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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387 comments

  1. Eduardo
    Peter - Team DietDoctor,

    I echo Dawn's question, "This may be right in my face but where to you see the amount of calories per serving and how many servings per dish?"

    Thanks!
    Eduardo

  2. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Eduardo!

    If you look at "Ingredients" in the recipe , the first information is the number of servings.

    If you hover your mouse pointer over the text "Strict Low Carb" in the picture then you can see the amount of carbs per serving. You can also see the macro nutrient distribution.
    http://s13.postimg.org/jgkw2t4vr/Capture.jpg

    But you can't see the amount of calories. Theoretically you could calculate the number calories for this dish, it would be approx:

    100/3*7*4=933 kcal per serving

    We are focusing on the carbs therefore we have no information about calories.

  3. Angela
    Just noticed on the web this recipe calls for 700g chicken, but on the pdf print out its 450g ? Which is correct?
  4. Ryan
    I put this over cauliflower rice... omg sooooo good.
  5. Charlotte
    On day 2 and my brainfog and fatigue has allready lifted a bit. We are a very hungry family and have to remember to leave something for lunch next day. How important is portionsize?
  6. Donna
    So good and sooo easy. I know it's only day 2 but I'm very excited!
  7. Muriel
    hubby and I started on this 2 week challenge yesterday morning. Both feeling pretty good today. Have grandson with us and we are all looking forward to tonight's dinner?
  8. Candice
    I was a little concerned at first because I never tried pesto before. None the less I was excited to try it out. Results: MOST FAVORITE DISH EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. Liz
    Quite different from anything I've cooked before and super simple, yummy and filling.. The saltiness of the olives and the feta intensified when cooked and made the dish very salty, so I will definitely cut right back on those to maybe a third next time. We'll eat the chicken for the leftovers lunch with a green salad, and the rest of the sauce mixed into a kind of dip to have with celery on the side.
  10. Drew
    I made this and it was fantastic!! It will definitely be a staple food for me!!
    I had a question...I realize that DD is not focusing on calories, but it would be helpful for you to include the nutritional breakdown for those of us keeping track of our macros, i.e. carbs, protein and fat in grams. Thank you and keep up the great work!
  11. Cindy
    I have been doing lchf since August 2015. I have swayed and am doing this 2 week challenge to get back on point and refocus my goals. Thank you for your hard work and dedication with this website. Most of all, Thank you for sharing it with us and teaching us. The more I learn and search the more I know this is the only way for me.
  12. Metqa
    Kell, The reason there are so many fatty ingredients is precisely BECAUSE it is low carb instead of high carb. You are getting your energy calories from fats instead of starches. If you try to do low carb and low fat, then basically you are doing low calorie. Yogurt, milk and half and half are lower in fat because they are higher in carbs. Milk is 12g of carb per 8oz, Yogurt and Half n'Half as much as 8g per 8oz. You'd be adding a lot of carbs to your meal needlessly. Embrace the idea that you are switching your fuel from carb to fat and you don't want your body to think you are depriving it by trying to reduce calories at the same time. Don't worry, calorie reduction will come naturally as you lose your appetite in general and want to eat less. but don't substitute to try to create this situation artificially. Good Luck.
  13. Marsha
    Hello, I'm new to the LCHF Community! I have been struggling with my weight all my life, just finished a medical program that was very low calorie, low carb(ketosis), lost 35lbs., but after 4 months, I just couldn't take it. I was sooo hungry. I am so happy I stumbled upon the diet doctor website. I am learning alot about ketosis. Tonight's dinner was the pesto chicken casserole with feta and olives. Wow! So delicious. My 10yr. old and hubby gobbled it up. I am amazed that after only 3 days on this way of eating, I am so satisfied and find that I am eating less! I started a food diary and see evidence of eating less. I wasn't hungry for breakfast this morning so I at at noon today. Totally satisfied. I do have hypertension and the entire time on the low calorie, low carb diet, my numbers where very high! Today's was 124/72! Keeping my fingers crossed and reading as much as I can about the science behind it all. Lastly, I love the videos. They are very helpful and encouraging.
  14. Cindy
    O.M.G! I made this last nite. I didn't have any sun dried tomatoes so I made a green pesto using cilantro and pine nuts. WOW! The leftovers today for lunch was even better. This is a wonderful recipe. I will be making this again. I think I am going to be adding lots of shrimp instead of chicken next time.
  15. sunanda
    good one , couldnt able to eat next day for lunch..coz taste changed a lot for next day..
  16. Sharon
    Hi - I made this tonight and super yummy! Hubby liked it as well...he was lapping up the sauce and loved the flavor.
  17. michael
    That was good. Maybe a little to rich. Maybe I will leave out the green olives next go around, and just use black olives, and maybe a little less feta. It sure was filling. Its a helluva lot better than dieting on egg whites, and dry chicken and rice.
  18. Eva V.
    I am surprised that no one commented on the saltiness of this dish. It was delicious, but highly salty due to the ingredients. When you put commercially made pesto, feta cheese and olives in this dish you need not salt the chicken. I will make this again, even for company, but will skip salting the chicken before browning it. I will not put the feta cheese in the sauce, but sprinkle a small amount of it after the dish is done, just before serving. i also served it with Indian spiced cauliflower "rice". A perfect side to this dish.
  19. Arny
    Sounds so good but my daughter is lactose intolerant, would coconut cream work?
  20. Noelene
    Thank you for this lovely recipe.I used the red pesto but am looking forward to trying with green pesto. And such great leftovers. My week has been made easy by having leftovers for lunch the next day.
  21. Rita
    What is pesto?
    Reply: #90
  22. Melissa
    From what I learned. The shopping lists are made for 1 person.. and the recipe is for 2 people. So I am under the assumption that they are expecting you to half the recipe.
  23. Deanna
    Made this for my husband and I to eat for the 2 week challenge. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs. My teenage son said to make more next time. We all thought this was a rich and tasty dish. My husband said it would have been perfect with Olive Garden bread sticks... Haha! But I think we'll just stick with a fresh salad!
  24. Kat
    Mine is cooking now, and it smells wonderful. I hope it turns out; I had to substitute a few things. I thought I had purchased whipping cream but I bought table cream instead. So I did half the cream and for the rest added full fat sour cream. I also didn't buy enough feta, or the right kind...mine was sort of grated, the kind I like on greek salad. So I did half the feta and substituted mozzarella for the rest. It probably won't be thick enough because I used the wrong cream, but it sure smells lovely. I'll update this later, after it cooks. It should be ready in 10 minutes.

    I'm so glad I found this website and started the challenge yesterday. I do not have headaches or brain fog; I feel great. I actually normally wake up with headaches, get migraines, and feel tired all the time, but I had so much energy last night that I walked for half an hour before bed. I felt sure I'd sleep in but I was up early and had more energy than usual. No headache either.
    I had a very big breakfast this morning because I had to skip lunch; I went for a root canal. So now I'm really hungry and can't wait for supper, lol. I saw someone else comment that they served this over cauliflower rice, and I sure wish I would have read the comments before I made this, because that would have been lovely. I keep thinking this is a dish that needs rice, lol. Oh well; next time.

  25. Kat
    OK, I ate it and it was delicious, lol. So rich and good and satisfying. My poor dogs went ballistic, crying and barking so I had to give them a taste each. My big guy loved it but my little guy; not so much. My Dad had already eaten he said it smelled great so I asked if he wanted some, and he loved it too. My Mom took a bite and said it was "good" and walked away (she's the cook and is jealous when others cook, lol).
    I think I put too much red pesto because I couldn't figure out the measurements. Next time I'll put half as much, or else just add more chicken. I'm definitely going to try the cauliflower rice with this next time.
    I had a romaine lettuce salad with oil and red raspberry wine vinegar as a side dish, and it went great with this meal.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
  26. Suzanne
    I made this twice. The first time I made it for my husband. I made it exactly as instructed. My husband raved and raved over it, so the next time I made it with salmon (I am pescatarian). I know why he raved. It is DELICIOUS! This will be a regular meal for us.
    Reply: #84
  27. Judy
    Just about to pop this into the oven and oh my god...it smells so good!! My brain fog is way better today too..yesterday I thought I was losing it. I had to add a little bit of carb into my day to keep on track..lots of palpitations. Had 1/2 piece of toast with my eggs and smooth sailing.
  28. Steph
    Can all these recipes help reduce cholesterol?
    Reply: #79
  29. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Steph!

    LCHF usually doesn't lower cholesterol but a lot of people get a better cholesterol profile. HDL -> UP, Triglycerides -> DOWN, LDL -> About the same.

    Can all these recipes help reduce cholesterol?

  30. Kirsty
    Should the pesto be homemade or is a jar fine?
    Reply: #81
  31. Kristin Berglund Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Kirsty!

    You can use either or. If you choose a store-bought jar, compare different brands to find the one with the best ingredient list. Traditionally it should consist of basil, garlic, pine nuts, pecorino or parmesan cheese and olive oil. Good luck!

  32. Louise
    I like it, very filling. Next time I make it, I will replace the feta cheese for a cheese like camembert or brie because I find it is a bit salty with the olives. Camembert is less carbs than feta.
  33. Parsons
    I made this last night and it was a hit! I couldn't find red pesto in the store so I looked up a recipe on a keto website and made it. ingredients: sun dried tomatoes, macademia nuts, cashews, olive oil, parmesan, basil, and very little garlic.
    We put this over spinach to increase our fiber intake. We loved it so much that we ate this for breakfast instead. I didn't get hungry for lunch so I skipped it. My husband got hungry and had eggs, but felt great. It feels so good to be on a diet where I'm not starving, weighing out portions, and not enjoying my food.
    I didn't have an issue with the salt, but I also love salt, but I love the cauliflower rice idea. I will have to do that next time.
    Day 2 and loving the challenge.
  34. Noelene
    Thank you Suzanne for the Salmon suggestion. I try to eat salmon once a week and usually spread it with Pesto skin side up and bake.Yum with salad. Will substitute salmon for chicken as you did. well done . I need to restart my LCHF way of eating as have lost my way. Back to the 2 week challenge.
  35. Sylvain
    Wife and I have started the 2 week challenge. So far so good and looking at the food it all looks good. Well, I hope that the next ones won't be as salty as this one. I couldn't even finish it. Having been watching my sodium intake for a few years due to high BP, OMG this tasted like I was eating straight salt. I will have to find a way to make this more palatable for our family.
  36. Barbs
    I read all the comments on here before making this and noted a lot of people said it was too salty so I halved the feta cheese and replaced with brie and the olives here in the UK must be different, most black olives come in a jar and are not all that salty I've found.

    I wish I hadn't done read the comments now as I had to salt the dish and wasn't too keen on it.

  37. Kirsty
    This was absolutely delicious!!!
  38. Jenny
    Hubby and I are really enjoying the recipes from the 2 week challenge. Very tasty and very filling. With this particular dish we served with cauliflower rice due to the amount of sauce. Very nice indeed. Thank you.
  39. Susan
    I started a week ago. I've lost 5 lbs. My sugar craving about done. Lots of water.
  40. Elise
    Pesto is a sauce of crushed basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, typically served with pasta.
  41. Linda
    Made the recipe but found it too salty, probably the feta, but could also have been the olives. Will definitely make it again, but play with the ingredients! Delicious flavours!
  42. Sereana
    Wow on our 2nd day and loving the recipes especially the pesto chicken. Didn't have enough left over for the both of us so hubby took them instead . Am loving this dish and would definitely make this a regular dish. Can't wait to taste the pork coated with pesto. It's only been the 2nd day and no hunger pangs... Yay!!!!
  43. stephanie
    Absolutely delicious. I ate a quarter size of the whole dish, refrigerated it and ate a little more cold for lunch the next day. It was delicious cold too. I couldn't get any feta cheese, so I used emmental. I can't believe I can eat this on a diet!! I did all the extreme diets in the 70 s and 80 s , and this way of eating is a revelation to me. I am on my fourth day, have not been hungry at all, loads of energy, walking at least three miles a day. Have about 70 pounds to lose. My before photo is ready and waiting!! Thanks for all the wonderful info and recipes, which I have already spent ages reading.
  44. Laura S.
    Fiber amounts would be great to assess the net carb amount.
    Reply: #95
  45. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Laura!

    The amount of carbs stated are Net carbs (Total carbs -fiber).

    Fiber amounts would be great to assess the net carb amount.

  46. Dan Perez
    Wow, just wow!!! This recipe is fantastic!
    We (as a family) have embarked in this low carb lifestyle change and cooking good tasty recipes has been a challenge for us parents, but more so for our children. However, this meal has been one the best yet. It tastes just like chicken alfredo (but without the noodles of course :)! We used "queso fresco" (fresh cheese, common in latin meals), it is less salty and best of all is only 3g of carbs for a cup instead of 6g for feta. I just grated it in a food processor and left some chucks for texture. I made more than needed for other meals later. My oldest daughter could not believe how good this was. Finding recipes like one has helped her stay encouraged throughout these changes. It was quick and easy to put together, that's a plus. We will definitely be making this again! Thank you!
  47. Rebekah
    Has anyone made this ahead and reheated from refrigerator or freezer?
  48. Kim
    I loved this dish. I changed the combination a bit the 2nd time I made it to cut some of the richness and add a little crunch and additional spice.

    Cubed 1.25 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast; Browned it in coconut oil
    added 1/2 cup taste of Thai coconut milk (make sure it is not sweetened it only has 2 carbs per 1/2 cup)
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1 can sliced water chestnuts (added the crunch I was looking for)
    1/8 cup pine nuts (I measured out 1/8 cup then ground them up)
    1/2 cup diced rotel tomatoes and Green Chilis
    1/2 lime juiced
    1/2 tbsp capers
    Seasonings (basil, salt and pepper)
    4 oz goat cheese

    It was just as good as the other recipe. just a combination of flavors that surprisingly worked together. (I tried to add the recipe in my fitness pal but it is down. I will try to post carbs later)

  49. Steph
    Good to know cause I hate olives!
  50. Tríona
    Loved this! Easy to make, delicious!
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