Make Ahead

Scallion Pesto-Crusted Chicken

April 15, 2014
Photo by Mark Weinberg
Author Notes

My grandmother loved scallions. She used them in everything from quiche to tuna salad, but my favorite was always this pesto concoction with scallions, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and breadcrumbs, baked on top of chicken. It’s my go-to weeknight dinner, and my kid’s favorite. —secretsofahomecook

Test Kitchen Notes

I made secretsofahomecook's Scallion Pesto-Crusted Chicken tonight and, having just put my kids to bed, was thrilled by how quickly it came together. Basically, you put a few ingredients in a food processor, mix in some breadcrumbs, and press the beautifully-hued pesto atop chicken breasts before roasting them. The scallions offer a great twist on an otherwise fairly classic pesto, and I loved how the addition of breadcrumbs made for a topping that didn't slide off during cooking; instead, I ended up with a lovely crust with a very pleasing color. This makes a really nice addition to a weeknight meal rotation, but it would also be at home at a casual dinner party. —em-i-lis

  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (I used panko)
  • 3 pounds chicken breasts (4 to 6)
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Place pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the preheating oven for 5 minutes, until just golden.
  2. In a food processor, pulse scallions, Parmesan, toasted pine nuts, and salt. With motor on, drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil until mixture looks like a paste. Transfer into a bowl and mix in breadcrumbs.
  3. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide scallion pesto mixture on top of chicken breasts, making sure they are evenly covered. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top. Bake for 30 minutes, until crust is brown. Serve as-is, or slice chicken into 1-inch pieces.

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