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Pesto Chicken

This meal is high in monounsaturated (healthy) fats from the olive oil used in the pesto, so is a great way to boost calorie intake for those trying to put on size, or that are on a higher calorie diet for intense training purposes. 

Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking Time: 30 mins | Serves: 2


  • 20g Basil leaves

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • ½ cup baby spinach

  • ¼ cup cashews

  • ¼ cup olive oil (choose extra virgin)

  • 2 tbsps walnuts

  • ¼ tsp Himalayan sea salt

  • Pepper

  • 2 chicken breasts

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • Baby spinach leaves

  • Rocket leaves

  • Pea sprouts

  • Feta (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

  2. Heat a pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Tip in your 1 tsp olive oil, and cook the chicken either side for 90 seconds, or until lightly golden. Remove from the stove, and place in an ovenproof dish. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, blend together the basil, garlic clove, ½ cup spinach leaves, cashews, ¼ cup olive oil, walnuts, sea salt and some freshly cracked pepper.

  4. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into strips and serve with the pesto on top. This goes nicely with some spinach and rocket leaves topped with pea sprouts.


Basil is very high in essential vitamins and minerals, as well as phytochemicals that have potential antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Grow this herb either in your garden or in a pot where it will enjoy lots of sunlight (6 hours per day) and water once daily in hot weather, less in the cold.

Olive oil is a highly studied fat, used throughout the Mediterranean in every day diet practices. This oil has been found to be excellent for cardiovascular disease, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The Extra Virgin olive oil is obtained from the first press, so is the best for nutritional benefits.


Calories 670
Carbohydrates 26.62g
Fiber 2.84g
Sugar 1.5g
Protein 23.56g
Fat 56.2g
Saturated Fat 9.1g
Monosaturated Fat 30.8g


This recipe was kindly provided by:

Renee Ollis
Jetts Woolloongabba
Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)
Cert III in Fitness

What do you think?