Basil is about to be abundant, and there are few better ways to use it than these pesto bacon chicken thighs.
This recipe takes many things I’m fond of and throws it into one cast iron pan for a VIP party in the oven. While the pesto bacon chicken thighs are having their party, you’ll be patiently waiting in the kitchen, drooling at the phenomenal smell emanating from the oven door.
Luckily, there are only 3o minutes to wait until dinner’s ready to go.
For this recipe, you’ll need skin-on chicken thighs and good quality nitrate-free bacon. My pesto is a shortcut dairy-free pesto – no pine nuts or parmesan, but simply uses basil, oil and almonds. If you want, you can use your favorite pesto. No hard feelings.
First, start with the chicken thighs. I always buy chicken thighs that are bone-in, skin-on, so the first step is to cut out the bone. If you’ve never done this before, it seems really daunting…but trust me, you’ll get the hang of it. You can always use bare chicken thighs, but that’s just not as fun, in my opinion!
Once the chicken thighs are de-boned, place them skin side up in a cast iron pan or oven-safe dish.
Then, make the pesto and slather a few tablespoons over each thigh. Bonus points for rubbing it under the skin!
And finally, top those beauties off with halved strips of bacon.
Then pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. And when you take it out…
Beautiful! The oil from the pesto and fat from the bacon drain to the bottom of the pan. You don’t eat that part (although I’d imagine roasted veggies would be great tossed in drippings if you want to repurpose it). Serve the chicken thighs, dripping with pesto and bacon flavor, with roasted veggies or a side salad. And hopefully you have leftovers after it’s all over!Print
A simple gluten free and paleo recipe featuring skin-on chicken thighs slathered in dairy free pesto and bacon, then baked. Dinner’s ready in 30 minutes!
- 5–6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup basil, packed
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 strips bacon, cut in half
- 1 Tbsp salt
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, de-bone the chicken thighs. Place thighs, skin side up, in an oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- Add pesto ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Brush each chicken thigh with about 1 tablespoon of pesto each. If you’d like, use your fingers to rub pesto under the skin of each chicken thigh. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired, and layer bacon on top of the thighs.
- Transfer the dish to the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Serving Size: 1-2 chicken thighs
Keywords: Pesto Bacon Chicken Thighs