The pros: Trader Joe's Pesto Genovese Chicken Breast makes for tender chicken that is ready quickly.
The cons: Has an acidic taste. The pesto might be better if it were something you added on like a chimichurri rather than a marinade.
I love a good pesto. In fact, there really isn't a jarred variety that I enjoy. You lose something when something is jarred because pesto is something that is made raw and uncooked. I make mine in a big batch in the food processor. I won't even add pesto unless I'm willing to serve it. Otherwise, I reserve it to the side to ensure the fresh flavor. That made a bit hesitant to reach for these. I know that pesto should probably not be cooked (like ever).
I took the plunge and picked these up anyways since they are priced almost the same at other non marinaded chicken at Trader Joe's. For $4.99 per pound you are getting a bag of somewhat thinly sliced chicken cutlets that cook in about 6-8 minutes. These cooked quickly in a pan and were quite green when finished.
After taste testing one cutlet I came to certain conclusions: 1) the meat was tender 2) the taste of pesto seemed lost and 3) there was a distinct tart acidity that was hard not to notice. This product would be enjoyed best with something that can mellow out the acidity: bread, pasta or rice. I do think it would have been more successful if the pesto had been a packet to be mixed with the chicken at the end rather as a marinade. Also, there is quite a bit of sodium in this product as it represents a quarter of what you should have in a day. While I ate the whole thing, it's not something I would reach for again. Would I like my pesto with chicken? Yes as long as the pesto is super fresh. Sadly, the fresh herby quality of the pesto seemed truly lost here. The color was far more pronounced than the flavors of the spices. So, this for me was something to try once. I won't be repurchasing this item.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The package of Trader Joe's Pesto Genovese Chicken Breast:
The nutritional information, the ingredients, and how to prepare:
After being cooked you get:
Would I buy this again? While I liked the fact that these cutlets were tender, I don't think I'll be buying Trader Joe's Pesto Genovese Chicken Breast any time soon. It wasn't a true pesto and you'll have to find a way to temper the acidity here.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!