Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt

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Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt

The air fryer pepperoni and pesto chicken melt combines juicy chicken, tangy pesto, spicy pepperoni, and melted mozzarella for a mouthwatering meal. It’s very easy: just assemble the ingredients on the chicken, and air fry for 20 minutes at 375°F. This recipe is a testament to the simplicity and deliciousness of air fryer cooking, perfect for a quick and satisfying dinner. Trust me, it’s as easy as it gets!

Making an air fryer pepperoni and pesto chicken melt really sets the bar high for both easy air fryer recipes and quick meals. This dish combines the savory taste of pesto with the crispy texture of pepperoni, all melted together with gooey mozzarella on top of succulent chicken breasts. It’s straightforward, quick, and absolutely delicious.

How to Make Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken in Air Fryer

Equipment Needed

Before we dive in, let’s make sure you have the right tools. You’ll need:

Having these cooking equipment ready makes the process smooth and simple.

Ingredients List

Let’s gather our ingredients. For this tasty meal, you’ll need:

  • 2 medium chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • 4 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • 12 pepperoni slices
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Optional seasoning ingredients:

  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Ingredients for Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt

With these components, the air fryer pepperoni and pesto chicken melt comes together in harmony, creating a dish that’s not just easy to make but also bursting with flavor.

See also: Air Fryer Chuck Roast

How to Make Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken in Air Fryer

In this guide, we’ll walk through the air fryer pepperoni and pesto chicken melt cooking instructions. This easy air fryer chicken recipe is not only simple to follow but ensures a mouthwatering meal every time.

Preparing the Chicken

1. Start by laying your chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. Carefully slice them halfway through horizontally, creating a pocket for the pesto and pepperoni stuffing.

Preparing Chicken Breasts for Air Fryer Chicken Melt

2. Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto sauce inside each chicken breast. This step is crucial for infusing the chicken with that herbaceous flavor.

3. Next, layer in the pepperoni slices and sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella cheese inside each pocket. It’s all about getting that perfect melt.

Adding Pesto and Pepperoni to Chicken Breast

4. Secure the openings with toothpicks to keep the stuffing chicken breasts intact during cooking.

Air Frying Process

5. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). This air fryer cooking temperature is optimal for chicken.

6. Place the stuffed chicken breasts in the air fryer basket. Make sure they’re not touching to allow for even cooking.

Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt Ready for Air Fryer

7. Cook for about 20 minutes. Check that the cooking chicken in air fryer reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This air fryer cooking time ensures perfectly cooked chicken.

Cooking Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt in Air Fryer

Serving Suggestions

8. Once done, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps retain the juices.

Finished Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt

9. Consider serving this delightful pesto chicken meal alongside pasta, a fresh salad, or even stuffed into a sandwich for a hearty meal.

Serving Air Fryer Chicken Melt with Side Salad

10. Garnish with fresh basil or a drizzle of olive oil to enhance the flavor.

Garnishing Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt with Fresh Basil

Essential Note: Always check the chicken’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it’s safely cooked. This dish is all about balance, so pair it with sides that complement its rich flavors.

Tips for Making Air Fryer Chicken Pesto

I’m here to help you make the best air fryer pepperoni and pesto chicken melt recipe with tips that guarantee juicy chicken, beautifully melded flavors, and not a hint of pesto burn in sight. Trust me, with these pointers, your dish will be a standout.

  1. Juiciness is key. To keep your chicken breast juicy and tender, don’t skip pounding it to an even thickness. This ensures it cooks evenly in the air fryer. A little olive oil rubbed on the chicken before cooking can also help lock in moisture.
  2. Pesto burn no more. To prevent your pesto from burning or drying out, apply it under the cheese layer. The cheese acts as a protective barrier, keeping the pesto moist and flavorful as it cooks. Additionally, choosing a thicker, higher quality pesto can also help as it’s less likely to separate or burn.
  3. Choosing your pesto. There are many pesto varieties for chicken, but for this dish, a classic basil pesto works wonders. Feel free to experiment with sun-dried tomato or even arugula pesto for a twist.
  4. Thermometer for the win. The importance of using a meat thermometer can’t be overstated. For perfectly done chicken, aim for an internal temperature of 165°F. This simple step removes any guesswork and ensures your chicken is cooked safely and deliciously.
  5. Adapting for chicken types. If you’re venturing beyond breast meat, remember that cooking temperatures and times may vary. For bone-in, skin-on pieces, you might need to add a few extra minutes to ensure thorough cooking. Keep an eye on your meat thermometer and adjust as necessary.

Following these tips will enhance your air fryer chicken pesto experience, making each meal not just a dish, but a delicious experience. Honestly, every time I follow these guidelines, I’m very happy with the outcome.

Nutrition Information

When we talk about the chicken melt nutrition facts, it’s important to know what we’re putting into our bodies.

For a single serving of Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt, you’re looking at approximately 400 to 500 calories.

The calorie count varies based on the size of the chicken breast and the amount of cheese and pesto used.

Typically, you can expect around 30-40 grams of protein, 20-30 grams of fat, and 2-5 grams of carbs.

The nutritional content is pretty balanced, making it a fulfilling meal that doesn’t go overboard on calories.

Storage and Reheating Tips

Storing and reheating your chicken melt correctly is crucial for enjoying leftovers that taste just as good as when they were fresh. Here are my go-to food storage tips:

  1. Cooling down. Allow your chicken melt to cool to room temperature before storing. This prevents moisture build-up which can make the chicken soggy.
  2. Air-tight containers. Place the cooled chicken melt in an air-tight container. This keeps the chicken moist and the toppings fresh. Storing leftover chicken properly can keep it delicious for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  3. Reheating in air fryer. To reheat, simply place the chicken melt back in the air fryer at 350°F for about 3-4 minutes. The air fryer is excellent for keeping the chicken juicy and the toppings crispy, almost like it was just made.

Following these tips ensures your leftovers are just as appetizing the second time around. Trust me, taking the extra step for proper storage and reheating makes all the difference.

FAQs on Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt

Final Thoughts

This easy air fryer dinner brings the delightful flavors of a quick pesto chicken recipe right to your table. With its simple steps and delicious outcome, the homemade chicken melt is sure to impress.

I highly encourage you to give it a try. It’s perfect for a cozy night in or a busy weeknight dinner.

Feel free to share your experiences, ask questions, or suggest your own twists in the comments. I’m excited to hear how it turns out for you!

More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes that is Easy:

See all in at KitGiz for Air Fryer recipes.

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Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt

Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt


  • Author: Suborna Tanchangya
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Making an air fryer pepperoni and pesto chicken melt is incredibly straightforward and satisfying. Just layer your chicken with pesto, pepperoni, and mozzarella, and cook it in the air fryer at 375°F for about 20 minutes. It’s a quick, delicious meal that’s sure to become a favorite.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 medium chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • 4 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • 12 pepperoni slices
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Optional seasoning ingredients:

  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Ingredients for Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt


Instructions

1. Start by laying your chicken breasts flat on a cutting board. Carefully slice them halfway through horizontally, creating a pocket for the pesto and pepperoni stuffing.

Preparing Chicken Breasts for Air Fryer Chicken Melt

2. Spread 1 tablespoon of pesto sauce inside each chicken breast. This step is crucial for infusing the chicken with that herbaceous flavor.

3. Next, layer in the pepperoni slices and sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella cheese inside each pocket. It’s all about getting that perfect melt.

Adding Pesto and Pepperoni to Chicken Breast

4. Secure the openings with toothpicks to keep the stuffing chicken breasts intact during cooking.

5. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). This air fryer cooking temperature is optimal for chicken.

6. Place the stuffed chicken breasts in the air fryer basket. Make sure they’re not touching to allow for even cooking.

Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt Ready for Air Fryer

7. Cook for about 20 minutes. Check that the cooking chicken in air fryer reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). This air fryer cooking time ensures perfectly cooked chicken.

Cooking Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt in Air Fryer

8. Once done, let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps retain the juices.

Finished Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt

9. Consider serving this delightful pesto chicken meal alongside pasta, a fresh salad, or even stuffed into a sandwich for a hearty meal.

Serving Air Fryer Chicken Melt with Side Salad

10. Garnish with fresh basil or a drizzle of olive oil to enhance the flavor.

Garnishing Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt with Fresh Basil

Notes

Always check the chicken’s internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure it’s safely cooked. This dish is all about balance, so pair it with sides that complement its rich flavors.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Air Frying
  • Cuisine: Italian-American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 chicken breast with toppings
  • Calories: 450 per serving
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Sodium: 900mg
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 42g
  • Cholesterol: 105mg

Keywords: Air Fryer Pepperoni and Pesto Chicken Melt

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