Farmers’ Market Chicken

This recipe is the result of a quick run to a local Farm Stand for fresh vegetables.
As most people know, in lockdown with all the shortages, vegetables and fruit can be difficult to find. We shop every two weeks… three if we can manage it. But an example of our shopping results:

Trip #1 Yes, we have no bananas. So we buy blueberries. And wait two weeks.
Trip #2 – All they have is apples. Not a fan of apples. We get fruit cups and we wait two weeks.
Trip #3. Think about it, it’s been six weeks… You get the picture.

But I got a notice on Facebook recently that the local Farm Stand was open for business. Pre-order/curbside pickup, or you could come into the store! OMG let’s get our fancy masks out and go to the farm! Did I EVER think I’d be saying that to myself???

We use our bunny dinner napkins for Easter dinner pickup and smaller store runs. No they are not CDC approved.

Long story short, the farmstand did not oversell. We got a TON of fresh vegetables and fruit, they even had limes! The store had gloves available for shoppers as they entered, plenty of cleaning spray, and they cleaned the register area down BEFORE you put your selections down and AFTER you paid. Plus they had sneeze guards up between us and the cashier. So years from now, when younger relatives ask what it was like during this pandemic, here it is for posterity! But I digress (as usual).

So here I am with extra veggies. I cooked up yellow squash and rainbow chard, and a couple days later I wasn’t sure what to do with the leftovers. Not exactly something you can use for a sandwich. Thus the creation of Farmers Market Chicken.

This is a customize as you go recipe, but the following are my measurements.


2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 minced garlic cloves (I use pre-minced so probably a few TB)
½ – ¾ cup pesto (use my recipe for basil chard sunflower pesto!)
1/2 cup cooked squash chopped
1/3 cup cooked greens chopped (chard, spinach, kale)
1 tomato sliced
¼ lb smoked gouda sliced
½ cup sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
1 TB smoked paprika
½ TB dried cumin
1 TB dried basil
Salt and Pepper to taste

If you like thinner quicker cooking chicken you can pound the breasts thinner. I just used them as is.

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Place chicken breasts in a baking dish side by side
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread minced garlic over breasts
  • Sprinkle paprika, cumin, and basil over breasts (doesn’t need to be an exact measurement. Just make sure there’s spice evenly sprinkled!
  • Spread the pesto across the chicken. It should cover them well.
  • Add chopped squash and greens next
I used sliced squash
  • Add mushroom slices then cover with tomato slices
  • Finally, add the sliced gouda
After adding the gouda slices. I used a gouda we got for Chritmas which has been sitting in the freezer!

Bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, until the cheese is browned and bubbling. Mine took a bit longer so it really depends on how thick the chicken is, and how many vegetables you’ve added to the top.

I served this with Jasmine Rice but it would also be good with buttered egg noodles. There will be juice in the baking dish. Yummy enough to pour over noodles or rice! It made 4 servings for us, but it really depends on the size of the chicken breasts.

This is great reheated the next day, so if you want to double the recipe or just prepare a quantity to cook for a family event, that works too. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! The calculator below isn’t working exactly since it considers pesto to be plain basil, but I’ll get this fixed soon!