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. Maha
    I made this tonight, finally, for my family of four. I thought it was okay. My 12 year old really liked it as he got seconds, but didn't eat the olives. I was really looking forward to tasting the cream and red pesto together but the feta and olives really overwhelm the other flavors. I also added sliced mushrooms. I will make this again, but will alter it significantly for my tastes. I'll double the chicken so there's enough to make lunches for the next day (I was only able to make one lunch), eliminate the olives and feta (maybe use as a condiment instead), increase the red pesto, add canned chopped tomatoes (maybe) and add twice the amount of mushrooms as I did tonight. I like the idea of cheese in there, so maybe I'll add some Gruyere or Parmesan or something like that. I liked how the chicken was really tender though, so this recipe is a great starting point for me.
    Reply: #204
  2. Kel
    This dish was SO GOOD! I will be making it again. So filling and satisfying. I do not add the extra garlic since the pesto sauce is full of it.
  3. Tammi
    This was too rich for me, and I added spinach. Next time I will cut half the feta and some cream and serve it over spinach.
  4. gbl
    Tell us how you adjusted for the different nutritional aspects with your different ingredients and amounts, including carb to protein/fat ratio, which I understand has all been worked out for each recipe and its place in your chosen menu?
  5. sandi
    can I freeze this and re heat for left overs?
    Reply: #212
  6. Taryn
    First time making this dish but I found with all that Feta and olives it came out wayyy too salty. I will tweak it next time to reduce that amount of salt. I used red dried tomato pesto which went well but probably added to the saltiness.
  7. Elizabeth
    Did you have all four serves geneviev?
    Reply: #244
  8. Theresa
    I ran out of feta and used an Italian mixture of cheeses. Enjoyed it thoroughly over a bed of romaine. The chicken was so moist and tender.
  9. Virginia Volpe
    The recipe did not say green or black olives but I used green and that might have given the recipe that little bit of punch that other people were talking about. But we loved it and served it on raw spinach and it was fabulous
  10. Michael
    Absolutely a keeper. The tweaks were to cut the cream a bit, a bit of chicken stock concentrate, sauteed mushrooms, chopped baby spinach, and leftover shredded turkey. Everyone loved it! I'm going to buy more feta tomorrow to make another batch for lunches.
  11. Jennifer
    I've made this recipe so many times. I hate olives, so I never include those. I usually double it and then make future lunch microwave meals.
  12. Jennifer
    Absolutely! I make extra and freeze them in lunch-sized glass containers that are ready to microwave at work.
  13. Ioana
    I've made this recipe today and it turned out great. I used green olives and goat cheese instead of feta cheese. https://www.lowcarbspark.com/
  14. Rick Van Der Snick
    I'm having a hard time determining how many calories, fat and proteins per gram. Help please!
  15. Laurie
    One of our favorites! I've made this with green pesto and also the red. I prefer the red (sun-dried tomato) as it's a different flavor profile. I also don't use salt when I'm cooking the chicken as you will have enough salt in the feta, olives, and pesto to provide a great flavor.
  16. Rosie
    Another new favorite for my family. Due to a miscommunication with my son who went to the store for me, I didn't have enough feta, so I substituted some parmesan/romano/asiago blend for half of the feta. I did NOT add any salt to the recipe, and it was just right.
  17. gus
    i loved this one! smelled great and enticing while baking. excellent choice even reheated!
  18. Kent
    This is my favorite keto recipe I've found so far. I add a drained bag of frozen spinach and some crushed red pepper to the mix before baking.
  19. John Thomas
    Don't like avocado or pesto, but so many of your recipes call for them. Can I just delete them and other sauces and veggies and just cook the entrée.
  20. TerriLH
    Has anyone put this in My Fitness Pal as written? According to their site, one serving of this has 1027 calories! That's a whole lot of calories. This is one of my favorite dishes, but I usually cut the feta cheese in half and use kalamata olives. Wow, though. 1000+ calories for one meal!
  21. Shawna
    I made this and was phenomenal! I made a few tweeks I left the olives out. Used green pesto and added an extra tablespoon of that and reduced the whipping cream to 1 cup. It wasn't soopy at all i loved it
  22. sarah
    Great recipe. My non keto family liked it a lot too. Only thing is I think it would be good to pair with something that could soak up all the sauce. Maybe cauliflower rice, or something, so you don't waste the sauce
    Reply: #259
  23. Mary
    The most decadent recipe and my favorite. Tonight I made with a mixture of pesto a sundried tomatoes. I don't like olives so I sauteed so spinach in butter and added on top before pouring on cream pesto mixture. Off the chart good!!!
  24. J
    Made this last night with green pesto and black olives and added 8 oz of sauteed mushrooms, it was richly delicious! It is a definite keeper!
  25. PR
    I am pretty new to Keto. Can I add coconut cream/milk instead of Whipped cream?
    Reply: #236
  26. Takeda
    Made it for us and the recipe as written worked great. For me I quickly rinsed the feta under cold tap-water to reduce the brine. For the olives (I used green olives) with pimento and just cut them in half and then blotted them with paper-towel to reduce the brine. With this it was delicious.
  27. 1 comment removed
  28. John
    I find some measurements don't make sense to me. If ml is a liquid measure, then why are olives not measured in grams? Similarly, why isn't pesto measured in ml? I realize they can be measured this way, it just makes more sense to me for solids to be measured in grams and liquids (or essentially liquids) to be measured in ml.
  29. Karon
    I liked this recipe for dinner, just out of the oven, but when you save it and heat it in the microwave the next day for lunch not quite so appealing. It takes on a whole different look, and a lot of oil comes out, just not very appetizing.
  30. Lucy LeMonte
    What is the nutrition for this recipe
    Reply: #231
  31. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Lucy!

    Klick on "Nutrition +", left side of recipe.

    What is the nutrition for this recipe

  32. Rebecca
    We did not like this one. The flavor was good but for some reason the sauce broke and was not creamy like it should have been. My husband is a chef, he added some cold heavy cream to bring it back together but it seemed off. It really seemed like it needed to be over something and not just a stand alone recipe. Also, this is a LOT of feta cheese and cost-wise we don't think we'll be making it again.
  33. Shel
    Okay, this is driving me crazy on your recipes. They all seem super high calorie. I know we shouldn't be counting calories, but 1,000 for a meal seems intense given the ingredients. Are the calories listed for the entire recipe or just one serving.
    Reply: #234
  34. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Shel!

    It's per serving.... but you don't have to eat exactly one serving ... if you are satisfied after 3/4 serving ... why not stop there? :)

    Okay, this is driving me crazy on your recipes. They all seem super high calorie. I know we shouldn't be counting calories, but 1,000 for a meal seems intense given the ingredients. Are the calories listed for the entire recipe or just one serving.

  35. Cecilie Wolf
    Made this today for me and my mother. I'm a hardcore pesto and feta lover, so this was perfect for me. I added extra pesto mostly because it wasn't a very strong flavored pesto. The feta really contributes to a very creamy sauce and I just loved the texture. I also made it with 3 cloves of garlic simply because only one clove seemed to get lost in all the sauce. I may also have used a bit more cream than what was in the recipe, couldn't help myself. I just love cream! We had broccoli and asparagus as a side to soak up the sauce, yummy! I just loved this recipe and I'm so full now! Definitely will make it again!
  36. Cecilie Wolf

    I am pretty new to Keto. Can I add coconut cream/milk instead of Whipped cream?

    Yes, coconut cream/milk is keto/lchf so should be fine :-)

  37. 1 comment removed
  38. Susan
    I made this last night, very, very good! I will make again! This is the first time I'd tried red pesto before, never even heard of it...will definitely be using it a lot in the future. This is very filling as well, didn't even have a whole serving size.
  39. Jaime
    What size baking dish works best?
  40. Junita
    I am confused with the recipes if I want to make the meals for lunch and dinner I choose two servings correct ?

    When the instructions state they are four that means the cooking instructions

  41. Chad
    Delicious, I didnt have anything to cook this in the oven with.

    So I cooked this in the same pan I fried the chicken but I turned down the hob to the lowest setting and left it to thicken.

    Also I crumbled the feta instead of dicing it, so the distribution was more even throughout the dish.

  42. Valerie
    Love this recipe but please can the measurements be sorted out.....liquids should be in mls and solids in grams.
  43. Fiona
    Absolutely beautiful. Feels so decadent!
  44. AV
    I was thinking exactly the same thing. I've just signed up and keep forgetting the portion size needs adjusting downwards, lol.
  45. Penny
    My friends and I enjoyed the flavor of this dish a ton. I took the skin off the thighs after browning, but didn't remove the bone (efficient, huh?) Next time I make this I'll use 1/3 less cream and bake a little longer.
  46. Kevin
    I made this meal on Sunday and it came out absolutely delicious!! This recipe is a keeper for sure! Printing it again and laminating it and putting it my keto recipe box. Soooo good!
  47. Kathy
    How many servings in your recipes? Its unclear.
    Reply: #248
  48. Beth
    Right above the ingredients it says 4 Servings. You can adjust that number and the ingrediant sizes will adjust automatically
  49. Corinne
    Just made this, absolutely delicious! I served it with broccoli and spinach sauteed in the butter left over from frying the chicken. Can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow!
  50. Suzy
    This one needed a lot of tweeting for us. Cut the feta in half, added veggies (cauliflower, couple pieces of broccoli, mushroom). When using a feta like valbreso, don’t need salt when cooking the chicken, but something like Trader Joe’s block feta will probably need additional salt in the recipe. Used green olives the first time and found black to be a much better option. Served it over a bed of spinach and it delicious!
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