Light and Easy Recipes and Meal Ideas

Pesto Marinated Grilled Chicken

Calories: 150
Pesto Marinated Grilled Chicken

Hello person reading this! This is extremely delicious and versatile grilled chicken you can use in many ways throughout the week. You can use olive oil instead of the mayonnaise called for in this recipe but I use mayonnaise for a few reasons. It doesn't burn as easily as olive oil. It also integrates with the lemon juice a little better - and I like the overall flavor it gives to this chicken.


For best results, do not over-cook the chicken. Actual cook time will depend on how thick the chicken breast is but typically it is just a few mintues per side. I usually flip the first side of the chicken when I see the outer rim of the chicken change in opacity. The outer edges of the chicken change from pink to a whiter color. The second side will need about the same amount of time as the first, but use a meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the chicken which should be 165 degrees F. 


Recommended time for marinating in the refrigerator is 45 minutes - 1 hour. You can let it marinate longer but it affects the texture of the chicken, and I find the flavor to be too lemony if it marinates for too long.


Note: If you use boneless, skinless chicken thighs (instead of chicken breast), you can omit the mayonnaise (or olive oil) all together. 



You can prepare and cook this in advance to use it for sandwiches, salads, wraps or on its own with vegetables or another side dish. 



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Yield/Servings: 6 servings Serving Size: 4 oz breast Total Cook/Prep time: 1 hour (inactive), 30 minutes (active)


  • 1 - 2 lbs. chicken breast cutlets (approximately 6 cutlets)
  • Juice of 2 - 3 lemons
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic (minced)
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
  • Handful of fresh parsley leaves (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper


In a small bowl, add the lemon juice, garlic, basil, parsely and mayonnaise

Mix to combine and set aside

Place the chicken into a large ziplock bag

Add the marinade mixture into the ziplock bag with the chicken and seal the bag

Gently massage the mixture into the chicken

Allow it to sit in the refrigerator for about 1 hour

Preheat grill on medium heat for about 10 minutes

Using tongs, place the chicken on the grill (discard the ziplock bag with remaining marinade)

Cook time will depend on how thick the chicken breast cutlets are. Typically it's just a few minutes each side. See my notes above.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper after it is cooked.

Allow the chicken to rest at least 10 minutes before serving.

Store chicken in sealed container or tupperware in the refrigerator.


  4.5 (2 reviews)
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