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. Give it a go. Your taste buds 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. Give it a go. Your taste buds 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
  • 3 oz. 75 g 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. 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.
  6. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until the dish turns bubbly and light brown around the edges.

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Tip!

A simple side dish of field greens or crunchy romaine 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 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 dish is suitable for 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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349 comments

  1. Fabiane
    Loved it! So did my mom, sister, nephew and niece! Thank you!!!
  2. Cary
    OMG! The best chicken dish! Love it!
  3. linda
    what type of olives
    Reply: #304
  4. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Whatever kind you prefer. Kalamata generally work well in this dish but some people don't care for the taste.
    Reply: #344
  5. Anne Marie
    Made this for lunch this week and it’s very good!! Would be good over rice or couscous too
    Reply: #319
  6. Cynthia
    I am wondering the same thing.

    Can someone tell me what the serving sizes for this

    Reply: #307
  7. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    This makes 4 servings, so a serving size would be 1/4 of the total dish.
  8. Maria Guerra
    Are the ingredients (feta, olives) measured by weight or volume?
    Reply: #309
  9. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Those are measured by weight.
  10. Nadia
    How much is a serving? 6g net carbs per serving..... is that the entire dish or a specific quantity?
    Reply: #311
  11. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    The number of servings is shown at the top of the ingredient list. This dish makes 4 servings and each serving is 6g carbs.
  12. saranga
    Hi, am very new to this diet. This is my 2nd day. Am just wondering this is serve alone or can serve with Bread or rice?
    Replies: #316, #323
  13. Linda
    I entered the recipe for this dish in my fitnesspal and the serving came up with a total 991 cal and 64 carbs, I did add celery 1/2 cup and 3 tbs carrots but that wouldn't account for such a difference. Is there something else I should be using for calculating?
    Reply: #314
  14. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Are you tracking net carbs? You can subtract out the fiber. Many people prefer Cronometer or Carb Manager over My Fitness Pal, which has a lot of user submitted entries and is not always accurate.
  15. Chelsey
    Just started the keto diet and this was the 2nd meal from this site I tried. I was REALLY impressed with this! It was really good and filling. I would definitely add it to some leafy greens as it is very rich on it's own.
  16. Roxana
    You could certainly serve with some cauliflower rice or keto bread. We don't eat regular bread or rice on this diet.

    Hi, am very new to this diet. This is my 2nd day. Am just wondering this is serve alone or can serve with Bread or rice?

    Reply: #320
  17. Alan
    This one is a winner and now on the go to list for a yummy easy quick meal I added sautéed onion and chunky cut mushroom.
  18. Sarah
    I am in love with this recipe <3
  19. Una
    You're not allowed rice or couscous on this diet! Ha, ha! Only pseudo cauliflower rice, which I find very different.

    I made this tonight for three people. I couldn't get through my portion, which I had with stemmed broccoli. I'd have eaten less if the broccoli had been fried, as suggested. It is a very nice meal indeed but the portions are enormous, and put the rest into smaller portions for the freezer and one for the fridge for tomorrow!

    Made this for lunch this week and it’s very good!! Would be good over rice or couscous too

  20. Una
    Just steamed green veg or steamed cauliflower without turning it always into pseudo-rice, I find is more than enough with this very high fat somewhat greasy meal, but it is delicious! The portions are enormous. 700g of chicken divided by four is 175g of chicken per person, and then 25g each of feta cheese and butter, and cream and pesto. Just too much for four people, but yes it really is delicious. I had some raspberries afterwards to clear the clawing mouth afterwards. I have a much smaller portion for tomorrow's main meal, and probably will skip breakfast! Really worth making.

    You could certainly serve with some cauliflower rice or keto bread. We don't eat regular bread or rice on this diet.

    Hi, am very new to this diet. This is my 2nd day. Am just wondering this is serve alone or can serve with Bread or rice?

  21. Una
    I would try Xylitol or Erythromol (or whatever it's called) - a much better idea although I think Splenda might be okay, but would ditch the sweet'no'low thing.

    Can we use sweetnlow or splenda with our coffee

    Replies: #322, #325
  22. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Splenda is not a good option as it has artificial sweeteners in it.
    Reply: #324
  23. Robin
    Hi - if you are new to the diet, try to get used to not having bread or rice with meals - or at all. Lettuce leaves can replace bread - steamed spinach can be placed under a dish like this when serving. Trust me - I’ve tried every diet - and cutting carbs works - it’s slow and steady at about 1 pound a week - but it works without much pain. I’ve cut to 50-80 carbs a day - because I’m an athlete and I want to make a lifestyle change. But this will work - good luck
  24. AJ
    Splenda is definitely a no-no as it’s got maltodextrin as a filler which is a sugar.
  25. AJ
    You really want something like liquid stevia for coffee.
  26. justine
    Yummy. I added some bacon. And then boiled some cauliflower and mashed it up a bit. I hate grating up califlower for cauliflower rice. It seems to go everywhere. And my my food processer cant handle it. Served casserole on top. Very nice.
  27. Aleksandra
    Dear Ann and Emma my special thank you for creating this masterpiece for us- I LOVE IT
    I have tried this recipe just yesterday and used (although embarrassed to admit) rotisserie chicken to have a quick meal the prep was done in literally minutes and recommended cook time.
    I did not have enough olives on hand so I also added pickled jalapenos I think they tasted even better than olives in this dish. I will try next time to add tablespoon of capers as well.
    During the lunchtime today, the left over portion, I think, were even more delicious.
  28. Michele
    I made this recipe as per the instructions - WOW - this is my all time favorite dish. Love love love it!!
  29. Marquita
    Does anyone have the breakdown on the nutrional facts on this dish?
    Reply: #330
  30. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Does anyone have the breakdown on the nutrional facts on this dish?

    Click the Nutrition + tab underneath the list of ingredients.

  31. Charnaé
    Hi there. Recipe looks extremely promising for a yummy dinner. Any ideas as to what I can substitute the olives with? TIA
    Reply: #332
  32. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi there. Recipe looks extremely promising for a yummy dinner. Any ideas as to what I can substitute the olives with? TIA

    You could try mushrooms, but they don't have the same kind of "tang" that good olives do, which helps cut through an otherwise pretty rich dish.

  33. Rita
    Can I sub coconut milk or cream for whipping cream? Thanks.
    Reply: #334
  34. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Can I sub coconut milk or cream for whipping cream? Thanks.

    If you try that, you would want to use coconut cream as it has the higher fat content. It's naturally sweeter than heavy cream so it may affect the taste of the final dish as well.

  35. Stefan
    I made this yesterday with my girlfriend as the first low-carb dish we ever cooked. We just started recently, and we find this to be a very interesting dish, as it is definitely rich in all kinds of exotic flavours, and extremely satisfying to eat. Though I was mildly worried about the physical volume of the dish, but maybe I'm just used to larger meal volumes.

    Changes we did to the original recipe for 4 servings:
    Red pesto instead of green pesto
    Three crushed cloves of garlic instead of the suggested one chopped clove (adds some garlic punch to go with that feta and olives)
    Cauliflower rice (one whole cauliflower) instead of leafy greens

    Since we made 4 servings for the two of us, there was leftovers for the next day, where there wasn't enough cauliflower left, so I threw 3 eggs on the pan with the cauliflower and mixed it all when it was done. Cauliflower rice + eggs make a good mix, which I will definitely remember in the future for low-carb meal planning.

    Usually 4 servings are gone pretty fast with a 'regular' diet, so that just goes to prove how satiating this kind of meal and diet is.

  36. Chloe
    What if you don't have an oven? Can you cook this in the stove and not baked?
    Reply: #337
  37. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    What if you don't have an oven? Can you cook this in the stove and not baked?

    We have not tested this on the stove.

  38. Lana
    I made it two days ago and it was soooo good
  39. Soledad
    I'm wondering about the pesto: what ingredients are in it? I usually make it from scratch: basil, nuts, garlic, grated cheese, and olive oil. Is that it?
    Reply: #355
  40. Anita
    Love this recipe so much, I took the recipe to the chef's on a recent cruise and asked them to make it for me as I tried to stay Keto. Everyone on my table was envious as it smelt so delicious. Another wonderful DD recipe.
  41. mae
    Hi, I can't seem to find the red pesto recipe on the website... is there a link perhaps ?
    Reply: #342
  42. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Hi, I can't seem to find the red pesto recipe on the website... is there a link perhaps ?

    https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/vegetarian-meatballs-with-red-pest...

  43. Gabi
    This was so yum! I added an onion and three cloves of garlic to the pan when browning the chicken, plus some homemade chicken broth which I reduced down in the pan.
    Then when stirring through the feta, olives, red pesto and cream I added some freshly chopped parsley.
    So good!
  44. Nicholas
    I can see now why the first suggested pesto is red the green one doesn’t look as appealing lol. The red pesto had 11g of carbs. So I said no not this time ;)
    The green one I bought has 2g carbs per 1/4 cup so the 3 tablespoons have minimal carbs. Score! So if anyone goes buys pesto make sure to look at the nutrition facts!
  45. Marten
    Do i need to whip te Cream or am i putting it in liqiud?
    Reply: #346
  46. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    Do i need to whip te Cream or am i putting it in liqiud?

    You do not need to whip the cream first.

  47. LMG
    When I add up the ingredients I'm showing 10 g. not 6??
    Reply: #348
  48. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor

    When I add up the ingredients I'm showing 10 g. not 6??

    Are you counting the net carbs? Also, pesto may vary by brand. It's always a smart idea to calculate using the brands you use.

    Reply: #350
  49. Geri
    Are you using pesto sold in the store like barilla or homemade?
    Reply: #351
  50. LMG

    When I add up the ingredients I'm showing 10 g. not 6??

    Are you counting the net carbs? Also, pesto may vary by brand. It's always a smart idea to calculate using the brands you use.

    The pesto is only 2 g, I believe the majority I'm seeing is coming from the heavy whipping cream?

  51. 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.

  52. Paula
    It was really good!
  53. 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.
  54. 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.

  55. Peggy
    I make my own pesto. Today I used pecans instead of pine nuts. Delicious.
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