BALSAMIC CHICKEN WITH DAIRY FREE PESTO


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The juiciest, tastiest and EASIEST balsamic chicken recipe paired with a dairy-free pumpkin seed basil pesto. This recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner when you’re in a rush or pretty much whenever you’re looking to cook some chicken thighs you have in your fridge. I love to pair this recipe with some greens, cherry tomatoes and lots of olive oil too!

Balsamic Chicken and Dairy Free Pesto Ingredients

Chicken Thighs: This recipe calls for chicken thighs, which will work best because they’ll stay moist and still get a little crisp on the outside from the balsamic vinegar in the pan. If you’d like to use chicken breast, you can use those too. The cooking time will be slightly less.

Spices: You’ll just need basic spices to make this recipe – salt, black pepper and garlic powder. I use these spices the most because they make pretty much everything better! Feel free to use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder if you’d prefer it.

Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar is a key component of the balsamic chicken (well, obviously) and can’t be missed! You can find it at any grocery store. Be sure to grab balsamic vinegar, not balsamic glaze.

Pumpkin Seeds: For the pesto, this recipe uses pumpkin seeds as the base. While traditional pesto uses pine nuts, you can substitute them for many different nuts or seeds like walnuts, almonds, or cashews as well. If you’d like to substitute, feel free to try any of those.

Basil & Parsley: Fresh basil is of course the key ingredient of pesto and cannot be missed. I like to add some parsley too for extra greens, but you can add more basil if you’d like to instead. Be sure you are getting fresh herbs for this one, dry herbs will not work.

Garlic: You can add whole peeled garlic cloves directly to your blender or food processor for the pesto. A few cloves will add great flavor and texture. If needed, a tablespoon of garlic powder will work, but will not add texture.

Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is used in the pumpkin seed pesto to add some acidity to the taste. I recommend using it, but it is not required for the recipe. Lemon juice either fresh squeezed or from a bottle will work.

Olive Oil: Olive oil is key to pesto as well. You’ll want to stream in the oil as the last step of blending together the pesto ingredients, similarly to making a salad dressing. I don’t recommend any other kind of oil as the taste is key.


How To Make Balsamic Chicken and Dairy Free Pesto

Step One: Begin by patting down the chicken thighs with a paper towel in order to remove any moisture on the outsides. Season with the salt, black pepper and garlic powder, completely covering the chicken.

Step Two: Heat the oil on a large cast iron pan or other skillet over medium/high heat. Carefully place the seasoned chicken thighs on the pan and let cook for 7-10 minutes, until browned and crisp, and flip.

Step Three: Cook the chicken for another 5-8 minutes to brown the other side, then pour in the balsamic vinegar to the pan.

Step Four: Let the balsamic vinegar reduce for about 5 minutes, then remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool. The chicken should be fully cooked at this point.

Step Five: To make the pesto, combine the basil, parsley, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until uniform, about 2 minutes. Add in the pumpkin seeds then blend again until there are no big pieces of seeds left.

Step Six: While continuing to blend the pesto on low speed, slowly pour in the olive oil into the blender until it is gone. Transfer the pesto into a bowl and serve with the chicken and any other sides you like.

If you try out this recipe, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below if you love it. You can also snap a photo & tag @jenneatsgoood on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support this blog and make it possible for me to continue to create healthier recipes!


BALSAMIC CHICKEN WITH DAIRY FREE PESTO

Recipe by Jenn Lueke
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Diet

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken thighs

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil for cooking

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

  • DAIRY FREE PESTO
  • 1 cup fresh basil, packed

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

  • Begin by patting down the chicken thighs with a paper towel in order to remove any moisture on the outsides. Season with the salt, black pepper and garlic powder, completely covering the chicken.
  • Heat the oil on a large cast iron pan or other skillet over medium/high heat. Carefully place the seasoned chicken thighs on the pan and let cook for 7-10 minutes, until browned and crisp, and flip.
  • Cook the chicken for another 5-8 minutes to brown the other side, then pour in the balsamic vinegar to the pan.
  • Let the balsamic vinegar reduce for about 5 minutes, then remove the pan from heat and set aside to cool. The chicken should be fully cooked at this point.
  • To make the pesto, combine the basil, parsley, garlic and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until uniform, about 2 minutes. Add in the pumpkin seeds then blend again until there are no big pieces of seeds left.
  • While continuing to blend the pesto on low speed, slowly pour in the olive oil into the blender until it is gone. Transfer the pesto into a bowl and serve with the chicken and any other sides you like.

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