Keto pesto chicken casserole with feta cheese and olives

Keto pesto chicken casserole with feta cheese and olives

Mediterranean superstars — feta cheese, olives, and pesto — unite in this creamy, easy-to-make keto chicken dish. Whether using low-carb, store-bought or your own home-made pesto, give it a go. Your taste buds — and your family — will thank you!

Keto pesto chicken casserole with feta cheese and olives

Mediterranean superstars — feta cheese, olives, and pesto — unite in this creamy, easy-to-make keto chicken dish. Whether using low-carb, store-bought or your own home-made pesto, give it a go. Your taste buds — and your family — will thank you!
USMetric
4 servingservings

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs 650 g boneless chicken thighs or chicken breastchicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 5 tbsp 5 tbsp red pesto or green pesto
  • 1¼ cups 300 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 3 oz. 75 g pitted olives
  • 5 oz. 150 g feta cheese, diced
  • 1 1 garlic clove, finely choppedgarlic cloves, finely chopped
For serving
  • 5 oz. 150 g leafy greens
  • 4 tbsp 4 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

Instructions

Instructions are for 4 servings. Please modify as needed.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add butter or oil to a large skillet and fry the chicken pieces in batches on medium-high heat until golden brown.
  4. Using store-bought low-carb red or green pesto, or making your own, mix pesto and heavy cream in a bowl.
  5. Place the fried chicken pieces in a baking dish together with olives, feta cheese and garlic. Add the pesto/cream mixture.
  6. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until the dish turns bubbly and light brown around the edges.

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Tip!

We have a very quick and easy low-carb green pesto recipe. Try it out!

A number of low-carb store-bought varieties of pesto are available in most North American grocery stores.

Red pesto is typically made with basil leaves, tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic.

Green pesto is typically made with basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic.

Look for ones with real olive oil, not soybean oil or canola oil, no sugar, and less than 5 net carbs per serving.

A simple side dish of field greens or crunchy romaine lettuce complements the rich flavors.

Lightly sautéed asparagus or green beans work, too.

If you feel like making this dish even heartier you can pair it with cauliflower rice, roasted cauliflower or fried broccoli.

Meal prep

This dish can be prepared by frying the chicken ahead of time. You can assemble the entire casserole and keep in the fridge for a day before baking it. Just make sure you let it come to room temperature before placing in the oven. It's also good to give it a stir since the pesto can sink to the bottom.

If you have chicken or turkey leftovers, they are perfect for this dish. Just skip the first 3 steps of the instructions and take it from there.

If you're short on time you can also use a rotisserie chicken. Take the meat off the bones and divide it into bite-sized pieces. Follow the instructions from step 3.

Storing and reheating

If you intend to eat the casserole within 2-3 days you can store it in the fridge. Otherwise it's better to place the casserole in the freezer where it will last up to 3 months. Make sure your casserole dish is suitable for freezing.

If freezing, let thaw in the refrigerator the day before you plan on serving it. Don’t place a cold baking dish straight from the fridge into a hot oven as this can cause your dish to crack. Reheat the casserole in the oven at 300°F (150°C) until thoroughly warm.

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377 comments

  1. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Are you using pesto sold in the store like barilla or homemade?

    If you can find a pesto without added sugar, soybean/canola oil or starches, you can use storebought. Brand availability will vary by location.

  2. Paula
    It was really good!
  3. Laura Boal
    I couldn’t believe how tasty this is. I used black olives but next time I’m using kalamata olives for even a bigger taste!
    I used Barilla red pesto with 5 net carbs per serving.
  4. Denise
    I just made this and it was very good. Definitely making it again.

    It is incredibly rich though so eating it with a salad of spinach or some green vegetables like stated in the directions will help.

    Next time I’ll make it with kalamata olives. I used green olives this first time.

  5. Peggy
    I make my own pesto. Today I used pecans instead of pine nuts. Delicious.
  6. Owen
    My fitness pal shows this as 55g fat and 64g protein?
  7. Chuck
    I made this tonight and it wowed everyone! I made my own pesto and used kalimotive olives and the taste was outstanding!!!
  8. 1 comment removed
  9. Yvette
    I am amazed at how simple, easy and tasty these recipes are. I made this recipe with green olives and green pesto. I used feta and leftover goat cheese from a prior recipe. I probably added to the carb content but I found that I need more than 20 carbs a day because of my workout schedule. In two weeks I have noticed real results. This was such a good recipe, the cream really adds to the fullness and decadence of the recipe.
  10. Lisa
    This is the first recipe I have made from Diet Doctor and it was really good! I was a bit surprised that it was still soupy when I pulled it out of the oven but the sauce was just as yummy with the mixed greens (Spring mix and arugula) on my plate.
  11. Catherine
    I'm not fond of olives or red pesto...so I use mushrooms and green pesto. Sometimes I throw in chopped fresh spinach, pearl onions and/or broccoli...they all work exceptionally well. The chicken-cream-pesto-feta base is extremely versatile.
  12. Paul L
    If anyone finds feta too strong, try halloumi instead. It holds together better and is more "respectful" on the palate whilst still delivering a bit of cheesy sourness to the dish.
    You can grill or saute it first too to give it a crust, doesn't melt.
  13. Sonia
    Can someone help me understand what I did wrong, I made the recipe by the T, only differenze I used quorn Pieces instead of chicken as I am vegetarian. The dish came out not at all "soupy", the cream was very dense, not Like the picture, and the feta was all melt. Did anyone have the same result?
    Reply: #364
  14. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Can someone help me understand what I did wrong, I made the recipe by the T, only differenze I used quorn Pieces instead of chicken as I am vegetarian. The dish came out not at all "soupy", the cream was very dense, not Like the picture, and the feta was all melt. Did anyone have the same result?

    Quorn is not going to behave the same way in recipes. It may be better to stick with our vegetarian recipes.
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/recipes?s=&search=&st=r...

  15. Ian_SAfc
    Is there any alternative to Pesto? My wife doesn't like Cilantro.
    Reply: #366
  16. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Is there any alternative to Pesto? My wife doesn't like Cilantro.

    Most green pestos have basil, but no cilantro.

  17. Nicole
    Tried this today, delicious! Leaves you full and satisfied for a long time and it‘s very easy to prepare.
  18. Dan
    Instead of serving this with or over greens, I just throw a bunch of spinach into the pan and let it cook with everything else. Stretches it out further and it takes on the flavors of the dish well.
  19. Alicia O'Brien
    This was delicious. Made with green pesto. Highly recommend
  20. Nayab Ibrahim
    can i use ready made pestos?
    Reply: #371
  21. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    can i use ready made pestos?

    Yes! Make sure the brand you buy does not have added sugars or starches. It's also recommended to avoid vegetable oils like canola or soybean, but not all brands have those.

  22. Melissa
    This was AMAZING!!!!!
  23. Katarzyna
    Fantastic recipe!
  24. Yvette
    I made this recipe with red pesto. It was super easy, very delicious, and a big hit with my mom who was a cook by trade. I served with cauliflower rice which is now my staple food. I am sure I added to my overall net carbs but I work out regularly and find that I need more than 20 carbs per day. I love your recipes. I eat guilt free and feel full. Thank you.
  25. steph
    Warning: This is SUPER rich. I made this yesterday as my first evening Keto meal. It tastes lovely but it is so rich I thought I was going to be sick. I have three more portions left so will divide these again and add cauliflower rice in an attempt to 'water' the richness down.
    Reply: #376
  26. Steph
    Follow up: I halved the portion and served it with courgetti - much better AND I'll get more dinners out of it meaning less cooking!
    Reply: #378
  27. Ms.E
    I don't like feta cheese.can I use mozerella or Parmesan?
    Reply: #379
  28. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Follow up: I halved the portion and served it with courgetti - much better AND I'll get more dinners out of it meaning less cooking!

    I am glad that you found a serving method that works well for you.

  29. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    I don't like feta cheese.can I use mozerella or Parmesan?

    Yes, those should work fine, but parmesan may not be "soft" enough to melt well.

  30. Jacque C.
    Is it possible to substitute the heavy cream with a plant based version such as NutPods?
    Reply: #381
  31. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Is it possible to substitute the heavy cream with a plant based version such as NutPods?

    We have not tested this dish with NutPods, but it may end up being too watery. NutPods are also much lower fat and we want the higher fat! If you have a dairy sensitivity, coconut cream may be a better option.

  32. Susie
    Just made this (without the garlic, as I thought there would be enough in the pesto) for my first keto lunch and oh my days, it's lovely. Had it with a dark green leafy salad and even though the serving didn't look huge, it was very rich and filling.
  33. Aisling Crotty
    is this 6g for the total dish (4 servings) or per serving?
    Reply: #384
  34. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    is this 6g for the total dish (4 servings) or per serving?

    Our listed nutrition information is always per serving.

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