grilled balsamic chicken with mozzarella and pesto

by jenna on February 3, 2012

I’m currently en route back to San Francisco and working on a re-cap post of my week on the cookbook shoot. We had so much fun. And ate so much good food. After cooking about twenty six of Jaden’s recipes, I can say that I now feel semi-confident in the realm of Asian cuisine. Oh, and I learned that bean sprouts have heads and tails. I have a recipe that Jaden and I worked on together yesterday that I’m waiting to post in a few days—I think you guys are going to love it!

Let’s talk chicken right now though, mmk? I don’t cook chicken a lot at home because dealing with raw meat isn’t my favorite. I much prefer beating pretty swirls of butter and sugar together to frost cupcakes. However, sometimes a girl needs a little protein in her life. A little quick protein, I should add.

I hope you saved your extra pesto! If you didn’t that’s okay—storebought is totally great in this recipe as well! In this recipe, chicken breasts are marinated in balsamic vinegar for a brief period then grilled (on the grill or in the grill-pan) and topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and pesto.

SO.GOOD!!!!!!!! And so quick! I used leftovers all week on top of salads and it tasted great.

So, three ways to serve this dish:

1. Alongside brussels sprouts with bacon, israeli couscous and dried cherries (day 1)

2. Alongside spicy cuban black beans and rice and steamed green beans (day 2)

3. Chopped up in a huge salad with all the fixins’ (day 3 and 4)

….or at least that’s what I did.

Make it! And let me know what you think. It’s saucy, cheesy and delicious…what more could you ask for?

Get the recipe at PBS Food!



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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 3, 2012 at 4:11 am

Chicken and pesto is definitely reminiscent of summer. I could eat that all week long when my grill is accessible and the basil is fresh from my basil pot :)


Molly @ RDexposed February 3, 2012 at 4:12 am

Tutorials on Asian cuisine, please! I have no confidence at all with rice alone.


Amber February 3, 2012 at 4:23 am

I like adding rice and bread to complete the dish. A salad wouldn’t cut it for my carb lust.


Lauren @ What Lauren Likes February 3, 2012 at 4:35 am

love! Looks great :)


Blog is the New Black February 3, 2012 at 4:43 am

This looks great! I have a grill pan that doesn’t work so well- do you recommend a particular brand?!


Tabitha (From Single to Married) February 3, 2012 at 4:58 am

I’m with you, raw chicken isn’t my favorite either. But I like how you prepare it in the bag – easy and hands free. :)


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 3, 2012 at 4:59 am

Mmmm balsamic is my go-to condiment of choice right now – I’ve been putting it on everything! It’s winter and I pretty much never fire up the bbq at this time of year… but I don’t think I can resist any more! :)


Jules @ La Petite Maison Verte February 3, 2012 at 5:33 am

Perfect timing! I have an open jar of pesto in my fridge that I absolutely *must* use in the next few days. And I know what you mean about preparing raw poultry…it’s so gross, I do it because I must but I really despise it.


Jules @ La Petite Maison Verte February 6, 2012 at 5:50 am

Just wanted to update this to say that I made the recipe and it was delicious! We loved it, really simple and delicious, even using store-bought pesto. Thanks!


HRCK the Herald February 3, 2012 at 5:55 am

The colors are SO vivid in this post– I love them! And thank you for coming up with a way to make chicken something BESIDES boring. :)

Happy weekend, Jenna!


amy walters, aDESIGNdock February 3, 2012 at 5:57 am

My mouth was watering at balsamic…then you threw in mozzarella and pesto and I’m a goner! He he….fabulous recipe Jenna. Happy Friday!


Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 3, 2012 at 6:04 am

This looks delicious and I love how you listed all those different ways to use it. I live alone and always find myself stuck with what to do with my leftovers besides freeze them.


Margarita February 3, 2012 at 6:26 am

Balsamic vinegar, chicken, mozzarella, and pesto. Wonderful! I could put teeny bits of chicken pieces on anything I’m eating, even lunch sandwiches. Like you, I don’t like touching raw meat. This is perfect because we don’t have to cut the chicken until it’s cooked.


Emily February 3, 2012 at 6:52 am

Looks delicious! I know what I’ll be making for dinner tonight…


Cait's Plate February 3, 2012 at 6:53 am

Yes. Everything about this. Just yes.


jen February 3, 2012 at 7:48 am

Do you plan to let us know what you think about “Rules of Inheritance”?? :) :) :)


Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs February 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

Oooooh, that looks gooooood. What a great combination of flavors!


Urban Wife February 3, 2012 at 7:58 am

I’m right there with ya on handling raw meat. Baggies and I have been BFF’s for a long time. This looks delish!!


Julie @ Table for Two February 3, 2012 at 8:05 am

that is some amazing looking


Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) February 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

Saucy, cheesey, delicious? Sounds about right!


Nora@LifeLifeEatRight February 3, 2012 at 8:26 am

AH!! This looks SO good! I just moved out to Napa area from cold COLD…FREEZING NY and have been wanting to get my grill on! Looks like a great introduction to grill season. Can’t wait for tomatoes to reach their peak! I think this would be great with panzanella!


Heather Michelle @ A Sweet Simple Life February 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

um! i love that you top it with moz and pesto. genius!


Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 3, 2012 at 9:01 am

That looks like perfectly grilled chicken. The pesto sounds wonderful and love the bright POP of green!


Moni'sMeals February 3, 2012 at 9:09 am

wow, anything with pesto and balasmic I really DO go for.

Looks like a dish great for entertaining with and many would love.


Jen February 3, 2012 at 9:26 am

Love this. Topped with cheese! Have you found that photographing and writing about food has made you more mindful and aware of what you eat/prepare?


Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy February 3, 2012 at 9:26 am

Love balsamic! This looks delicious.


Meghan @ Struggle Muffins February 3, 2012 at 11:43 am

I’m excited to see your post on Asian cuisine – it’s my favorite and yet I’m still a baby when it comes to cooking Asian food adventurously.

Also, this looks to be a real class-act of a chicken recipe. Balsamic and mozzarella? Yes, please. A lil’ love from the Pesto fairy? Don’tmindifIdo!


Erin February 3, 2012 at 11:50 am

Would totally love this with a side of those brussels!


Laura @ She Eats Well February 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm

This looks so easy and delicious. And a great way to spice up boring weekday meals. You can’t go wrong with lean protein, either!


TeenyLittleSuperChef February 3, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Wow this looks so tasty and so easy! I can’t wait to give it a try. Especially with all the side dishes you suggested, especially the couscous with dried cherries. Yummmmmm! What brand of balsamic vinegar would you suggest using? I’m always hit or miss with that stuff. Just because it’s expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll taste good, I’ve come to realize.


nicole {sweet peony} February 3, 2012 at 2:45 pm

that looks totally delicious & so easy! thanks for the great meal ideas too :)


Lauren February 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

This looks heavenly. Serious.


cookin cowgirl February 3, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Now this looks so delicious!


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama February 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I’m always looking for new fast and easy ways to prepare chicken. Bonus that it can be grilled and is a great vehicle for pesto!


Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife February 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Holy smokes. You make the MOST delicious looking food!


Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee February 3, 2012 at 8:08 pm

That is my kind of dish! Looks amazing. You could also serve it with pasta salad for some carbs and veggies. :)


Cathy February 4, 2012 at 9:46 am

For all of you raw chicken haters: I buy the big boxes of plastic gloves at Costco to use when handling raw poultry or fish. I don’t like icky hands either.


Deborah February 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Gotta check this out – I love balsamic!!


JenE February 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

Oh Jenna Jenna, I loathe the “this looks delicious” post, when one hasn’t actually tried the recipe…. EXCEPT when kids, dogs and husband are sleeping and I’m quietly browsing your posts and I am forced to get up to get a class of wine because I’m SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED to see a yummy recipe which includes three ways to eat. Feel free to use this model over and over and over again.
This looks delicious :)

Love you more and more,
Mama Jen


Lauren February 6, 2012 at 4:02 am

I did save my pesto! and wondering if its still ok to use a week later? the pesto gnocchi was delicious by the way. excited to make this with your brussel sprouts recipe. thanks jenna!


jenna February 6, 2012 at 6:09 am

Haha I just used my pesto a week and a half later (dinner last night) and I’m still standing so I’m giving you the green light!


Elyse Ubalde February 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Thanks to Casey (Insatiably Healthy) for having a link to your site! I just recently moved out and am always in need of healthy meal ideas! This looks great! Thanks for sharing!


JenE February 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

I did indeed make this, w/ the brussel sprouts and I’m livin’ easy now that I know what we’re having the rest of the week, without much prep by me.
Big thumbs up from me and Hubs.


Kristina February 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Hi Jenna! I just found your blog for the first time and I’m so happy I did! I’m putting this chicken on my list of dinners for this week, its looks delicious! Balsamic chicken is one of my favorites, I’ve never added pesto on top, it sounds amazing! Thanks for the recipe :)


Carrie December 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Hi Jenna! This is one of my favorite recipes… I make summer pesto and stockpile it just for this amazing chicken. One question: is there a reason this isn’t listed in the recipe journal section of your website? I’ve stumbled upon a few other great recipes of yours in the “you also might like” recommendations, but some of them aren’t listed in the recipe journal, either (ie. the monkey bread in a jar). Let me know if I’m doing something wrong, or if there’s an easier way to find all your recipes listed in one place! Thanks :)


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