Thursday, August 11, 2011

Grilled Pesto Chicken

I saw a recipe for this in our local newspaper, but I've adapted it to be grilled & changed it so much, that now it's a new version.  This makes for a beautiful, colorful presentation.   If you like pesto, or make your own, this one's for you!

Basil Pesto

You can double or triple this recipe & freeze the leftover in ice cube trays.  That way you can pop them out when frozen & store them in a freezer proof bag & have pesto when you need it.

2/3 c. coarsely chopped basil leaves
1/3 c. grated Parmesan
1/3 c. olive oil
2 T. pine nuts or sunflower kernels (you can also use walnuts or almonds)
1/8 t. pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled

Put all in a blender or food processor & blend or pulse until smooth.  If needed, add a little more oil to make it spreadable.

For the Chicken

4 chicken breast halves, I used skinless, boneless
3/4 c. Italian dressing
2 T. lemon juice
salt & pepper
1/3 c. basil pesto, thinned with a small amount of chicken broth to make it spreadable, if needed
2-3 T. chicken broth
1 tomato , diced for garnish
cooked brown rice or pasta
16 spears fresh asparagus, washed & trimmed & drizzled with olive oil or spray

Place the chicken breasts in a glass dish & pour the Italian dressing & lemon juice on top.  Cover & marinate, refrigerated up to 3 hours. 

Remove the breasts from the dish, pat dry & season with salt & pepper.  Discard the marinade.

Heat your grill to medium-high.  Sear the breasts for 2 minutes, turn a quarter-turn, on same side & grill 2 minutes more.  Now, flip the breasts over & spread the pesto on top of each breast.  Repeat the searing.  If your breasts are very thick, you may need to put them on the part of your grill where you can turn down the burners.  Cook until no longer pick in the center.  NOTE: While the chicken was cooking, I also grilled my asparagus.

Remove the chicken & asparagus to a platter, add chicken broth & let rest for 5 minutes.

Using the remainder of the pesto, toss your brown rice or pasta with it.  You may need to add a little more olive oil or chicken broth.
Arrange the chicken on each plate, drizzle with the pan juices & garnish with the tomato.  Divide the rice or pasta on each plate & top with the asparagus spears. 

Makes 4 servings

I am sharing this with Foodie Friday & On the Menu Monday & Full Plate Thursday .


  1. You ladies are making me WANT to cook. Hubby does itin the summer.

    Visiting via They Call Me Jammi.

    Would you be so kind to (& tell your friends) comment on my BLOG ONLY (emails don't count), for the Miracle Makeover fund drive. Charlie, 8 yr. old, & his story are fabulous. Every comment brings us a $1 for the next person that will be sponsored.

    Have a beautiful weekend.
    TTFN ~

  2. This sounds delicious and I have some basil that needs to be harvested so I was planning on making pesto anyway!

  3. Hi Kitty,
    Just stopping by from OTMM to say, this is a great recipe for my basil it looks like a great recipe. Thanks for sharing and have a good week!
    Miz Helen

  4. This sounds so delicious and healthy. I saved it to my recipe bookmarks. I can't wait to try it! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Hi Kitty,
    What a great chicken dish. The fresh pesto is always a great addition to any recipe. We have great basil in our garden right now, this will be a great recipe to try. Hope you have a great week end and thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
    Come back soon,
    Miz Helen


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