Pesto Grilled Chicken and Asparagus
with plum and citrus salad
Simple and fresh, these grilled chicken skewers get a ton of flavor from a coating of pesto right before serving.
Smarts: Assemble skewers up to a day ahead to keep prep time short when you're ready to cook.
- Vinegar, apple cider - 2 Tbsp
- Honey - 2 tsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp
- Plums - 2, sliced
- Oranges - 1, segmented
- Spinach, baby - 8 oz
- Almonds, sliced or slivered - 1/4 cup
- Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp (sub walnuts or pecans)
- Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
- Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 1 oz, grated
- Basil, fresh - 1 1/2 oz
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Skewers, wooden or metal - 8
- Asparagus - 1 lb, trimmed
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, cubed
- Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/4 cup
- Skewers - If cooking on an outdoor grill and using wooden skewers, soak skewers in water for at least 10 minutes so that they don’t burn.
- Make pesto - Skip if pesto was made ahead for Monday. (If prepping right before cooking and using grill, get grill heating before continuing with prep.) Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves. Place nuts, garlic, cheese (if using), basil leaves, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until smooth. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make vinaigrette - Whisk apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, and cooking oil. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Asparagus - Snap ends off asparagus. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Chicken - Slice chicken into cubes. Tenderize with a fork and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Assemble skewers - Thread skewers through chicken. If using round skewers, use two / kebab to make it easier to flip. Lightly season with some salt and pepper.
- Plums / Oranges - Prep as directed.
- If cooking on a grill: Preheat grill to 450F / 232C degrees. Clean grates and brush grates, chicken, and asparagus with some oil. Place chicken and asparagus over direct heat. Grill chicken and asparagus until chicken is cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes on each side, with the cover closed. Remove from heat; if using thicker spears, you might have to cook asparagus for a bit longer.
- If cooking on the stovetop: Heat grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with some oil. Place chicken and asparagus onto hot pan and grill both for 4 to 6 minutes on each side (cook the chicken first if it won’t all fit). Remove chicken from heat; if using thicker spears, you might have to cook asparagus for a bit longer.
- Brush chicken and asparagus with pesto and season with some salt and pepper.
- Toss vinaigrette with plums, oranges, and spinach. Top salad with sliced almonds.
- Enjoy chicken and asparagus with salad on the side.
Pesto makes everything good! Liked the plums in the salad.0 Helpful
This was a great summer meal and came together relatively quickly when using leftover pesto. (Admittedly I didn't bother with the kabobs and just sautéed the chicken and roasted the asparagus in the oven at the same time.) I loved the salad!0 Helpful
Great flavors for a summertime evening. The next time I make this, I’m adding more greens relative to dressing, as the salad was a bit soggy. Otherwise perfect.0 Helpful
I cut corners on this one to save time, but was v good! Bought pre-marinated pesto chicken from TJ's and just the them on the grill. Loved salad, and enhanced with arugula for some extra kick. Sautéed the asparagus.0 Helpful
Yum, yum, yum! I didn't bother making kabobs and just cooked the chicken in a pan. Super good meal.0 Helpful
mild but pleasant asparagus taste. Blended the pesto and beans to make a "cream" to go on top of the soup0 Helpful