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Lemon-Pesto Chicken with Sweet Bell Peppers and Basmati Pilaf

Written by Sandy Vanna Punia

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 or 4


2-4 chicken breasts
1 lemon
1 onion, chopped
½ cup basil pesto
1 1/2 cup basmati rice
320 g sweet bell pepper
2 tsp garlic salt
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp oil
pinch salt
¼ tsp pepper


  1. Before starting, preheat the oven to 425°F
  2. Wash and dry all produce.
  3. Heat a medium pot over medium heat. When hot, add 1/2 tbsp oil (dbl for 4 ppl), then rice, half the garlic salt and half the onions.
  4. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 2-3 min. Add 1 1/4 cups water (dbl for 4 ppl) and bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, 12-14 min. Remove the pot from heat. Set aside, still covered.
  6. While rice cooks, zest, then juice half the lemon. Cut remaining lemon into wedges. Core, then cut pepper into 1/2-inch pieces.
  7. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then season with remaining garlic salt and pepper.
  8. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1/2 tbsp oil (dbl for 4 ppl), then chicken. Sear until golden-brown, 2-3 min per side.
  9. Transfer chicken to an unlined baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven until cooked through, 8-10 min.
  10. While chicken bakes, heat the same pan over medium. When hot, add 1/2 tbsp oil (dbl for 4 ppl), then peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, 4-5 min. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  11. While peppers cook, stir together pesto, half the lemon zest and 1/2 tsp lemon juice (dbl for 4 ppl) in a small bowl.
  12. Fluff rice with a fork, then stir in peppers and remaining lemon zest. Thinly slice chicken.
  13. Divide rice between plates, then top with chicken. Spoon lemon-pesto sauce over chicken and sprinkle with feta. Squeeze a lemon wedge over top, if desired.
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