Grilled Pesto Chicken and Tomato Kebabs
I grow tons of basil in my garden all summer, so I make a lot of pesto and use it in many dishes. These easy pesto chicken skewers are gluten-free, high protein, inexpensive, and low-carb. Plus, you can make them a day ahead – the longer the chicken marinates in the pesto, the better it tastes! If you love pesto as much as we do, you may also want to try this Chicken Pesto Bake, Grilled Pesto Shrimp Skewers, or this delicious Eggplant Panini with Pesto – so good!!
Why You’ll Love This Pesto Chicken Recipe
- Lighter Pesto: Most pesto recipes are high in calories and fat. I use less oil and omit the pine nuts for a lighter homemade pesto sauce. It’s still so flavorful you won’t miss them!
- Sweet Summer Tomatoes: The cherry tomatoes smell divine when they come off the grill, and I love how they taste when cooked. They get even sweeter and more delicious.
- Easy Grilling: I double the skewers, which helps keep everything in place while grilling and makes them easier to turn.
Pesto Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken: Cut one and a quarter pounds of skinless chicken breasts into one-inch cubes.
- Pesto Ingredients: Fresh basil, garlic, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, salt, pepper, olive oil
- Tomatoes: Grape tomatoes will work if you don’t have cherry tomatoes.
How to Make Pesto Chicken Kebabs
- Pesto: Pulse the basil, garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing.
- Marinate Chicken: Combine the chicken and pesto and marinate for a few hours.
- Skewers: If you use metal skewers, you can skip this step, but for wooden ones, soak them for at least 30 minutes so they don’t burn on the grill.
- Assemble the Kebabs: Beginning and ending with chicken, thread the chicken and tomatoes onto eight pairs of parallel skewers.
- Grill Pesto Chicken: Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat until hot. Make sure the grates are clean, and lightly spray them with oil. Grill the chicken skewers for three to four minutes, turn them over, and cook for a couple of minutes until cooked through.
What to Serve with Pesto Chicken
These pesto chicken kebabs are an easy appetizer to eat while mingling at a party. If you’re having them for dinner, I would serve two with a salad, a simple caprese salad, tomato salad or grilled veggies. You could also make pasta and mix in the tomatoes and chicken or serve with Italian Pasta Salad.
How to Store Pesto Chicken
Leftover pesto chicken and tomatoes will last for up to four days in the refrigerator. You can eat the chicken cold as leftovers or microwave it until warm. The tomatoes are best eaten warm. If you want to double the chicken, you can freeze it for up to three months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge or microwave it straight from frozen.
- Dairy Free Pesto: Swap the parmesan for pine nuts.
- Time Saver: Buy premade pesto if you don’t have time to make homemade.
- Vegetables: If you don’t like tomatoes, substitute them with another veggie, like squash, zucchini, onion, bell peppers, or mushrooms. Make sure to cut them about the same size as the chicken so everything cooks evenly.
More Grilled Skewer Recipes You’ll Love
- Chicken Shawarma Kebab Salad
- Grilled Lemon-Dijon Chicken Skewers
- Caesar-Marinated Chicken Kabobs with Zucchini
- Grilled Shrimp Scampi Skewers
- Steak Kebabs with Chimichurri
Grilled Pesto Chicken and Tomato Kebabs
- In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing.
- Combine the raw chicken with pesto and marinate a few hours in a bowl.
- Soak wooden skewers in water at least 30 minutes (or use metal ones to avoid this step).
- Beginning and ending with chicken, thread chicken and tomatoes onto 8 pairs of parallel skewers to make 8 kebabs total.
- Heat the outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium heat until hot. Be sure the grates are clean and spray lightly with oil.
- Place the chicken on the hot grill and cook about 3-4 minutes; turn and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.