Oven Roasted Pimento Chicken
May 31, 2017, Updated Nov 08, 2023
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Easy, tender oven-roasted chicken with Pimento is packed with flavor, totally easy, and completely foolproof! Never dry, always tender!
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Red Pepper Baked Chicken
When my parents bought a house in Seaside, Florida (which is decidedly more gulf shores than Orlando, vibe-wise), we never really had an appreciation for southern food.
Sure- I liked it fine, but I didn’t really know a lot of southern cult classics, especially the glory that is pimento cheese.
Ever since mastering my favorite pimento cheese recipe, I started to have a lot of jars of pimentos on hand – but since we’ve been trying to eat mostly low-carb and gluten/grain free at home lately, I havent been making gooey-cheesey dips.
I recently was out of a lot of food recently, but had pimentos on hand, and decided to make a delicious sauce with them (in the spirit of Roasted Portuguese chicken) for some chicken breasts I had.
We were craving something full of flavor and fresh, and this Oven Roasted Pimento Chicken is perfect!
I made a huge batch the first night and we loved eating it all week as leftovers – and have made the recipe again and again because it’s so easy, delicious, and foolproof especially on a busy night!
This chicken is great on it’s own- but also with rice, over a salad, in wraps, or sandwiches – it is really super versatile and full of flavor.
How to Make Baked Pimento Chicken
To make this recipe, you need the following ingredients:
- 2 lbs Chicken (4 Chicken Breasts): The star of the dish. Chicken breasts provide a lean protein base that takes well to all kinds of seasoning.
- Salt and Pepper: These basic seasonings enhance the chicken’s natural flavors and prep it for the other spices.
- 1 Jar Pimento Peppers, Diced: The key ingredient! Pimentos bring a sweet, slightly tangy punch that elevates the chicken’s flavor.
- 2 tbsp Garlic Powder: Adds depth and a savory kick, pairing well with the pimento peppers.
- 1 tbsp Oregano: This herb contributes a touch of earthiness and a hint of mint, adding complexity to the overall profile.
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice: Brings acidity and brightness to balance out the richness of the peppers and olive oil.
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil: Helps to keep the chicken moist while roasting, and also aids in the caramelization of the dish’s surface.
- Lime Juice, to Garnish: Adds a final zesty touch that complements the pimento and garlic flavors, making each bite even more exciting.
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:
- Prep. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Generously salt and pepper chicken breasts. Lay chicken on wire rack over a baking sheet. In a small blender or food processor, add pimentos (with juice from the jar), garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend until a paste forms. Smother both sides of chicken in pimento paste.
- Bake. Bake 25 minutes, until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees (time might fluctuate depending on your oven and the size of your chicken breasts.)
- Enjoy! Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Drizzle with fresh lime juice and serve!
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Baked Pimento Chicken
Quality Cheese: Use freshly grated Parmesan for the best melt and flavor. Pre-shredded can contain anti-caking agents.
Even Cooking: Pound the chicken thighs to an even thickness for consistent cooking.
Searing: Sear the chicken in a hot pan to lock in juices and create a flavorful crust.
Cream Cheese Hack: Soften your cream cheese for easier blending into the sauce.
Low and Slow: Cook the sauce over low heat to prevent it from separating or getting too thick.
Adjust Consistency: If the sauce thickens too much, you can thin it with a splash of chicken or beef stock.
Infused Oil: If you can, use garlic-infused oil for added flavor depth.
Fresh Herbs: While dried herbs work well, fresh ones elevate the dish. If using fresh, increase the amount by 3x the dried measurement.
Veggie Prep: Slice the mushrooms and sundried tomatoes uniformly for even cooking.
Spinach: Make sure to squeeze out any excess water from the frozen spinach to prevent a soggy dish.
Taste Test: Always taste and adjust salt and spices before serving, especially if your stock or cheese is salty.
Garnish: A sprinkle of fresh parsley and red pepper flakes can add a pop of color and a hint of spice, respectively.
You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for a leaner option or thighs for juicier results.
Absolutely! It will have a different texture, but pimento cheese can be used instead of jarred peppers for a creamier, rich twist!
This varies with the thickness of your chicken, but generally 25-30 minutes at 375°F (190°C) should do the trick. Always check for an internal temp of 165°F (74°C).
Sure! Bell peppers, onions, or asparagus can be added to the baking dish for a one-pan meal.
Yep! Add some cayenne pepper or spicy paprika to your pimento cheese mixture.
You can assemble the dish ahead, but it’s best baked fresh for optimal texture.
This dish pairs well with green veggies, rice, or a simple salad.
Store in an airtight container and consume within 3-4 days. It’s great for sandwiches or salads the next day!
What to Serve with Pimento Chicken
Southern Collard Greens: Keep it Southern and traditional with a side of well-seasoned collard greens.
Mashed Potatoes: Creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes are a classic choice that’ll complement the rich pimento cheese.
Roasted Veggies: Lightly seasoned roasted carrots, asparagus, or zucchini can add some color and nutritional value.
Coleslaw: A tangy coleslaw can cut through the richness of the pimento cheese.
Cornbread: Nothing screams Southern comfort like a side of moist, sweet cornbread.
White Rice or Cauliflower Rice: Either option can soak up the cheesy, flavorful juices.
Green Bean Almondine: Adds a French twist with the buttery, crunchy goodness of almonds.
Mac and Cheese: If you’re feeling extra indulgent, why not more cheese and make a super easy mac and cheese?
Biscuits: Soft, fluffy biscuits could serve as a lovely bread option to round out the meal.
Simple Salad: A salad with a light vinaigrette can balance the flavors and make the meal feel less heavy.
Oven Roasted Pimento Chicken
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- 2 lbs chicken , 4 chicken breasts
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 jar pimento peppers, diced
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- lime juice, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees,
- Generously salt and pepper chicken breasts.
- Lay chicken on wire rack over a baking sheet.
- In a small blender or food processor, add pimentos (with juice from the jar), garlic, oregano, lemon juice, and olive oil.
- Blend until a paste forms.
- Smother both sides of chicken in pimento paste.
- Bake 25 minutes, until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees (time might fluctuate depending on your oven and the size of your chicken breasts.)
- Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes.
- Drizzle with fresh lime juice and serve!
Amount Per Serving Calories 570Saturated Fat 10gCholesterol 170mgSodium 162mgCarbohydrates 4gProtein 43g