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Roast Chicken Breasts with Roasted Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce (Muhummara)

Matt Armendariz

Chef notes

Jazz up roast chicken breasts with a delicious and healthy red pepper and walnut sauce.


  • cups raw, unsalted walnut halves
  • 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons julienned sun dried tomatoes, stored in oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 cup very roughly chopped parsley (leaves & soft stems)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (or 1 tablespoon honey)
  • Juice and zest from a juicy lemon (about 1/4 cup juice, 1 tablespoon zest)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1” thickness
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil


Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Pour walnuts onto a baking sheet, and pop into the oven for 10 minutes until slightly golden and fragrant. Remove from oven.

Make the muhummura: Drop roasted red bell peppers, walnuts, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, honey or pomegranate molasses, lemon juice & zest, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and red chile flakes into bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times, then process until mostly smooth but with a little texture similar to a Romesco sauce. Taste for seasoning. Spoon into a bowl for serving.

Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels. The drier they are, the nicer a crust you’ll get on them!  

Place a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add sunflower oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken breasts in one layer, without touching, and cook 1 minute. Flip the breasts carefully, smear each breast with a couple of teaspoons of Muhummara, then move pan into the oven. Roast 6-8 minutes until cooked through but tender (ie. a meat thermometer into the center of the chicken breast registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit). Serve with the rest of the Muhummara, and a squeeze of lemon.