Cilantro Pesto Chicken

By Heather Cheney
Fresh cilantro, pistachios, and Cotija cheese reinvent the classic basil pesto and serve as a sauce on tender chunks of chicken. Make a double batch of this non-traditional pesto and reserve for use on sandwiches, in pasta dishes and on pizza.
  • Course: Entrée


  • boneless skinless chicken breast
  • cloves fresh garlic
  • Cotija cheese
  • For the Chicken
  • For the pesto
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh lime juice
  • ground chipotle chili powder
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • shelled and roasted pistachios


  1. In an electric food processor or blender, blend cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cheese, chili powder and pistachios. Add ¼ cup of the olive oil and blend the pesto. Add more olive oil until the pesto reaches the consistency you’d like.
  2. Heat large skillet over medium high heat, season chicken with salt and cook until opaque throughout. Transfer to a bowl and return pan to heat. Spoon pesto into hot pan and bring to a simmer. Return chicken to the pan, stir to coat chicken in pesto and serve over rice, pasta, or tucked inside a tortilla.