Cliantro Coconut Pesto Baked Chicken Thighs

Cilantro Coriander Pesto

Dairy free pesto with punchy flavor to brighten any meal

The New York spring has been a bit of a tease. A few days of warmth and sunshine literally lift the spirits of the city, then follows wind and intermittent drizzle. I need cheerful food to eat with color and vibrance! This pesto certainly delivers and I can’t wait to try it with fish.

I definitely recommend thighs over breast meat when cooking chicken this way as this is the cut with flavor as well as staying tender and juicy. This pesto would work in harmony with fish, beef or lamb or firm tofu and would make a delicious stir fry sauce.

I served the chicken on a bed of mixed greens with avocado, sliced mango and a little finely sliced red onion.

Cilantro Pesto Ingredients

  • 2-3 large handfuls fresh washed cilantro leaves
  • 2.5 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 6 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp raw sugar

Blend all the ingredients into a paste then taste and add more chili, lime, coconut or cilantro to taste. Pour into a container and store in the fridge or set aside to use immediately.

To prepare the chicken

Preheat the oven to 380F. Place the thighs in an oven proof dish. Spoon over some of the sauce, then using your hands spread around so that the meat is lightly covered on all sides. (It does not need to be swimming in sauce). Cover in foil and bake for approximately 25 minutes.

Remove from oven, slice then serve on top of salad, steamed greens (would be awesome with broccoli) or rice, making sure to spoon some of the sauce from the pan over the top of the chicken. Drizzle a little extra of the cilantro pesto, add an extra squeeze of lime and enjoy!

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