Simple Grilled Chicken with Pistachio Pesto

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Oh, Monday. Back to work, back to reality, back to making smart food choices to atone for weekend indulgences. Drinks and dessert are weekend fare. Mondays call for lean protein and healthy greens. But healthy doesn’t mean boring. Case in point: this chicken, made crave worthy by a bright and fresh pistachio pesto. This is a great recipe to have on hand as summer winds down (sad face) and crazy busy weeknights are once again on the horizon. I slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create quick cooking chicken cutlets. While the grill is heating, throw pistachios, parsley, parmesan cheese, lemon and olive oil in the food processor. The chicken cooks super fast on the grill. Let it rest, top with pesto and your main dish is done.

I served the chicken on top of baby arugula lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice and garnished with some extra pistachios and shreds of parmesan. You could serve alongside grilled vegetables and rice. Or toss the pesto with some pasta and top with chicken. Or turn the chicken and pesto into a killer panini with some provolone and grilled veggies. The world is your oyster! Hopefully some actual oysters will also be your oyster, alongside a glass of rosè, sometime in the near future… There’s always next weekend!

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Simple Grilled Chicken with Pistachio Pesto


  • 3 chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise into chicken cutlets
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 large bunch parsley, about 1 cup
  • ½ c. shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon


Preheat grill on high. Season chicken breast cutlets with salt and pepper. Once grill is hot, place chicken on grill and cook until done, about 2-3 minutes per side.

In food processor, combine parsley, parmesan cheese, pistachios, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pulse about 10 times, then run processor until mixture is somewhat smooth, but still has texture from the pistachios.

Spoon pesto over chicken breasts. Serve immediately.

To serve as pictured, lightly dress baby arugula with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with pistachios and shreds of parmesan cheese. Top with chicken and pesto.

Serves 4.