Chicken with Pesto Cream

Ree Drummond's Chicken with Pesto Cream, as seen on The Pioneer Woman.
Ree Drummonds Chicken with Pesto Cream, as seen on The Pioneer Woman.
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
4 - 6 servings

This quick-and-easy dish combines chicken, swiss chard, and a delicious pesto cream to make a smart weeknight dinner.



cup fresh basil leaves
cup grated Parmesan cheese
tbsp pine nuts
cloves garlic, sliced
cup extra-virgin olive oil, for pesto, plus 2 tbsp, for chicken
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
tbsp salted butter
small red onion, sliced
bunches rainbow chard, leaves torn, thick, bottom half of stalks discarded
lemon, juiced
1 ½
cups heavy cream
cup mixed yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved


Step 1

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add the basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, half of the garlic, salt and black pepper and pulse to combine. With the food processor running, drizzle in the ⅓ cup olive oil until the sauce comes together and is smooth. Set aside.

Step 2

Slice the chicken breast in half horizontally so you have 8 thinner cutlets. Sprinkle both sides of each cutlet with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Heat 1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the cutlets and cook through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.

Step 4

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil along with the red onion and remaining sliced garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rainbow chard and cook, stirring, until lightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and stir for an additional 30 seconds. Remove to a plate.

Step 5

Without cleaning the skillet, add the cream and heat for 1 minute. Stir in about a third of a cup of the pesto and return the chicken to the pan. Bring to a simmer and allow to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. (Refrigerate the remaining pesto in an air tight container for up to 5 days.)

Step 6

Make a bed of rainbow chard on a large platter. Top with the chicken cutlets and drizzle the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the tomatoes and serve.

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