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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Grilled Chicken with Spinach Pesto

Pesto is such a delicious condiment, and one of my favorite things about it is that you can use so many different greens. Don't have basil? I have a recipe for arugula pesto, and even parsley pesto! In this version, I opted for spinach, which gives it a superfood boost - and just tastes good, too, especially with the addition of lemon to brighten things up. Pesto is a great way to turn something simple like grilled chicken into a more complete, gourmet and flavorful meal!

Additionally - if you don't have pine nuts, I find that almonds and walnuts work well instead.

grilled chicken with spinach pesto

Grilled Chicken with Spinach Pesto


Main Course

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Grilled Chicken with Spinach Pesto


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan


  1. Watch how to make this recipe.
  2. Heat a grill pan on medium high heat. Lightly oil the grill pan. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Combine the spinach, pine nuts, lemon juice, and lemon peel in a processor. Lightly pulse. With the machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup of the oil, blending until the mixture is creamy. Add salt and pulse. Put half of the pesto into ice cube trays and store in the freezer for future use.
  4. Transfer the rest of the spinach mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Spread the pesto over each piece of chicken and serve.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
3 grams
16 grams
38 grams
Saturated Fat
7 grams
42 milligrams
182 milligrams
1 grams
1 grams

2 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Frank Inglima

    Pesto with no garlic? I'm trying this, but adding garlic and using walnuts instead of pine nuts. Pine nuts are too expensive. Haha

  • Author's avatar image
    Shan Todd

    First time I made it I used almonds. It turned out delicious. My husband who doesn't care for spinach much loved it. Second time I made it I didn't have enough spinach. So I used fresh parsley from my garden. It was probably 3/4 parsley to spinach ratio. Wow! That was great also. Love the idea that it doesn't need garlic to be a wonderful pesto!

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