From-Scratch 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.

Servings: 4 servings


  • For the pesto:
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 3 cloves 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


  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 an Anolon Advanced Bronze 4 Qt. Square Sauté 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.

Recipe developed by food blogger, Heather Cheney, of Heather Likes Food