This delicious recipe for Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Pecan Pesto is sponsored by my friends at the American Pecan Council.
This simple chicken comes together so nicely with a quick balsamic marinade, and easy pecan pesto! A delicious dinner for warm weather, and also so simple to re-heat and enjoy throughout the week in salads.
Hello grilling season!! I am so happy you are finally here. I’m diving head first into the month of May without missing a beat. Enjoying all that warmer weather has to offer: eating outside, and having company over to enjoy it all with us. And yes, I really look forward to this time of year so much because of the food. I can enjoy my absolute favorite way to eat chicken: on the grill!
Today’s superbly delicious grilled chicken is one that you’ll want on repeat. The tangy and slightly sweet balsamic marinade is one of our family’s “go-to” grilled dishes. Today is a real treat because we elevated this dish to a whole new level with Pecan Pesto!!
My kids are crazy about pesto on anything. It’s always welcomed in our house with huge grins and cheers when on the dinner menu (and often time school lunch menu).
And while I love the traditional pesto garlic, basil, and parmesan combo, the additions of pecans made this pesto “the best I’ve ever tasted!” And that quote specifically from my pesto loving 8 year old. So easy to make by combining all ingredients into a food processor or blender, and pulsing until smooth.
Pecans are a nutritious, delicious and versatile ingredient – making them the perfect addition my weekly grocery list. Something about that extra bold, nutty, and slightly sweet taste pairs amazingly well with fresh basil. Pecans also help to give our pesto a nutritious boost! Naturally gluten-free, pecans also contain monounsaturated fats, fiber, plant based protein, and several vitamins and minerals.* They are also the only major tree nut native to North America.
Grilled Chicken with Pecan Pesto
To make this simple dish, (and I promise it’s one you’ll be making all summer), we start with a quick marinade. Balsamic vinegar, garlic, and some coconut aminos (a little salty/sweet addition). You can marinate for as little as 20 minutes, or up to 4 hours.
After grilling your chicken, top with the pecan pesto to serve. You can serve over a bed of greens, or with a side of veggies for a more nutrient dense meal.
I love that both components can be easily made ahead; making this a no-brainer for serving to company! The pecan pesto can also keep well in the fridge for up to a week.
Having extra chicken and pesto on hand also makes for fantastic lunches throughout the week.
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Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Pecan Pesto
For the Pesto:
- 3 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 4 large garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup olive oil or avocado oil
For the Chicken:
- 4-6 medium sized chicken breast
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 cloves garlic minced
For the Pesto:
Make the pesto: in a food processor or blender, pulse the ingredients for pesto: basil, parmesan cheese, pecans, garlic, salt and pepper. While motor is running, add in the oil. Continue to pulse until smooth. Set aside.
For the Chicken:
Whisk together the marinade ingredients for the chicken: balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, and garlic. Marinate the chicken in a large container for at least 20 minutes, up until 4 hours.
Heat the grill to medium high heat (or prepare a charcoal grill).
Place chicken on the prepared grill and cook for 4-6 minutes (depending on thickness of the chicken breast). Flip over and repeat on the other side. Continuing to grill until chicken is no longer pink and internal temperature is 165. Remove and cover with foil until ready to eat.
Serve by spooning 2 tablespoons of the pecan pesto on top of each chicken breast over a bed of greens.
*One serving (28g) of pecans contains 18g unsaturated fat and only 2g of saturated fat.
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