Pesto Chicken Bites for Two (High-protein, Low-carb, Gluten-free)

Pesto Chicken Bites for Two (High-protein, Low-carb, Gluten-free)

A super versatile Good Food Diet  chicken recipe

Bite-sized pieces of chicken breast fillet, stir-fried with onion and seasoned with bold, flavourful green or red pesto and lemon juice. For creaminess, sprinkle with a little feta cheese. For crunchiness, top with chopped, toasted almonds. And for extra zing, sprinkle with freshly grated lemon zest. Super easy and super satisfying! The freshness of the lemon balances the richness of the pesto perfectly. Any pesto will do – choose your favourite one: basil, Greek, Thai, coriander, rocket, red pepper or sundried tomato. Buon appetito!

Presto Pesto
Pesto (pronounced PEH-stoh) is derived from the Italian word for pounded or crushed. Originally from Genoa in Italy, pesto was made from fresh basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan or pecorino cheese, all pounded together to form a rich, robust sauce or paste. Traditionally, a mortar and pestle were used to make pesto, but these days a food processor works equally well! Pesto has become so popular that it is now available in a myriad of flavour combinations. It is a must-have in the fridge as it can instantly transform a humble dish into a superior one.

These Pesto Chicken Bites for Two are:

  • High-protein
  • Low-carb
  • Wheat-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Egg-free


  • 2 (about 250 g – 300 g) skinless chicken breast fillets
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) green or red pesto, any flavour (I love Pesto Princess)
  • 5 ml – 10 ml (1 – 2 teaspoons) lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) crumbled feta cheese (plain or flavoured)
  • 12 toasted whole almonds, roughly chopped (see below how to toast almonds)
  • 20 ml (4 teaspoons) finely grated lemon rind


Step 1: Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut each fillet into 15 shortish strips. Don’t worry about cutting in the same direction. The length and shape of strips won’t be even – this is fine.

Step 2: Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the chicken and onion, and stir-fry over medium heat for a few minutes until the chicken is just cooked.

Step 3: Remove from the heat. Stir in the pesto and lemon juice. Season with salt (if necessary) and black pepper.

Step 4: Sprinkle with feta cheese and almonds. Top with lemon rind. This dish tastes equally good served warm or at room temperature.

Serves 2.
How to toast almonds: Place almonds in a dry pot or frying pan and heat over medium heat, stirring or shaking often. Remove almonds from pot or pan as soon as flecks of toasted colour start to show. This happens very quickly! Watch them carefully, or they might burn.


  • Enjoy as a meal on its own: This dish is perfect for al fresco summer lunches, your picnic basket or lunch box. Also ideal for party platters with crisp greens, black olives, cocktail tomatoes and cucumber sticks.
  • Serve as a salad: Add ingredients such as baby tomatoes, cucumber, carrot shavings, avocado, pineapple, olives, baby corn wheels or mushrooms.
  • Combine with pasta: Lovely with home-made tagliatelle or any pasta of your choice.
  • Serve as a filling or topping: It goes with wraps, tortillas, pancakes, ciabattas, pitas, rice cakes, corn cakes and more.


Dalene Crafford is a professional recipe developer, food stylist, cooking class presenter and wellness food tutor. Dalene creates wellness food with an indulgent touch.

With Dalene’s Good Food Diet recipes you can enjoy a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing the pleasures of delicious food. Perfect for those who want to control their health or dietary conditions such as blood pressure, diabetes, overweight, food allergies and intolerances (e.g. gluten or lactose).

Some of the recipes are also ideal for those who prefer to follow a high-protein, low-carb eating plan.

Good Food Diet recipes are wellness recipes, developed for busy people on the go. They are quick, easy, foolproof and scrumptious! Use them for your family’s daily meals and for entertaining.

  • Get a taste of Dalene’s recipes at
  • Follow Dalene on Twitter at @DaleneCrafford.
  • For consultations to help you cope with food allergies and intolerances, contact Dalene at or on 021 913 4457 or 082 562 9787.

About Dalene

Dalene Crafford is a Cape Town based professional food stylist, food tutor and recipe developer. Her philosophy is that food should always saturate the senses. Dalene creates wellness recipes with an indulgent touch. She specialises in developing Real Food low-carb and gluten-free recipes. Her recipes are specifically developed for busy people on the go. They are all quick, easy, foolproof and scrumptious! Get a taste of Dalene's Real Food recipes at Contact Dalene at, or on 082 562 9787, or follow her on Twitter @DaleneCrafford.
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