Arugula Pesto Chicken

Makes other chicken green with envy.

This recipe was based totally around the fact that our community supported agriculture (CSA) order gave us more arugula than we could use. A variation on pesto came to mind and we’re happy to report that this will now be making it into our rotation of things-that-sound-hard-but-are-ridiculously-easy-and-tasty. Substitute basil and pine nuts for the arugula and walnuts if you want to take things back into classic territory, but where’s the fun in that?

Equipment Needed: Food Processor, 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Cutting Board, Chef’s Knife, Spoon, Cheese Grater, Meat Thermometer

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier

Suggested Beer Pairing: Crisp Lagers, Pilsners or Pale Ales (IPAs might be a bit heavy but give it a shot if you like)


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts ($5.99/lb)
  • 1 lb arugula (about $7/lb)
  • 1/4 C walnuts (about $8.99/bag)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1/4 C olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • 1/4 C Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ($12.99/lb)
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F
  • Wash and drain your arugula and toss it in the food processor. Chop your walnuts and garlic into smaller pieces to help things blend easier and add them to the food processor too.

Help the food processor along by pre-chopping the walnuts a bit.

  • Grate in about 1/4 C of cheese and put the top on. Using the pulse button, grind things up until it looks like confetti. Add olive oil, while processing if possible, until the entire thing becomes a paste (think the consistency of peanut butter).

While rappers use dollar bills to make it rain, we prefer cheese.

Add oil until the whole mix becomes a savory slush.

  • Wash and trim the chicken breasts and spread pesto sauce all over each piece. Put them in the oven for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Serve with pasta, over salad in a wrap or however you see fit.

Coat each piece evenly for maximum flavorization.

One response to “Arugula Pesto Chicken

  1. I really appreciate this recipe as there are times when my CSA is also overrunning with arugula. I do love it but have never thought about using it for pesto. Thanks.

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