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. Diana
    I made this tonight and think it was amazing! I used chicken thighs and they turned out tender and yummy. Used green pesto as my grocery store did not have the red. I will definitely make this again!! If all the meals are as good as this, I'll breeze through the two week challenge. Can't wait to see what we have tomorrow...
  2. Maryann
    No one in my family will eat olives. I was thinking of just adding some sun-dried tomatoes, but I only have green pesto. Will it still be good without them?
    Reply: #144
  3. 1 comment removed
  4. yippe yay
    This is a very good recipe ! made it with green pesto. one very important thing to note before you ruin your dish, is to salt the chicken wisely since there are very salty ingredients such as olives and feta.
  5. Helen
    Me too - I have never liked creamy sauces. I was longing for something sharp to cut through the richness.

    A little too unrelentingly rich and creamy for my palate. Though it might be more appealing in winter when it isn't 40C degrees and with more veggies to cut through. ..

  6. Ana
    This dish was fabtatstic! I loved it all and had never tried pesto before but it tastes wonderful! This Palate is in awe and in love! Lol what if you have a sweet tooth is it too much to ask for a LCHF sweet tooth dessert or will that be after the 2 week challenge? Thanks!
  7. Kaylene
    Loved this! So tasty and creamy. Will be making again for sure. I only had green olive and I used up some leftover sun dried tomatoes. So enjoying this new way of eating.
  8. Bridget
    Can I cheat and use rotisserie chicken from the supermarket?
    Reply: #116
  9. Pat
    I made it without feta or olives and ate over cauli rice. It was delicious.
  10. Nicky
    Hello from Italy! Land of carbs.... I am new to this, and though enjoying the large variety if recipes, the sudden increase of use of cream sauces and cheeses in my diet is concerning me somewhat. No have not actually ever been a big pasta not bread eater. I like a few biscuits with tea in the morning. I have always had fruit, 1 or 2 pieces a day. But now they have been cut out.
    But with age, I have put on a good handful of kilos that I am looking to lose. So I have started , but overall concerned with the few ingredient, I have generally always avoided. Please send me your sound advice, that maybe I have over looked on the site for my concern.
    Thankyou
    Nicky
    Reply: #111
  11. Kaleb
    I have been doing a lot of reading and mulling over this style of eating for the last couple weeks. what exactly is your concern about the creams and cheeses? are you confused about why you are supposed to consume it, are you concerned about how it will make you feel physically or that maybe it will upset you? The way I have come to understand this diet, and please someone correct me if I'm wrong, is like this... we take away the carbs (our preferred energy source) which breaks down to glucose (causes spikes in blood sugar and insulin response) effectively cutting of what is feeding our fat stores and instead replace it with natural fats which when metabolized creates ketones which our body then adapts to using as a new energy source without feeding our body's fat stores. Your blood sugar and insulin are reduced and maintained at a steadier level, you have an energy source, you aren't feeding your fat cells anymore, you are still getting your protein but at a level that prevents it's conversion to glucose so your body can still use it as protein should be used. does this make sense or help you at all?
  12. Kaleb
    This diet is not supposed to be low fat. You have to have high fat for it to work so why substitute?
  13. Hajnal Vos
    I am lactose intolerant. What can I use instead of the cream?
  14. V
    This was tasty, but I'd hardly call it a casserole. The sauce didn't thicken up, it was more like soup.
  15. Depika
    What are the ingredients of the green or red pesto? Can I make it myself?
    Reply: #117
  16. PL
    Yes, that's what we did! Actually it was the leftovers of a deli chicken. Fantastic and easy. We left out the feta, thought it would be rich enough. Added capers, but no other salt. The chicken was really moist.
  17. PL
    Red pesto is usually made with sun dried tomatoes. Green pesto with basil & nuts. Both with lots of olive oil! Yes, you can definitely make them yourself. Homemade basil pesto is much better tasting, store-bought often has some vinegar or other ingredient that can change the flavour. You should be able to find lots of online recipes.
  18. Michelle
    My husband is a pescetarian. Is there any way to adapt this recipe for pescetarians? Would shrimp or some kind of white fish work here?
    Reply: #119
  19. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Michelle!

    Try it. :)

    ... and report back what you thought of the result. :)

  20. Kilie
    This was delicious. Made it with green pesto and substituted feta for mozzarella since my husband doesn't like feta.
  21. Lynette
    Where are the shopping lists ? I cannot find them anywhere, I am wanting to start the 2 week challenge . My shopping day is this friday so I need to prepare please
    Reply: #122
  22. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Lynette!

    Here you can find it:
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/get-started/prepare

    Where are the shopping lists ? I cannot find them anywhere, I am wanting to start the 2 week challenge . My shopping day is this friday so I need to prepare please

  23. Liz
    This is amazing! The only thing I did differently was I used feta crumbles instead of cubes. Yum, yum! My sauce was perfect to drag my broccoli through. Every recipe I've cooked in the challenge has been fantastic. This is my second round. I lost 10 pounds the first time.
  24. Kimberly Mele
    Hi, I'm Kim, 54 and 160. I have arthritis in my hands and hips and work 2.5 jobs, I'm on my feet all day and night but don't exercise. I am looking for a weight loss life style change and hope this will help in shedding unwanted weight. I currently wear a sz 10 pants and am 5.7 inches tall. Any kale recipes?
    Reply: #125
  25. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Kim!

    Not much yet.

    But we have this:
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/recipes?s=kale&st=recipe

    Hi, I'm Kim, 54 and 160. I have arthritis in my hands and hips and work 2.5 jobs, I'm on my feet all day and night but don't exercise. I am looking for a weight loss life style change and hope this will help in shedding unwanted weight. I currently wear a sz 10 pants and am 5.7 inches tall. Any kale recipes?

  26. Brett Rodgers
    I'm the most popular person in my house because of this recipe! Make it and you will love it.
  27. Frederique
    Excellent...
  28. Aimee
    I made this on my first day of 16:8 fasting and lchf eating!!! My hubby and I both loved it!!!!! Would be great with zucchini noodles too!!
  29. Mandy Denmeade
    Appreciate that you have metric conversions for your recipes but I live in a metric country and had never heard of the dl or deciliter measurement for liquids. millilitres please. looked it up, a deciliter is 100 mls so you can see how clunky that is for recipes. thanks for a great site otherwise.
    Reply: #131
  30. Colin
    I made this last night and it was probably the best thing I've every cooked! Seriously. This was amazing. I served it over cauliflower rice that I fried with butter and garlic.
  31. Pamela
    Dl is confusing me too, hopefully I'll get used to it.
  32. Todd
    I made this tonight. Another wonderful, flavorful recipe that totally satisfied me. Will definitely be making this again!
  33. Victor Mabere
    How many proteins and fat does this dish have?
  34. Mame
    We made this with rotisserie chicken to save time, and green pesto it was wonderful and very creamy. I don't usually like olives but thought they were fine here. Nice to know that 'red pesto' is a sun-dried tomatoes + olive oil paste. Can anyone tell me what 'red pesto' is seasoned with? that way I can duplicate it.
    We will be making this again for sure.
  35. Rita
    These recipes look great, I've been looking for something besides a slab of meat + veggies. You know, a nice casserole. I miss casseroles in the winter, looks like I have found them (the recipes). You all make this sound really yummy.

    Does one have to eat breakfast on this diet? I have 2 cups of bullet proof coffee. Each cup has bone broth powder (10 gr protein), 1 T Kerry Gold butter and 3-4 T organic virgin coconut milk. I count this as breakfast as I have a total of 20 gr protein plus oodles of nutrients. How much protein are we to have each day. Also, anyone have a cure for Dawn Phenomenon, I've tried most things including fasting. Can't get into ketosis or lose weight. I've had T2D for about 15 years now, on 70 units Lantus and max on Metformin.
    Thanks!

  36. Daniel
    Made this with red pesto and no olives. Not a fan. It honestly was way too acidic for me. It almost tasted like stomach acid to me... I don't plan on ever touching this recipe again. So far, it's been the only dud for me though!
  37. Jazzy Jaz
    This worked well for me. I chose green pesto with black olives and sundried tomatoes. Was delicious.
  38. Leon
    This is a really good recipe and it turned out great. However, it really irritates me that you only list the amount of carbs in the dish and not the full calorie , protein, fat count, etc. I had to break it down myself and, not only does it take awhile, it makes me not want to bother to look at any other recipe on this website. You can't just list the carb content when people are doing this to lose weight! It won't hardly do anyone any good if they can't watch their calorie intake as well.
  39. Keira
    Why aren't there any calories listed in these recipes? I'm on a limited caloric intake and I would like to know roughly what to expect if I made of the recipes on this site. Surely this particular recipe must be near 700 kcal/serving. That's more than half my daily intake.
    Reply: #140
  40. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Keira!

    Sorry but we don't want to promote to much "counting" that's why we only have the carbs in gram. Read more about how we think about losing weight here:
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/how-to-lose-weight

    But If you feel that this is important to you then use the formula below to calculate, a bit complicated though. ;-)

    (%PROTEIN / %CARB) * gram_CARB = gram_PROTEIN
    (%FAT / %CARB) * 4/9 * gram_CARB = gram_FAT

    gram_CARB * 4 + gram_PROTEIN*4 + gram_FAT*9 = CALORIES

    Why aren't there any calories listed in these recipes? I'm on a limited caloric intake and I would like to know roughly what to expect if I made of the recipes on this site. Surely this particular recipe must be near 700 kcal/serving. That's more than half my daily intake.

  41. David
    I love it. My wife loved the taste but had stomach discomfort through out the night. I follow LCHF but she probably eats above 50 grams a carb a day. Could her stomach discomfort be from the idea that she isn't doing strictly LCHF?
  42. Robin
    OMG, I made this and loved it! The olives make the dish IMO. I made the dish with spinach pesto, because that's what I had the ingredients for. It was so yummy! Next time I will try the red pesto. Thank you for the recipe!
  43. Donna
    Donna
    I love this recipe. I've made it with both red and green pesto. Delicous and so easy to prepare.
  44. Pomski
    Hi Maryann,
    I dislike olives, so I don't put them in and use some cherry tomatoes instead.
    I've also made this using green pesto one week and then red pesto another... both are equally yummy! I've never thought of chucking in some sun dried tomatoes or peppers... I'll give that a try tonight!

    I see recipes as "guidelines" and just add/remove what you do/don't like.

    Enjoy :o)

  45. Karen
    Made this last night, so simple and yummy! Something i wouldn't have eaten so much of in the past because of fat content but it was great. having leftovers for lunch today, im just starting out and following the meal plans. thank you for the recipe! i used homemade pesto, i was wondering if anyone knows if that's keto friendly? oh and tomatoes? cherry specifically i can't seem to find a definitive answer, i could eat tomatoes like apples i love them so much?
  46. Ellie
    I wanted to like this more, but it was so salty! I love how easy the recipe is, and pesto is wonderful. So I'll be making it in the future, but not adding any salt to the chicken, and likely substituting the olives for sun-dried tomatoes and/or mushrooms!
  47. Mike
    What kind of olives are ideal? I've used green in the past (with green pesto) and it came out excellent but I'm curious what the recipe really calls for. Looking to try red pesto this time. Would black olives be better?
  48. Aretha
    Have been on this diet for a week and have lost 9 pounds. Love it
  49. April
    This was delicious. I used dark meat chicken and pounded it with a tenderizing mallet in a ziplock bag, then cut it into pieces. I cooked my chicken in my black steel saute pan which left a fond in the bottom I added a bit of water to deglaze the pan, reduced it and divided it between the two pans I was baking our food in. I reduced the cream by 1/3 cup which let me divide the total cream in half equally. After cooking I turned the oven off and left the door a jar. It cooled for an hour like this firming up the sauce considerably.
  50. Cindy P,
    My attempt was rather soupy and I even cooked it longer. Not sure what I did wrong. Tasted good though!
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