A protein-packed, fun spin on the classic caprese salad.
We love caprese salads! There’s something oh-so good about the combination of soft mozzarella cheese and savory, juicy tomatoes. The only problem is it isn’t very filling. It’s usually used as a side salad or an appetizer because it doesn’t contain enough protein to be considered the main course. Well, we’re about to change everything! This Pesto Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Green Beans recipe turns your favorite caprese salad into a filling dinner. It has all the flavors you love, plus crunchy green beans and savory pesto.
The addition of chicken amps up the protein content of this dish, while the green beans add a ton of balanced nutrition. In the end, it all comes together to create a meal that’s packed full of incredible flavors. As a bonus, it’s ready to eat in only 35 minutes!
Why Protein is Important
Eating a balanced diet means consuming all the macronutrients in moderation. That means heart-healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein. While there are many sources of protein, this recipe takes advantage of one of our favorite ingredients: chicken breasts.
Chicken breasts are considered a lean protein because they don’t contain much fat (like pork or beef). These lean proteins are super important for several reasons. Low-fat proteins provide all the benefits of protein without weighing you down with excess saturated fat.
The main benefit of protein for weight loss is satiety. It fills you up and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Beyond that, it also supports several important body functions. Protein helps the body repair itself and build muscle, which is especially important if you exercise. It also helps build antibodies, keeping the immune system strong.
How to Meal Prep Pesto Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Green Beans
We’ve found that one of the best ways to stay on track with any diet or weight-loss program is to make mealtimes easy. If our choices are grabbing take-out, reheating a freezer meal, or cooking a from-scratch dinner after a busy day, we’re pretty sure we can guess which option most of us will choose!
It’s easy to plan ahead when making this Pesto Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Green Beans recipe. We think the vegetables taste freshest and best when they’re cooked right before you serve this dish, and there’s not a lot of chopping involved here. If you are running short on time, you can definitely cook them in advance and reheat them in the oven until they’re warmed through.
When it comes to the chicken, that one’s easy to cook ahead of time. Cook the chicken through and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. When you reheat it, add the pesto and mozzarella. If you really want to save time, you could also use leftover shredded chicken (like our Everything Chicken recipe) or rotisserie chicken instead.
Pesto Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Green Beans
- 1 pound green beans fresh, ends trimmed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- 4 boneless and skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 4 mozzarella cheese slices fat-free (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425.
- In a bowl, toss together the green beans, tomatoes, half the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or just until the beans and tomatoes begin to blister and brown.
- Meanwhile, pat the chicken breast dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Add the chicken to the hot pan, and cook for about 5 minutes or until browned. Turn over the chicken and spread the pesto (dividing evenly between all pieces) on the browned side of the chicken. Cook an additional 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- If using the mozzerella slices, place on top of the fully cooked chicken. If needed, place a lid over top of the skillet to melt the cheese. Serve chicken along side the roasted beans and tomatoes.
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