato. Just be sure to check for added sugars or fillers if you’re using a store-bought version.

Absolutely! Chicken is an excellent protein option for a keto diet. It’s low in carbs and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

The cooking time for chicken thighs can differ based on their size. For accurate results, use a meat thermometer and ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) to confirm they’re fully cooked.

Generally, a serving of keto-friendly pesto chicken will be around 3-5 grams of carbs. However, the carb content will depend on the specific recipe and ingredients used.

To make chicken stock at home, boil chicken bones and low-carb vegetables like celery and onions in water. Simmer for 4-6 hours in low heat, and then strain out the solids.

???? Recipe

Keto pesto chicken with veggies served in a bowl.

Print

Keto Pesto Chicken

Elevate your keto dining with this quick and delicious Pesto Chicken, where seasoned thighs meet cauliflower, spinach, and creamy pesto for a flavor-packed meal in just 25 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword 30-minute, chicken pesto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 657kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 cups chopped spinach

Instructions

  • Rub both sides of the chicken thighs with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • In a skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat.
  • Once heated, place the chicken thighs in the skillet and brown them until they’re golden on each side.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and stir in the sun-dried tomato pesto.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the spinach and cauliflower into the skillet, then cover. Let it steam for about 5 minutes.
  • Mix in the heavy cream, simmering on low until the sauce becomes rich and thick.
  • Remove from heat. Serve your delicious chicken pesto while it’s hot. Enjoy!

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Nutrition

Calories: 657kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 52g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 496mg | Potassium: 992mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2497IU | Vitamin C: 75mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg

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