Spinach Pesto Chicken

Marie DanielleRecipe DevelopmentLeave a Comment

It’s throwback Thursday and I wanted to redo a recipe from my past. If you don’t already know I was on a couple of culinary teams in high school (I’ve been a food nerd for a long time). For this certain culinary competition, we were in teams of three. I can’t remember if we got to pick what we made but, it was a stuffed chicken and a side. We put a nice stuffing on the inside, cooked it perfectly, and had great sides. We thought we nailed it. Even in our judging it started out great. That was until they announced we forgot take out all the toothpicks. We did however, make it to the finals because other teams didn’t cook their chicken properly. So far this recipe, I made sure that I took all the toothpicks out!


  • 1 lb. chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ Tbs. paprika (to add color)
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 8 walnuts, shelled


  1. Spread the chicken out on a piece of plastic wrap. Season both sides with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place smooth side down first. Break up the cream cheese and spread with a knife.
  2. In a Vitamix or blender, add spinach, garlic, cheese, lemon juice and walnuts. Pulse until ingredients blend together then slowly stream in olive oil until it becomes a paste.
  3. Spread pesto on top of chicken and blend with cream cheese.
  4. Carefully roll chicken and make sure the ends comes to together. Put three toothpicks through chicken (middle and both ends).
  5. In a hot skillet, add a little olive oil. Place the chicken in the pan, toothpicks up. Let the chicken cook for 5-10 minutes or until brown. Then flip over the chicken, add ¼ cup water to the pan, and turn down heat.
  6. Cook the chicken for another 10 -15 minutes or until inside is 165*F.

My Conclusion:

I served this with some blanched green beans, balsamic vinaigrette, and a little chili oil. This chicken is also great the next day cold to have on a salad for lunch. To save time, you can also use store-bought pesto sauce.

Peace and Blessings😊

Leave a Reply