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. GENEVIEVE
    225g of feta is waaaaaaaaaay too much feta. Is it possible this is the wrong amount? Felt sick after this one, which is a bummer as it looks so good. Will try less feta next time I can stomach the thought of this recipe...
    Reply: #207
  2. Benjamin
    It was easy to make and it tasted wonderful, but it came out really soupy for my tastes and had to serve in a bowl. I'm not sure if that is normal but it did kind of make it a hassle to serve good portions to everyone. I may of not kept it in the oven as long as I should have so next time I try this I'll do that.
    Replies: #189, #193
  3. Valerie
    I loved this recipe! I made it with green pesto and followed the recipe to a T, serving it with the leafy greens dressed with olive oil. It does come out a little soupy, but not a big deal to me. It was more like a thick soup and salad. Will definitely be making this again. (Is tomorrow too soon? lol)
  4. WarblingLisa
    Hubby and I absolutely love this dish. I've been making it now for over a year and have tweaked it a bit to better suit our tastes. I fry 1.5 lbs of skinless chicken breasts in coconut oil prior to assembling the casserole and then cut up the chicken into bite size pieces. I use Mezzetta Basil Pesto 6.25 oz and only 1-1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream. Reducing the amt of cream helps to make it less soupy. I also use a tsp of garlic powder as opposed to cloves only because I always have the powder on hand. I only use 8 oz of feta cheese, which is plenty when cubed. I don't salt the chicken but do add a bit of regular black pepper. The dish is plenty salty with the pesto and olives! I add all ingredients to a 13x9 casserole dish and then top with 8oz of Sargento Whole Milk Mozzarella/Provolone cheese. Since the chicken is already cooked, I just pop it in the oven for about 15 mins until the cheese is evenly melted. The cheese makes it easier to divide up the casserole into (8) servings, which I then freeze in Fitpacker containers to use throughout the week. Very handy!
  5. Jodi
    This recipe is great! I have never liked olives but I tried it out and I love the taste paired with the cheese and pesto sauce. I used red pesto and a little less feta cheese, as well as chicken thighs (boneless not skinless). This is definitely one of my faves, so far.
  6. Carri Ramey
    I thought this was really delicious. I used boneless, skinless thighs and left them whole after frying. I used red pesto (from a jar) and kalamata olives and reduced the cream and feta slightly. I served it with sauteed spinach with garlic.
  7. Adam Carnie
    Why are olives measured by volume? Tbsp or ml of olives?
  8. Adam Carnie
    4 Tbsp of water weighs 60grams. So i use 60 grams of olives? (2 servings)
  9. Kara
    Love this! Making it for the 3rd time tonight. I don't salt the chicken at all because of the other salty elements, but just adore this.
  10. Patrick Hardie
    I made this but as i don't like olives i added spinach instead and also added chorizo. It was scrumptious!
  11. Adam Carnie
    Was really good and even better the next day (less soupy).... but had some orange oil separated. Was thinkinig of adding an egg next time to solidify it up.
  12. Adam
    Very nice indeed!! As others have said, mine too was a little bit too soupy, but still delicious.
  13. Nisha
    Hi!
    How many servings are you suppose to eat per meal? Im a little confused. Is it 2 servings to cover the meal the following day? Or should it be 4 servings for your dinner and lunch the next day?

    Thanks!

  14. Suzy
    @ Nisha,
    You would need at least 2 servings if it's just you, so that you have some for lunch the next day. I made 4 servings, for my hubs and I.
    I thought this was soooo yummy. For lunch the next day, I poured it over my sautéed spinach. It was a bit runny the next day, but I just slurped up the rest.
  15. Becky
    This is our absolute favorite meal minus the olives served over raw spinach with fresh green been and avocado and mashed cauliflower. In the past month I have made this chicken 2 times a week haha
  16. Melissa
    I loved this recipe!!! My 2 year old daughter said 'Yum Yum' and I couldn't believe it because she is very picky and doesn't like olives! So I actually put the pesto concoction on the cabbage and it was terrific! Changes I made: I didn't put as much butter or oil as asked because I thought a stick of butter with some oil was enough. The cabbage does not need to be shredded- unnecessary work- just cut it up in slender 1/2 inch strips. I will make this again!!
  17. Justin
    Am I missing something? I cannot find the nutrition info, only the macro proportions and net carb amount?
  18. Jacob
    I really like this recipe, I've had it many times. But, apparently this recipe has approx. 50g of protein, which is my exact limit of protein for the day (based on the .8g/kg body weight rule). Yet this is only one meal for the day. Does this mean that my second meal of the day should have little to no protein in it? Since this one meal puts me at my protein limit, I have no idea what to eat for my second meal. Thanks!
  19. Patty
    Has anyone tried making this with leftover rotisserie chicken? If so, how long would you bake it?
    Reply: #173
  20. Adam Carnie
    would whipping the cream a bit make it less soupy? or possibly adding an egg? I've just started cooking so I dont know. Anyone try these methods?
  21. TRISH
    one of my favorites!!
  22. Rebecca
    I love this recipe but I did alter it a bit. I changed the totals for each thing so that I can meet my calorie goal and my carb goal each day. It amounted to 340 calories per serving. I also added asparagus and goat cheese with garlic for a little extra zing. I wish I could upload a picture!
  23. Michelle
    Geez, that's a great idea! Using a rotisserie chicken! As for how long to cook it, I would still suggest the 20-30 minutes as the recipe states. After all, you have to precook/brown your chicken so at that point it wouldn't matter if you cooked it yourself or used a rotisserie chicken...they'd both be precooked.

    I'm going to try it. I was just making my grocery list and put down boneless chicken breast but the rotisserie chicken would save a heck of a lot of extra work!!!

  24. Clark
    Where can I find nutrition information for this recipe? Does Diet Doctor list this or do they just give us the % carbs/fats/proteins which does little when I am trying to log my food in each day.
    Reply: #179
  25. Shaleena
    Family really liked this. It was a tad on the salty side so I would recommend not salting the chicken. Also i didn't have quite enough feta to I just shredded up a little colby cheese and added it. Turned out great will definitely make again
  26. Louise
    Hi does anybody know of a substitute for pesto I could use please as really don't like it the smell alone makes me nauseous?
  27. Dinorah
    I made this dish like this: Seasoned the chicken with a paste made with olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Lay the uncooked pieces on a tray and threw over half the cream (opened fridge to discover the other half was gone!) and half the pesto (not my favourite). Crumbled the feta and used kalamata olives. Covered with tin foil and baked, uncovering for the last 20 minutes. Delicious and thick. Served with green beans. Heard: " Mom, please make this again!" Perhaps a dash of white wine might add some extra depth....
  28. Leean
    I reduced the cream a bit as suggested but it was still really soupy. It tasted good at first, but a few bites in I started feeling a little sick from all the cream.

    By the way, I calculated the nutrition using MyFitnessPal, and here's what I got based on 4 servings and reducing the cream to 1.25 cups:

    Calories: 726
    Total Fat: 58 g
    Total Carbs: 12
    Fiber: 2
    Sugar: 0
    Protein 43 g

  29. Leean
    I calculated the nutrition using MyFitnessPal, and here's what I got based on 4 servings and reducing the cream to 1.25 cups:

    Calories: 726
    Total Fat: 58 g
    Total Carbs: 12
    Fiber: 2
    Sugar: 0
    Protein 43 g

  30. Jennifer
    Great dish. My body likes it too, as I always eat less the next day or use it just before a fast. I can't figure out exactly the food "mix" that makes some fasts easier than others, and I know I have this recipe in my pocket. Keep the great Keto recipes coming!
  31. Barbara
    I am in the first week of the 2 week challenge. Since I need to be dairy free due to Casein and Whey intolerance I will be tweaking this recipe. I will just use the pesto and add some stewed tomatoes (sugar free). I do not like cooked Spinach so will make either a Spinach salad or do Cauliflower Rice. I am finding the servings way to large for my husband and I. I did the hamburgers w/fried Cabbage Sunday night. It called for 2 burgers each but we only eat one apiece normally. So we had this for supper both Sunday and Monday and for lunch on Monday. There was also way too much cabbage and it made me bloated by the time I had it for the 3rd time on Monday night. So I will also be scaling down the amount I cook as I guess we have smaller meals than the average person. Having said all that I am looking forward to making this dairy free for me.
  32. Kellie
    The flavor for this dish was very good, however, mine ended up a little soupy as well:( I'm not sure what I did wrong, I followed the directions. The only difference was I had to use green pesto.
  33. Ali
    So delicious
    1cup of cream was enough
    3 cloves fresh garlic & 8 black olives chopped in half. Cooked in low oven for 30mins so it was tender. Very tasty meal the whole family likes it
  34. Laura
    I used Barilla sun dried tomato pesto (a 6 oz jar, the whole thing) and it turned out INCREDIBLE! once the sauce cooled a bit it was nice, rich and thick. I used one whole 6oz container of President feta crumbles and the whole thing was to die for. And finally, 1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast cutlets.

    The rest I kept the original recipe quantity wise. My sauce texture and flavor came out absolutely delicious, definitely doing this again!

  35. Sandra
    Absolutely we love this recepi ❤️ zucchini spaghetti for side dish. Simple and yummy ?
  36. rose c
    is there a substitute for heavy cream? My body can not tolerate it.
  37. Peter
    Cooked this for the first time... family loved it. Used less feta and olives and only had single cream in the fridge, but other than being a bit soupy, I was really happy. Put over some boiled kale. Will definitely cook this again.
  38. Nicole Brewer
    Is there a substitute or suggestions if cheese I could use instead of feta. My motto it's betta with fetaBut my husband won't eat feta?
  39. Michelle
    Mine was soupy too, after I baked it for 40 minutes.
  40. Michelle
    Would adding sun-dried tomatoes break the Keto rules?
  41. Carole
    This sounds wonderful, but I really don't like feta. Any ideas for a good substitute in terms of texture and melting, but just a regular cheese taste?
  42. Sheila
    Does anyone have any experience with doing this lactose free? I have a few coming over for dinner, and I wanted to make this delicious dish, only thing is that my uncle is extremely lactose intolerant (he can't stomach any dairy products). I was thinking of trying to make it with coconut cream and skip the feta - just for his portion though :)
  43. Crystal
    Mine was soupy too! I ended up making some zoodles and pour this on top.
  44. Leigh
    This is absolutely delicious. I made enough for 2 meals. Used chicken skinless breasts. Will try thigh next to see if more juicy... Fried the chicken with pepper no salt. Popped it in a flan dish and added the olives. Mixed separate in a bowl about 110-120ml of cream with 40g of roasted red pepper pesto as that's all I had and 2 big tsps of garlic. Poured it over, Then added 80g of feta and mixed it all in. Sauce was thick and creamy. When cooked. There was enough feta for me. I'm definitely making it again. Wasn't runny at all. I loved it!
  45. A
    Has anyone tried freezing the leftovers to use another day? How would this turn out?
  46. Dixie
    I wish these recipes would show grams of protein and fats as well in order for accurate MFP tracking
  47. MikeInAZ
    I made/modified this. I used Italian sausage instead of chicken and cut it. I added chopped up mixed greens and chopped up broccoli. I used marinated olives and feta from the deli in the grocery store. I just added about 3 tablespoons of crumbled feta that I had in the fridge.

    It was very yummy. I would make it with less cream, or maybe add some coconut flour to thicken it up a bit next time. My family had it it on top of pasta. I had some Fat Head bread on the side too.

  48. Richard
    This is my wife's favorite. Heavy Whipping cream is way too rich for me, so I mix half sour cream and half whipping cream. Tones it down alot.
    I've used breasts and thighs and both turn out great.
  49. Carole
    This recipe is good enough that I would make it again sometime, but I guess it's not one of my top favorites.. I made 2 servings, and it needed 3/4 c. cream. I used 1/2 c. sour cream and 1/4 c. heavy cream, and that seemed a good mix as it did not get runny cooking. I also added scallions, and thinly sliced red pepper, small mushrooms, and since I don't like feta I used 4 oz of mozzarella, which seems like a good substitute. I always cook my chicken using sous vide and then cut it up, rather than frying in butter. Sous vide is effortless, and not messy like frying. I used a green pesto measured exactly per the recipe, and it was good and not overpowering. I just mixed everything together in a bowl and put the mozzarella on top. 30 minutes seemed long enough cooking time.
  50. Jelly
    I *loved* this. Used some Pesto cashew dip I had in the fridge (not great as it has 'vegetable'oil in it but only used small amount-next time I'll make my own pesto with olive oil) used less olives and less fetta and thickened cream. I wasn't feeling like cooking due to a virus I've had for 3 weeks, but once I cooked it I was in love. We also had roasted pumpkin, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Hubby who doesn't eat chicken had instead some mushroom cups with the the creamy pesto mixture, an olive and a piece of fetta in the upturned mushroom cups. He said it was great too.
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