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Pesto mozzarella chicken in skillet

Skillet Pesto Mozzarella Chicken

Crispy skillet chicken topped with fresh mozzarella and basil pesto, simple and delicious for a late summer weeknight dinner.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword pesto mozzarella chicken, pesto chicken skillet, pesto chicken recipes, basil pesto, mozzarella
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 611kcal
Author Kelly | the hungry bluebird


  • 4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs depending on size of thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter I use salted
  • 4-6 slices fresh mozzarella thick slices
  • ½ cup prepared basil pesto, store bought or homemade about 1-2 tablespoons per chicken thigh


  • Put a large cast iron skillet in oven and heat for 30 minutes at 400º
  • Season both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper. With oven mitt, transfer hot skillet to stovetop over medium-high heat. Melt butter in skillet. Brown chicken thighs skin side down for 5-7 minutes until golden. Flip and brown other side for 2-3 more minutes. Transfer to pre-heated 400º oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top each chicken thigh with a mozzarella slice. Return to oven for 5 minutes to melt and finish cooking.
  • Remove skillet from oven and top each chicken thigh with a couple of spoonfuls of basil pesto. Let rest for several minutes and then serve, spooning pan juices alongside chicken. Enjoy!


  • I use a 10-inch cast iron skillet for 4 decent size thighs. Use a larger skillet for 6 smaller thighs. Just depends on how big the chicken thighs are and how many you want to serve.
  • Don't forget to use an oven mitt the entire time, the skillet is hot AF.
  • Make sure to use skin-on chicken thighs, boneless if you want.
  • Chicken shouldn't stick when flipping, if it does, it's not browned/golden enough to flip, cook a little longer.
  • If you have fresh basil, garnish with a leaf on top of each thigh.
  • Be sure to let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes before serving.


Calories: 611kcal