Cilantro Pesto Chicken

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.



  • For the pesto
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese (crumbled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili (powder)
  • 1/3 cup shelled and roasted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • For the chicken
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Cooking Directions

  • 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.

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