Get Our FREE Cookbook!

From cookies to bars, breads to muffins you're sure to find something special to bake in this FREE cookbook -- Healthy Everyday Baking. DOWNLOAD your copy today!

  • Blog
  • »
  • Easy Skillet Chicken with Lemon-Pesto Sauce

Easy Skillet Chicken with Lemon-Pesto Sauce

Posted by ReganJonesRD
March 22, 2015
Jump to recipe
A basic creamy chicken skillet recipe (which is excellent over rice) and then turn leftovers the next day into chicken salad.

An easy dinner recipe for Lemon-Pesto Chicken.

~by Regan Jones, RD


I've promised myself I will try to stop using the word "busy" to describe the overall general state of my life. As my husband -- who lacks a great deal of empathy, but makes up for it in candor and pragmatism -- often reminds me that a lot my busyness is of my own making. 


But true. 

I didn't have to start this site or The Recipe ReDux. I don't make a dime off of RDs4Disclosure and don't want to (Some things are worth doing without the money, you know?) and Blog Brulee takes more year-round planning that I could ever have imagined (and I would never have started working on any of these projects it wasn't for all of my brilliant partners). There are other thing that I have my hand in right now that I don't "have" to do. But I do #AllTheThings because I believe in them. I believe in the power of healthy living to make a difference in people's lives. And I believe in the healthy living- and dietitian-bloggers who work tirelessly to also try and make a difference in people's live. My hope is that every site, campaign, event I work, on supports them. My goal with all of this busyness is to support us/them to make a difference, ya know? 

I know. That's a lot of grand-standing just to say..., it's been a busy last couple of weeks. I bet you're in the same boat, no? 

And when you find yourself in the boat paddling upstream, sometimes the best-laid intentions for meal-planning may get thrown overboard. 

Enter this month's Recipe ReDux theme -- Two for One

The idea is to make a recipe, and then, make another recipe from it. I LOVE this kind of approach because 1) it helps avoid food waste and 2) refreshes leftovers.

Sometimes, those recipes can get kind of involved -- thinking roasted veggies and baked chicken, made into a lasagna the next night. Great idea, but not really the kind of 5 o'clock dinner solution I need right now. 

THIS, on the other hand, is spot on dinner time rescue. You make a basic creamy chicken skillet dish (which is excellent over rice) and then turn leftovers the next day into chicken salad. As the sauce cools it thickens, so there's very little "extra" creamy stuff needed. What I do recommend, though, is stirring in some halved grapes and toasted pecans (or if you are a chicken salad purist, maybe chopped celery instead) and just a touch extra Greek-style yogurt if needed. It's the ultimate, easy Two for One dish. 

A basic creamy chicken skillet recipe (which is excellent over rice) and then turn leftovers the next day into chicken salad.

To see how I make this dish, check out this video:

Make this Easy Skillet Chicken with Lemon Pesto Sauce for a dinner the whole family will love!
A basic creamy chicken skillet recipe (which is excellent over rice) and then turn leftovers the next day into chicken salad.

Easy Skillet Chicken with Lemon-Pesto Sauce


Serves 4


  • 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons plain low-fat Greek style yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I typically choose olive oil- or canola-mayo)
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenderloins or strips
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Garnish: chopped fresh basil and lemon slices (optional)


  1. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice of 1 half into small bowl. Cut remaining half in slices to use for garnish, if desired.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons yogurt, mayo and cheese, pesto and salt to juice in bowl; stir well.
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken (cooking in batches if needed) to skillet and brown on each side.
  4. Add sauce to skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and cook an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and add butter and remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until thickened. Pour sauce over chicken, garnish with lemon slices and basil, if desired.
Print this recipe


Regan Jones is the Founding Editor and Sponsorship Director of HealthyAperture and is the author of the QUICK FIX KITCHEN Feature - a collection of recipes that focuses on shortcut cooking without shortcut taste. Her recipes largely focus on baked goods and desserts ranging from gluten free to sugar free to slightly indulgent eats for the entire family, but also include easy everyday recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Jones is a registered dietitian and owner the web's most prominent portfolio of dietitian-owned websites, including,, and She is also the host of the podcast, This Unmillennial Life, which was recently named New & Noteworthy on iTunes.
More posts by ReganJonesRD
comments powered by Disqus

Never miss a new post. Sign up to subscribe.