Tender chicken wrapped in crispy prosciutto with silky basil cream sauce. Prosciutto-wrapped Chicken with Pesto Cream Sauce is a quick and easy recipe for comfort food dialed up to 11.
You know a recipe is a keeper when you start cooking it and people appear over your shoulder saying, “oh my God.” I don’t know why I haven’t posted this recipe before, but it would be a crime to keep it to myself any longer. It’s delicious, easy, fast and people will ask you for the recipe.
If you come to my house, this is most likely what we’re having.
Just look at that crispy prosciutto covering that tender chicken. The silky sauce… Prosciutto-wrapped Chicken with Pesto Cream Sauce is a must-make.
Gotta love it when a simple recipe seems like it took a lot of effort.
I like to use chicken tenderloins because they’re super soft, already the perfect shape for this and they’re generally inexpensive. You can also use regular whole chicken breasts—just cut them into strips about the size of two fingers and you’re good to go.
If you’re concerned about the short cook time, don’t worry! The tenderloins are so small that the exterior cooks quickly. Any potential pink in the center cooks through gently when you simmer them with the sauce at the end, leaving the most tender chicken you’ve had in your entire life.
How to cut the tendon out of the chicken tenderloins
Usually when I make these I’ll cut out the tendon (the little white piece you can see at the fat end), and trim off the pointy end on the other side. This time, I didn’t do either. I’m a little less picky about presentation if it’s just us and my daughter is half an hour away from a meltdown that will render dinner pointless.
The tendon is edible, but it’s rubbery and tough to chew. If you want to trim it out, you can either cut off the end entirely, or you can pull it away from the tenderloin and slide a knife between them and slice it out.
Cutting off the pointy end makes the cut more uniform in size, but this cooks for such a short time that making the shape even doesn’t make much difference besides looking neater. I usually save them for fried rice or stir fry to avoid waste.
This recipe is so incredibly easy, but it feels so luxurious. It helps that the chicken is so tender you could chew it with your tongue. The silky, rich pesto sauce definitely makes it more decadent (also, have you tried my pea pesto sauce?). But you wanna know the real star of the show?
Prosciutto is Italian for “ham”, but what we call prosciutto in the U.S. is prosciutto crudo, or uncooked, cured ham. It’s salty, savory and it should definitely be in your repertoire.
Prosciutto is probably my favorite charcuterie meat. Tossed in some caciao e pepe pasta? Devour. Draped alongside cantaloupe and basil? Inhale. Around chicken, bathed in pesto cream sauce? Demolish.
This post (or at least the photos) is a little scrappier than usual. In fact, I decided to take photos at the last minute. I’ve been making Prosciutto-wrapped Chicken with Pesto Cream Sauce for years and have been meaning to post it forever. I just felt a sudden surge of urgency to ignore my perfectionist tendencies and post some dang recipes already, trimmed and styled or not.
If this time has taught me anything, it’s that sometimes doing your best actually means not letting perfectionism hold you back. I’m not saying I won’t go back and take prettier pictures later to replace these… I’m just trying to stop letting the great be the enemy of the good.
You making this is good. Keeping it to myself because I don’t have time to take the perfect photos is not so great.Print
Tender chicken wrapped in crispy prosciutto with silky basil cream sauce. A quick and easy recipe for comfort food dialed up to 11.
- 12 trimmed chicken tenderloins (see note below)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 12 slices prosciutto
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Season the chicken with the salt and pepper.
- Dredge the tenderloins in flour, or to reduce mess: fill a large freezer bag with the flour and add one seasoned tenderloin, then shake, and repeat until they’re all covered.
- Wrap each tenderloin in a piece of prosciutto as tightly as possible without ripping it.
- Warm a 10-inch skillet over medium heat.
- Add the oil and once it shimmers sear the tenderloins for 2 minutes on each side, or until the prosciutto and visible chicken begin to turn golden-brown. Try not to crowd the pan—work in batches if you need to and set the cooked pieces aside on a plate as you go.
- Return all the chicken to the pan and add the basil and cream. Stir it gently (I usually just swirl the chicken around a bit with tongs) to combine. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. You can add a little more cream if it starts to reduce too much. Serve immediately with plenty of sauce.
- If you want to trim the tendon out of the tenderloin (the little rubbery white strip sticking out of the thick end), you can pull it away from the tenderloin and slide a knife down in between the tendon and chicken to slice it out.
- I also usually cut the tip of the thin end of the tenderloin off to make it more uniform in size.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Searing
- Cuisine: Italian-American
Keywords: Prosciutto-wrapped Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce, prosciutto-wrapped chicken, chicken wrapped in prosciutto, basil cream sauce, prosciutto, chicken tenderloins