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Mediterranean flavors melt together to make every succulent bite taste delicious with this bacon wrapped pesto chicken recipe. The chicken is stuffed with feta, olives, and pesto, then wrapped up in salty bacon for the juiciest chicken with a crispy finish. This dish is fancy enough for a dinner party, but surprisingly easy enough to make for a weeknight meal, too.
Can't get enough of pesto with your chicken? This chicken pesto pasta should be next on your list!
Bacon and chicken pair so well together – the tenderness of the chicken highlights the savory crispness of the bacon. Add in the flavor bomb of pesto, olives, and feta and you've got yourself a star dish. This recipe makes us want to wrap a slice of bacon around everything!
Making a stuffed chicken breast wrapped in bacon might seem a little intimidating, but this recipe is surprisingly simple to achieve.
This recipe comes together with chicken, bacon, and a few Mediterranean flavors:
- Chicken breasts: Breasts work best for butterflying to add the yummy stuffing.
- Pesto: Gives a delicious herbal burst to the dish. You can use regular pesto, or Pesto Rosso, a pesto made with sun dried tomatoes.
- Feta cheese: Crumble feta for a creamy but salty note.
- Kalamata olives: Chopped, for a briny and savory addition.
- Bacon : Will be wrapped around the chicken to infuse it with a smoky flavor and crispy texture, while keeping the chicken juicy. Avoid thick cut bacon.
- Butter: To toast the pine nuts.
- Pine nuts: Adds a nutty, crunchy texture.
- Black pepper: To balance the flavors.
How to make bacon wrapped pesto chicken
This dish brings the wow factor to dinner parties but is also easy enough to whip together on a weeknight – you don't even have to turn your oven on! Here are the steps:
- Fill the chicken – Butterfly the chicken breasts with a sharp knife and slit them open like a book. Spread pesto sauce then add the feta, olives, and black pepper to the open chicken.
- Wrap in bacon – Close the chicken and wrap three pieces of bacon around each rolled chicken breast, overlapping it to seal the chicken closed.
- Sear and cook – Pan fry the stuffed chicken breast in a skillet to crisp up the bacon, which cooks in its own grease. Once crispy, lower the heat and cook for another 15 minutes while turning.
- Toast pine nuts and serve – Melt the butter and toast the pine nuts, then serve the chicken with pine nuts on top!
Tips for making bacon wrapped pesto chicken
- Prep smart – As you'll be working with raw chicken, it's best to prepare everything prior to starting. Chop your olives and crumble your feta, then get everything laid out and ready to go to minimize chances of cross contamination.
- Select your bacon – Use thin-cut bacon as it's easier to wrap around the chicken and crisps up beautifully.
- Temperature control – Check that your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius)
- Rest time – Allow the bacon-wrapped chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving, which helps the juices redistribute for a moist dish.
What to serve with bacon wrapped pesto chicken
Add some freshness with a crispy salad, like this asparagus salad with balsamic glaze, roasted root vegetables, or a kale salad. Veggies that go well include potatoes, onions, mushrooms, spinach, or broccoli.
Can I use pesto from a jar?
Absolutely, jarred pesto makes this recipe a breeze. It's convenient and tastes great. You'll easily find basil pesto on the shelves, or you can also try red pesto, also known as pesto rosso, a sundried tomato pesto.
Should you feel compelled to make your own pesto, check out these pesto recipes. We also have a recipe for a dairy-free pesto.
How do I stop my chicken breast from unraveling?
Wrap the bacon all the way around the chicken breast, totally encircling it to seal itself closed. You can always use toothpicks or kitchen twine to secure it, too.
Can I use turkey bacon to reduce the fat?
Sure! Turkey bacon is suitable as a lower-fat alternative, it just may not crisp up in the same way but is still a flavorful option.
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 4 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
- 12 slices bacon (NOT thick-cut)
- 1 teaspoon butter
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Start by butterflying your chicken. If your chicken breasts come with the chicken tender, remove it and save it for another recipe. Lay the chicken on a cutting board and place one hand on top to hold it steady. Starting at the thickest end, use a sharp knife to cut by cutting through the breast horizontally most of the way through the breast. Then, fold open the chicken like a book. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.4 chicken breasts
- Season the inside of the chicken with pepper and then spread 1 tablespoon of pesto over the inside of each chicken breast. Sprinkle one tablespoon of chopped olives and 1 tablespoon of feta cheese inside each chicken.4 tablespoons pesto, 4 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, 4 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives, 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Close the chicken breast and then wrap each one in three pieces of bacon. Make sure that the bacon overlaps a little so that it sticks together. Tuck in the final end piece of bacon.12 slices bacon
- Sear the chicken in a large skillet over medium heat until the bacon is mostly crispy, about 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook the chicken for another 15 minutes, turning them several times, until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and let them toast for 2 minutes. Serve the chicken with the pine nuts over top.1 teaspoon butter, ¼ cup pine nuts
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.