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Tomato Pesto, Zucchini & Feta Chicken Dinner

This easy dish is full of unexpected flavours and is a creamy delight. Mop up the pesto sauce with bread, rice or couscous. It's a weeknight dinner to look forward to!

Fall has officially arrived! No PSLs in sight on this side of the globe, but plenty of back-to-school stuff to organize. And it’s all running like a well-oiled machine (Ha! I wish!) until someone asks, “What’s for dinner?”

So, in the spirit of back-to-school madness, we’re bringing you a weeknight one-pot meal. In fact, it’s also a make-ahead dish — AND taa-daa!! — it’s good enough for company.

I’ve recently discovered the wonders of a jar of tomato pesto. I’ve been adding it to tomato sauces, dressings, and toast; it adds wonderful depth and flavor. It became a great stand-in in my Mustard Cream Chicken recipe which doesn’t work so well when you’ve run out of mustard. In with the tomato pesto, a little jiggle around of some other ingredients and this dish was born.

A whole block of feta goes right smack-bang in the middle. Why? Because because some of us don’t like feta. This way, the cheese lovers can spoon off a chunk of warm cheese, while the non-lovers enjoyed the rest.

Serve with rice, couscous or crunchy baguette and a leafy green salad. Make doubles because you know those leftovers will make tomorrow night that much easier. xoxo Kirsty

Red Pesto Chicken Dinner

Serves 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1kg (2.2 lbs.) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) tomato pesto

  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock, heated

  • 1 zucchini, cut in 1-inch cubes

  • 1 block of feta cheese, left whole

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Cut the chicken into even 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces. Melt the olive oil and butter in a large oven proof pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken until almost cooked through and browned on the outside.

Chop the zucchini into 1-inch cubes. Add the zucchini to the chicken and stir through.

Off the heat, push the chicken to the sides of the pan. Add cream, tomato pesto and the hot chicken stock, whisk to make a smooth sauce, and stir through the chicken.

Place a block of feta in the middle of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbling. Serve with a crisp salad, crunchy baguette and couscous for an easy weeknight meal.

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