Tonight we enjoyed our inaugural outdoor meal. It was 85 degrees, sunny and glorious in Chicago today. It is that odd time of year in the windy city when my winter boots are still perched outside our front door while I was in flip-flops grilling on the back porch. Everyone rushed to enjoy the brilliant weather. Tom & Wendee’s, our favorite Italian ice shop, was out of half of their flavors and many Chicagoans were lobster red, shocked into remembering that one can get sunburned in this city. No, we don’t have much of a Spring around these parts.

One of my favorite, easy back porch meals is Grilled Pesto Chicken with fresh salad or pasta or both. Eating this tonight reminded me that I better start planting my basil for my own batches of pesto this summer. I think that this year I will grow basil, thyme, sage and chives. And, oh yes, for the first time… mint! Hello Mr. Mojito! Also, I have decided that this might be the year of the mint julep for me… mostly because I love those silver cups. I am just dying for slow, hot afternoons, clutching a silver mint julep cup moist with condensation. Ahh.. I digress. The warm weather has me in an excited tizzy.

Grilled Pesto Chicken
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Basil Pesto (store bought or make fresh – see recipe below)
Salt and pepper

Rub the chicken with pesto and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you have time, let it marinate in the fridge for 2-12 hours. Grill on a hot grill until cooked through.

Serve chicken sliced over the pasta of your choice tossed with pesto or with a fresh, green salad. For the salad pictured above toss spring greens, feta cheese, red onion and kalamata olives with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Basic Basil Pesto
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups loosley packed fresh basil
2/3 cup good quality olive oil

With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, and basil, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil slowly, blending until incorporated. Store in a tight container in the fridge for up to a week. Or, put pesto in an ice cube tray and freeze. Store pesto cubes in a frozen bag and use on pasta, chicken and salads throughout the year!

Related Posts with Thumbnails PRINT RECIPE

29 Responses to “Grilled Pesto Chicken”

  1. mav Says:

    oh! wish i could have come over. looks lovely…

  2. natalie Says:

    YUM! I love pesto chicken…

    I was deciding today too what herbs to plant in my window boxes – I love basil so much I might devote a whole window box to it :)

  3. Mary Says:

    I’m so drooling over that picture – grilled chicken with pesto, salad, beers out on the deck; it’s the essence of summer. And your dog posing for the camera (or is that hoping for some chicken?) is adorable.

  4. Caroline Says:

    Mav… can’t wait to cook together this summer
    Natalie – I am with you… I devote my largest amount of space to basil!
    Mary – I want to believe he was posing but I must admit, i had just given him a taste of the chicken!

  5. Juniorsince Says:

    The chicken looks pretty good, but that snaggle-toothed dog…what an absolute ham!

  6. biff gibbs Says:

    would have loved to see a pesto recipe.. or is it a pistou? hmmmm
    xxxx big booty

  7. Grilling Planks Says:

    You have convinced me of the need to grow my own herbs and spices. The difference between homegrown and store-bought is astonishing. This recipe really put me in the mood for a fresh, home-cooked and home-grown outdoor meal!

  8. Scotty Says:

    Made the chicken tonight to christen our latest grill. Damn, it was good – and that was with no marinating of the chicken at all. Served it with penne (with the leftover pesto) and some grilled peppers, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Looking forward to the next time, when we can marinate it properly.

    Add to that an unusually cool day with low humidity in DC, and it was perfect… (although we ate too much…)

  9. Cilantro Pesto Recipe & Ideas Says:

    [...] Caroline, Chicago, IL A cornfed, Midwestern girl writing about food, drink and the things I can’t get out of my head. More HOME View recent posts Subscribe Get your inbox Whipped. Subscribe to the RSS feed. Top 5 Recipes My Favorite Banana Bread Recipe The BEST White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie RecipeGrilled Pesto ChickenBarb’s Blueberry Coffee CakeWatermelon Salad with Feta, Mint and Lime Would You Rather? [...]

  10. Helen Gallucci Says:

    Could use a tasty recipe for carrots, having a luncheon and trying to economize a little with my menu

  11. Emcakes Says:


    The recipe looks very tasty. However, I am interested to know what breed of dog you have. I adopted a dog three years ago and she looks just like your dog… and instead of an underbite, she has an overbite! :) Please let me know, we’ve been trying to figure out what she is for the longest time.


  12. Phillip J. Speciale Says:

    Basil pesto sauce is the best over pasta. I’m going to have to try it with chicken.

  13. The Thing About Surplus: Easy Peanut Pesto | Cold Cereal & Toast Says:

    [...] for whole grain toast, capable of sprucing up a grilled cheese sandwich, a summer pasta salad or grilled chicken.  And while the recipe states it’s enough for 6 servings or a pound of pasta, I can tell you [...]

  14. Pesto Pasta and Gajar ka Halwa or What I made with the goodies I got from the Fresh and Local Radio show « One Life to Eat Says:

    [...] used this really simple recipe for making the Basic Basil Pesto from WhippedtheBlog. Then, I prepared the dish like [...]

  15. Sabera of OneLifeToEat Says:

    Love your pesto recipe. I used it to make some pesto pasta for the first time, with some basil I got as a gift. The pesto turned out so well I plan on making your grilled pesto chicken as soon soon as I am able to get my hands on an indoor griller.

  16. Mariah Says:

    AMAZING! This is an impressive, moist, tender,flavorful meat to serve on any occasion. We include a penne pasta with a light tomatoe/basil sauce with squash, and mushrooms. YUMMY

  17. Pesto Chicken | Tasty Biscuit Says:

    [...] Toss pasta with pesto and a bit of extra oil, if it needs it. Adapted from [...]

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  20. Amber Says:

    I have learned that adding EVOO and Parm (or Pecorino!) by hand after you have grinded everything else in the food processor will make it less bitter. seriously.

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