Pesto Chicken Crepes
Pesto Chicken Crepes have juicy pesto chicken, onion, and cheese in delicate crepes finished with roasted red pepper sauce and fresh basil. These crepes are an elegant dish for lunch or dinner, and every component can be assembled in advance for ease of prep. With the rich colors of basil and red pepper coulis, this recipe is festive for the holidays as well.
This recipe uses my Savory Crepes and Red Pepper Coulis recipes. These are easy recipes and both can be made in advance.
Why this recipe works
I love pesto and I LOVE crepes (check out my collection of crepes recipes even), so when I ended up with three open jars of pesto in my refrigerator because my family doesn’t check before they open a new one from the pantry, I knew I needed to make crepes with pesto.
This recipe works because it is simple and flexible, and also a great way to use leftover chicken and cheese. The flavors are delicate and balanced. And my Red Pepper Coulis is the bomb.
Most of my crepe recipes use some form of a bechamel-based cheese or Dijon-type sauce. So for this recipe, I wanted to try something completely different, and went with the coulis. The subtle tang of balsamic vinegar is gorgeous with the pesto vibe and a foil to cut the heavier chicken and cheese.
About the ingredients
- Savory Crepes. This is one of my most favorite recipes of all time and I use it religiously. A little skillet is all you need to easily make your own crepes at home.
- Chicken. I prefer chicken thigh meat for pretty much everything, but you can substitute chicken breast or even easy rotisserie if you prefer.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- Prepared basil pesto. This recipe is best with fresh pesto for all that bright, beautiful flavor. But in full disclosure, I used store-bought because I had it on hand. Here is a fresh basil pesto recipe that would be lovely in these crepes. I like this recipe because Suzy blanches the basil leaves to preserve their color which is brilliant.
- Fontina cheese. Find Fontina with the specialty cheeses. If not available, use mozzarella cheese. You can also add freshly grated parmesan.
- Kosher salt.
- Red Pepper Coulis. This roasted red pepper sauce needs to go on everything in your life.
- Fresh basil for garnish, but this also adds a lot of flavor.
How to make pesto chicken crepes
In my directions, I am calling for chicken already cooked. This can be chicken you cook fresh for this recipe, leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken – whatever. It’s up to you. I prefer boneless skinless chicken thighs that I roast in the oven or rotisserie chicken for this recipe because both are so tender.
We give the onion and garlic a sauté in a skillet, then we add that to a bowl and make the filling with our cooked chicken, cheese, and pesto. Spoon ~1/12th of this mixture down the center of a crepe, roll up, and put in a large bake dish. Repeat to use up all the filling and crepes.
Twelve crepes tend to be more than can comfortably fit in a 13×9 bake dish. You can make that work by squishing them a bit, but I just grab a second dish and use that too. Bake them at 350°F until bubbly, hot, and the ends of the crepes are crispy.
We serve our lovely pesto chicken crepes topped with red pepper coulis and a sprinkling of fresh basil to make the flavors all come alive.
Yes, all components – the red pepper coulis, the crepes, the filling – can be made in advance. The crepes can also be baked in advance, then reheated. I do recommend waiting until service to put the red pepper coulis on the crepes because, given time, it will dry out.
Pesto Chicken Crepes
- 12 Savory Crepes
- 1 lb cooked chicken chopped
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ large white onion
- 1 large clove garlic
- 3 Tbsp prepared basil pesto
- 6 oz Fontina cheese shredded
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- Red Pepper Coulis
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- In a skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Once the onion is soft and fragrant, transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl and add the chicken, pesto, and cheese. Stir to combine.
- Lay out a crepe. Spoon ~1/12 of the chicken mixture down the center and roll up the crepe. Lay in a 13×9 bake dish (*see Notes). Repeat with remaining filling and crepes.
- Bake crepes at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until filling is bubbly and crepe ends are crispy. Serve topped with Red Pepper Coulis and fresh basil.
Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.