One pan and 15-minutes is all you need to enjoy this easy and delicious creamy pesto chicken with tomatoes. With a scattering of fresh cherry tomatoes added to the skillet and a little bit of creamy, this is a dish you’ll keep coming back to!

  • The fresh cherry tomatoes brighten the dish and combined with the basil pesto, this chicken dinner is a little taste of Summer year round.
  • Enjoy this pesto chicken with pasta, rice or mashed potatoes or as is with a side vegetable or salad.
creamy tomato pesto chicken in skillet

Just a Few Ingredients!

Chicken – You can use any boneless chicken (breasts or thighs). Boneless is suggested as it will cook properly through in the skillet. For boneless chicken breasts, I suggest halving them lengthwise, so they will cook quickly and evenly. I like to keep the piece of chicken whole and slice later, if I want, rather than cut it into smaller pieces to start. This helps to prevent the chicken from drying out.

Cherry Tomatoes – Fresh cherry tomatoes are recommended, for the freshest flavour. If you only have canned cherry tomatoes, you can use them here. Simply add the tomatoes and not the juice. You could also use sun dried tomatoes in a smaller quantity.

Basil Pesto – Any commercial or homemade basil pesto is fine here. I love the refrigerated basil pesto with cheese, though the regular jarred (without cheese) is fine. You could stir in a bit of Parmesan to the pesto as well, if you like. For a change of flavour, try a red (sun dried tomato) pesto!

Crème Fraîche – Crème Fraîche makes a wonderful sauce, with just the right amount of creaminess, but with a little tang, so it’s not too rich. It also won’t split in an acidic sauce. I recommend it if you can find it easily. It tends to come in small containers and keeps a long time in the fridge. If you can’t find it, I’ve outlined some substitutes below, or if you only have heavy cream on hand, go ahead and use that.

Substitute for Crème Fraîche

Any of the following would work as a substitute for Crème Fraîche:

  • Cream cheese thinned with a little cream (this is the recommended substitution for this recipe, using about 2 Tbsp. cream cheese with 1 Tbsp heavy cream).
  • Full fat sour cream (Tip for Canadians! Gay Lea makes a “Gold” premium sour cream that is thick and higher in fat, so it is a great substitute for Crème Fraîche).
  • Sour cream mixed with a little cream cheese.
  • Full fat Greek Yogurt.
  • Make your own Crème Fraîche by stirring together 1 cup heavy cream with 2 Tablespoons of real buttermilk in a small jar. Cover with paper towel and let it stand at room temperature for 18-24 hours, or until thickened. Seal jar and refrigerate for 24 hours before using.

Step-by-Step Photos

  1. Brown chicken in skillet until just cooked through, then add halved cherry tomatoes and cook a few minutes to soften.
  2. Add Crème Fraîche.
  3. Add Basil Pesto and stir until you have a nice sauce.

How to Serve Creamy Tomato Pesto Chicken

  • I love to serve this over pasta. I usually remove the chicken and slice it first. Then spoon the sauce over pasta in a bowl and toss a bit. Top with sliced chicken.
  • You can also combine the sliced chicken and some cooked pasta directly to the skillet if you like.
  • This dish is also good with rice or mashed potatoes.
  • Enjoy as is, with a salad or maybe steamed broccoli on the side.
creamy pesto tomato chicken in skillet
pesto tomato chicken in skillet

Get the Recipe: Creamy Tomato Pesto Chicken

One pan and 15-minutes is all you need to enjoy this easy and delicious chicken recipe, with a lightly creamy sauce of basil pesto sauce and fresh cherry tomatoes.
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, for the pan
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, each cut in half lengthwise making 4 pieces
  • 7 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 Tablespoons basil pesto
  • 3 Tablespoons crème fraîche, *see Notes for substitution options

For garnish:

  • Fresh or dried basil

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken pieces and fry without disturbing it until the chicken is golden underneath. Turn the chicken and cook on the other side. Continue cooking until the chicken is just cooked through.
  • Add the halved cherry tomatoes into the pan, stirring occasionally and allowing them to cook a couple of minutes until they start to soften. Reduce the heat and stir in the pesto and crème fraîche until it makes a sauce. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, as needed. Serve garnished with chopped fresh basil or dried basil.
  • Great served with pasta, rice or mashed potatoes or enjoy as is with a salad or steamed green vegetables. My favourite way to serve is to remove the chicken and slice. Spoon the sauce over cooked pasta and toss. Add sliced chicken on top. If you'd like a bit more sauce when tossing with pasta, add a splash of heavy cream to the sauce.

Notes

Any of the following would work as a substitute for Crème Fraîche:
  • Cream cheese thinned with a little cream (this is the recommended substitution for this recipe, using about 2 Tbsp. cream cheese with 1 Tbsp heavy cream).
  • Full fat sour cream (Tip for Canadians! Gay Lea makes a “Gold” premium sour cream that is thick and higher in fat, so it is a great substitute for Crème Fraîche).
  • Sour cream mixed with a little cream cheese.
  • Full fat Greek Yogurt.
  • Make your own Crème Fraîche by stirring together 1 cup heavy cream with 2 Tablespoons of real buttermilk in a small jar. Cover with paper towel and let it stand at room temperature for 18-24 hours, or until thickened. Seal jar and refrigerate for 24 hours before using.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Main Course
Author: Jennifer
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 185kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 212mg, Potassium: 434mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 551IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1mg
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