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baked pesto chicken in teal lodge cast iron pan

Baked Pesto Chicken

This Baked Pesto Chicken Recipe is made in the oven until tender and juicy, then smothered in a delicious 3 ingredient pesto barbecue sauce! It's an easy family friendly dinner recipe you are guaranteed to love all year round and ready in about an hour.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Chicken & Poultry, Low Carb & Keto, Main Dishes & Entrees
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 195 kcal


  • 1 Enameled or Cast Iron Skillet or oven friendly shallow pan


Chicken Dry Rub

  • 1 3-4 pound Whole Chicken halved
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning Herbs de Provence or herb blend of choice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Pesto Barbecue Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Chicken Broth or Stock
  • 1/4 cup Basil Pesto


  • Clean and prepare the chicken by removing any neck parts and gizzards, and pat dry with paper towel.
  • Combine dry rub in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Then, drizzle chicken with olive oil and season well using your hands to coat the chicken on all sides. If time permits, allow to marinate for at least 2 hrs, or overnight. Place the chicken halves in the skillet, inner cavity side down.
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Make Pesto Barbecue sauce by combining barbecue sauce, chicken broth and basil pesto in a bowl, and stir to combine. Adjust the taste to your liking, and set aside.
  • Bake chicken in oven for 30 minutes (it should be golden brown and crispy). Remove from oven and pour the barbecue pesto sauce over top of chicken and place back in the oven for 15 more minutes. Then, baste chicken again with sauce and place back in oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, juices run clear when poked and sauce thickened.
  • Remove from oven and baste chicken with sauce once more then allow to rest undisturbed for 10-15 mins before carving and enjoy!


  • Always use a thermometer to make sure the chicken is fully cooked. The thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the chicken and read 165°F (74°C).
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking to ensure even cooking and the best results!
  • Using the broil function of your oven, broil chicken for 2 to 3 minutes until sauce caramelizes for added flavour. 
  • If the skin gets too dark, cover it up with baking paper or foil.
  • Keep covered for the first part of cooking, then uncover. This helps to keep all the moisture in, in turn making a very tender, and juicy chicken.


Calories: 195kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 2gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 1169mgPotassium: 123mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 472IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg
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DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below I always love hearing from you! You can also tag @theseasoned.skillet and use #theseasonedskillet on Instagram!