Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken with Asparagus Tomatoes and Walnuts

February 11, 2018  ·  Published February 11, 2017

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Pesto Chicken with Asparagus, Tomatoes and Walnuts is a simple sheet pan meal that’s brimming with flavor (thanks to al pesto). It’s so easy to throw together yet the end result is so delicious!

This is a perfect weeknight chicken dinner, definitely a recipe you’ll want to hang on to.

Pesto Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Basil Pesto Chicken

Homemade pesto makes any meal incredible doesn’t it? And it’s just so easy to make, the food processor does most of the work.

You get tender bite size pieces of chicken paired with fresh sweet tomatoes, nutritious asparagus, crunchy walnuts and it’s all covered with a super flavorful pesto.

Here I like to cook the chicken with some of the pesto so the flavors have time to soak into the chicken, then I also like to add more at the end to get that really bright fresh flavor.

One of the main highlights of this sheet pan chicken dinner (which we may not think would be a highlight but they are) are those perfectly crunchy and buttery walnuts. I absolutely love walnuts!

Basil Pesto Ingredients in food processor

If I had to pick favorites, it would probably be walnuts and pistachios. I eat walnuts almost everyday whether it be for a snack or as part of a meal. My go-to brand for walnuts is Fisher Nuts.

I love that they are preservative-free and salt-free, they’re heart healthy and an excellent source of those hard to find omega-3 fatty acids, plus I love that they’re just so tasty.

Here I love the flavor and crunch walnuts add to the dish, plus they make it just that much more filling.

I also used them in the pesto as well. Did you know you can always substitute the pine nuts in basil pesto with walnuts? They’re a cheaper alternative and they add the perfect nutty creaminess to the pesto.

If you love pesto, then don’t pass this recipe by! It is the perfect way to use up homemade pesto. That combination of chicken, tomatoes asparagus and pesto is the perfect flavor blend.

And don’t forget to freeze your homemade pesto when you garden in the summer and that basil is growing like crazy. Then just thaw it out in the fridge overnight and add to the recipe as listed.

making walnut pesto in food processor

Pesto Chicken and Asparagus Ingredients

This pesto chicken bake requires a handful of pantry staples and comes together quickly. Here’s what you’ll need to make this sheet pan dinner recipe:

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Walnuts
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chicken breasts
  • Asparagus
  • Grape tomatoes

Scroll below for printable recipe.

Fisher walnuts in bag

How to Make Pesto Chicken and Veggies

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or grease.
  • Pulse basil, 1/4 cup walnuts, parmesan and garlic, with oil in a food processor.
  • Place chicken and asparagus on sheet pan, toss with 1/4 cup pesto and S&P.
  • Spread even and roast in preheated oven 10 minutes.
  • Drain if there excess liquid then toss in tomatoes.
  • Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 8 – 12 minutes longer.
  • Toss with another 1/4 cup pesto and walnuts.

Pesto Chicken and asparagus in white bowl

Can I Use Store-Bought Pesto?

In a pinch, you could also use store-bought pesto here, but obviously the flavors won’t be nearly as good — homemade takes the cake! Also keep in mind that store-bought pesto is often quite salty.

Can I Use Different Veggies?

Of course! I love the combination of basil pesto chicken, asparagus, and tomatoes, but you’re welcome to use different vegetables if desired. Just be sure to choose vegetables that will cook at the same rate as the diced chicken since it’s all cooked on one pan!

pesto chicken and asparagus bake with tomatoes on white plate

Tips for Making Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken

  • If desired, you can prep the homemade walnut pesto in advance and freeze it for later use.
  • Be sure to spread out the diced chicken and veggies in an even layer. You don’t want anything to overlap while it’s cooking in the oven!
  • This pesto chicken and asparagus bake can be enjoyed as is, or you can serve it alongside rice, buttered noodles, or a simple side salad.

More Sheet Pan Chicken Recipes You’ll Love!

Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken with Asparagus, Tomatoes & Walnuts

5 from 1 vote

With this recipe you get tender bite size pieces of chicken paired with fresh sweet tomatoes, nutritious asparagus, crunchy walnuts and it's all covered with a super flavorful pesto. It's likely to become a weeknight staple!

Servings: 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Pesto

  • 1 1/2 cups (48g) packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup Fishers Walnuts Halves and Pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic , peeled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chicken and Veggies

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts , diced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb asparagus (don't use thick spears), tough ends trimmed and discarded remaining diced into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pint fresh grape tomatoes (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Fishers Walnuts Halves and Pieces

Instructions

Make the pesto:

  1. For the pesto, add basil leaves, 1/4 cup walnuts, parmesan and garlic to a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. 

  2. Add olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and pulse until everything is finely chopped and well combined. Set aside.

Make the chicken and veggies:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Line a rimmed 18 by 13-inch baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray. 
  3. Place chicken and asparagus on sheet pan, pour over 1/4 cup of the basil pesto. 
  4. Season chicken and asparagus with salt and pepper and toss everything to evenly coat. 
  5. Spread into an even layer (don't let chicken pieces overlap) and roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes. 
  6. Remove from oven, carefully drain off excess liquid from one corner if needed (use a spatula as a guard to keep the ingredients from falling). 

  7. Add tomatoes, toss everything and return to oven and continue to roast until chicken is cooked through (larger pieces should be 165 degrees in center), about 8 - 12 minutes longer. 

  8. Remove from oven, spoon over another 1/4 cup of the pesto and toss (or just add the 1/4 cup to individual servings). Sprinkle in walnuts. 
  9. Serve immediately with more pesto if desired (or just reserve remaining pesto in refrigerator for another use - it can be frozen also).

Recipe Notes

  • If desired, you can prep the homemade walnut pesto in advance and freeze it for later use. 
  • This pesto chicken and asparagus bake can be enjoyed as is, or you can serve it alongside rice, buttered noodles, or a simple side salad.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Sheet Pan Pesto Chicken with Asparagus, Tomatoes & Walnuts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 649 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Fat 47g72%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 113mg38%
Sodium 307mg13%
Potassium 1270mg36%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 42g84%
Vitamin A 2575IU52%
Vitamin C 27.2mg33%
Calcium 167mg17%
Iron 4.6mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pesto Chicken
Author: Jaclyn
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher nuts. The opinions and text are all mine.