Pesto Grilled Chicken

5 from 3 votes

This Pesto Grilled Chicken with a yogurt marinade is so good! The yogurt tenderizes the chicken, and the pesto adds the best taste and color.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Pesto. Grilled. Chicken. (in a Greek yogurt marinade)… you guys, this recipe combines not one, not two, but three of my favorite foods with my fav Summertime cooking method! Seriously, this pesto grilled chicken breast is ah-mazing. It’s got the herby goodness from the pesto, a nice tang from Organic Greek yogurt, and it all comes together on the grill, which you know means those delicious, smoky char marks.

Pesto grilled chicken breasts on a platter, garnished with lemon wedges and fresh parsley.
Want to save this recipe?
Just type your email below and I’ll send it to you. And as a bonus you’ll get delicious new recipes from me!

If you don’t already know, I’m obsessed with yogurt-marinated chicken (really, I am obsessed with using Greek yogurt as a marinade in general!), and this Pesto Grilled Chicken is basically the same idea but herbed out with pesto! I use Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Greek yogurt for the marinade because it’s rich, creamy, and tastes great, aka the perfect base for soaking the chicken. Greek yogurt acts as a tenderizer in marinades and does wonders with chicken breast, adding flavor, and, probably most importantly, keeps the chicken moist and juicy without over-drying. Adding pesto to the marinade just intensifies the flavor and adds a beautiful green color.

Recipe At a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Grill
Dietary Info: Gluten Free, Low Carb
Key Flavor: Herby and tangy
Skill Level: Easy

  • Cooks on the grill in 15 minutes: I love this recipe for those nights when I’m just not up for a big kitchen ordeal. I can just toss the pesto yogurt marinade together, add the chicken, and let sit for an hour, and then toss it on the grill, and it’s done in 15 minutes.
  • Pesto is pesto: Whether I’m in the mood to make my own pesto or I need to speed things up with a store-bought jar, this recipe is flexible. It’s all about what works for you, and honestly, both ways taste fantastic.
  • Greek yogurt is the GOAT: I always have a tub of Stonyfield Organic Greek yogurt in my fridge. And in this marinade, it does some serious heavy lifting. It doesn’t just add flavor—it transforms the chicken breast inside and out!
  • Grill it (my fav) or bake it: Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate for grilling, or maybe I just want to stay out of the heat. No worries—I pop the chicken in the oven instead. Check the FAQs if you need the baking method. It’s super easy!

Ingredients to Make Grilled Chicken With Pesto

Ingredients for recipe: chicken breasts, Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt in tub and small dish, pesto, garlic, lemon, oil, salt ad pepper.
  • Greek Yogurt: I ALWAYS use Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt when I am making a yogurt based marinade. Knowing that it’s organic, comes from pasture-raised cows without any pesticides or growth hormones gives me peace of mind because I’m feeding it to my family. And did I mention there are higher levels of good probiotics in organic yogurt versus non-organic? Definite bonus!
  • Pesto: Here’s the deal—homemade or store-bought pesto both do the trick. I usually go with whatever I have on hand. If you want to make your own pesto you’ve got to try my homemade pesto recipe!
  • Lemon: A squeeze of lemon juice brightens everything up. It cuts through the richness of the yogurt and pesto, giving the chicken a really fresh flavor.
  • Garlic: A couple of cloves of fresh, minced up fine, add that punchy flavor I can’t get enough of. It’s a must for a good marinade!
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Just a bit of each to season the chicken right. It’s simple but a must for nailing flavor balance.
  • Chicken Breasts: I use boneless, skinless breasts. They’re just the perfect protien for all these flavors, and they grill up so nicely.
  • Avocado Oil: A little of this on the grill helps everything cook smoothly without sticking, plus it handles high heat well.
  • Make your own herb mix: If you’re out of pesto or just want to try something new, grab whatever fresh herbs you have—basil, parsley, or even cilantro work great. Chop them up, mix them with Greek yogurt, and you’ll have an easy pesto sub.
  • Go for thighs instead: Sometimes I switch to chicken thighs because, well that’s what I have on hand. Plus, I love how they stay juicy and flavorful, especially on the grill.
  • Grill with some veggies: I often add some veggies right on the grill alongside the chicken. Things like zucchini, bell peppers, or even slices of onion make it a more complete meal. I’ve got a great recipe for grilling vegetables with more options too!
  • Add a cheese on top: Just before serving, I sometimes sprinkle a little feta or goat cheese over the chicken for some creamy contrast. It’s especially good if you’ve gone a bit heavy on the spices.

How to Make Pesto Chicken on the Grill

Pesto, yogurt, oil, garlic, and seasonings in a bowl before mixing.
Step 1: Place the the yogurt, pesto, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Marinade in bowl after combining with chicken breasts added and coated well.
Step 2: Mix the marinade ingredients until well combined, add the chicken breasts and toss to fully coat. Rest in the fridge.
Marinated chicken breast on a grill pan.
Step 3: Place the marinated chicken on the grill or you can even use a grill pan if you prefer.
After flipping to show well defined grill marks.
Step 4: Use tongs to flip over and cook until juices run dry and the chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F.

Tips for Making the Best Pesto Grilled Chicken

  1. Marinade for a minimum of one hour: You want to give the Greek yogurt marinade time to add flavor to the chicken. Set a reminder on your phone before you plan to make dinner to make sure it has enough time to sink into the chicken.
  2. Shake off excess marinade: You might be tempted to use all the marinade on the grill but, you don’t need it all, so shake off the excess to help avoid the marinade sticking to the grill.
  3. Get your grill hot: Before you throw the chicken on, make sure your grill is nice and hot. This helps prevent sticking and gets your chicken charred lines without burning. Medium-high heat is usually just right for getting that ideal sear.
  4. Don’t be tempted to flip the chicken too early: Leave it for at least 5 minutes, and don’t flip it until you can feel it easily releasing off the grill grates.
  5. Rest before you cut: Do not cut into the chicken right off the grill. Letting it rest for about 5 minutes lets the juices settle back into the meat.
Pesto yogurt grilled chicken breast on a plate with a fresh spring salad.

What to Serve With Grilled Pesto Chicken

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Store & Reheat Grilled Chicken

Store any leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, you can pop it in the microwave for a quick warm-up, or reheat it in a skillet over medium heat until heated through. If you prefer the oven, place the chicken on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and heat at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes.

How do I bake this Pesto Chicken in the oven?

If you prefer baking over grilling, preheat your oven to 375°F. Place the marinated chicken breasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Flip the chicken halfway through cooking for even browning.

My chicken came out dry. What went wrong?

Dry chicken is the worst! Make sure not to overcook the chicken; use a meat thermometer to check that it reaches 165°F and no higher. Also, be sure the grill or oven isn’t too hot, as high heat can dry out the chicken quickly. Finally, if you didn’t marinate the chicken long enough, it might not have had enough time to tenderize and absorb all the moisture from the yogurt and pesto.

Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Greek Yogurt and pesto marinated chicken breasts on a plate with a fork lifting up a cut piece.

Pesto Grilled Chicken is quickly becoming one of my favorite go-to chicken recipes. It’s easy, flavorful, and great for any night of the week. Using Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Greek yogurt in the marinade not only makes the chicken tender but also adds a delicious tangy twist. Plus, knowing that it’s made from organic milk from pasture-raised cows just makes it feel like an all-around better choice. Give it a try, and let me know how it turns out!

More Grilled Chicken Recipes:

If you try this feel good Grilled Pesto Chicken recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

order MY book

The Feel Good Foodie Cookbook is now available everywhere books are sold!

Pesto Grilled Chicken

This Pesto Grilled Chicken with a yogurt marinade is so good! The yogurt tenderizes the chicken, and the pesto adds the best taste and color.
5 from 3 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 266
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Email This Recipe
Enter your email and I’ll send this directly to you. Plus you’ll get new recipes from me every week!

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Place the the yogurt, pesto, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Add the chicken breasts and toss to fully coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight for the best flavor.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
  • Place the marinated chicken on the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes per side. Use tongs to flip over and cook until juices run dry, approximately 5-7 more minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and has an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite sides.

Equipment

Notes

Shake off excess marinade: You might be tempted to use all the marinade on the grill but, you don’t need it all, so shake off the excess to help avoid the marinade sticking to the grill.
Don’t be tempted to flip the chicken too early: Leave it for at least 5 minutes and don’t flip it until you can feel it easily releasing off the grill grates.

Nutrition

Serving: 6oz chicken breast, Calories: 266kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 111mg, Sodium: 928mg, Potassium: 664mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 366IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
5 from 3 votes

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Lauren says:

    This was a big hit in my house. We also had leftovers so the next day, I used the chicken to make chicken caprese sandwiches. Next, I’m going to try it on a Caesar salad. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yum, this chicken is perfect for leftovers and chicken caprese sandwiches sound amazing!! Thanks for sharing, Lauren!

  2. Amanda says:

    Delicious! My picky family loved it also. Thank you Yumna for sharing your recipes!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      I’m so happy your picky family loved it, that’s a huge win!

  3. Kristine says:

    This chicken recipe is so easy to make and my entire family loved it! My Mom (in her 70s) and my kids 9, 6 and 18months all asked for more! So flavorful and juicy.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Wow, sounds like this recipe was a winner! So happy your family members of all ages liked it!!

  4. Toni Lytwynenko says:

    This Pesto Grilled Chicken recipe is unbelievably delicious! The little tang from the yogurt along with the basil pesto, WOW! It was so moist! I only made 3 boneless chicken breasts (1.5 pounds) and I wish I made a couple of more because now my husband and I have to fight for the last piece of chicken that’s left. It was really amazing and I will be cooking some more on the grill soon, along with your recipe for Grilled Vegetables that contained the mushrooms, red bell pepper, onion, zucchini, squash and asparagus. Yummy!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Aww, thank you!! So happy you and your husband loved this one! I hope you get to make more soon and enjoy the grilled veggies too!

  5. Donna says:

    Could these also be baked in the oven. If so, what temperature and time?

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Yes, absolutely! You can bake them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 25-30 minutes at 375°F, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Be sure to flip them halfway through for even browning!