Mozzarella and Pesto Chicken with Zoodles is a fresh and cheesy well-balanced meal the whole family will enjoy. With a smoky homemade pesto sauce (or your favorite store-bought version), boneless skinless chicken breasts and zucchini noodles. A delicious meal that will satisfy your cravings without the carbs!
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I’ve got another sensational summer recipe for you!🌟 It’s fresh and cheesy and full of good-for-you ingredients!
I make my own pesto with smoked almonds so it adds an extra kick of flavor.💥 And when you pair it with the smokiness from grilling the chicken it’s OOTW!🙌
Of course you can always buy your own pre-made pesto. There are many options out there but the America’s Test Kitchen recommends Buitoni Pesto with Basil found in the refrigerator area... here’s the complete article on their taste-testing.
My personal favorite pesto (other than homemade) is actually from Costco.
It’s their Kirkland Signature Imported Basil Pesto and comes in a 22-ounce jar. Yes – that's a lot of pesto but you can always freeze it in smaller containers and pull it out for the next time you make this recipe!😁 Always looking out for you.✌️
A healthier pesto chicken recipe!
I also added some zucchini noodles to the mix to make this a low-carb, well-rounded meal.✨
Many grocery stores offer different types of veggie noodles in their produce department, which is super convenient if you don’t own a spiralizer. But for around $30 you can pick one up from Amazon and zoodle till your hearts content. Here's the one I use!👇
Aren’t those zoodles gorgeous? Wait until you taste them with the mozzarella and pesto stuffed chicken. So good!👏
First I made my pesto: 2 cups of basil, ½ cup of smoked almonds, ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, 3 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Then processed the mixture until it became a paste, and drizzled in two more tablespoons of the olive oil while it was processing. Next I scooped it into a container and added a little more olive oil on top to prevent it from oxidizing (AKA turning a dark greenish scary black color).
How to make pesto chicken:
Next, I spiralized my zucchini, sprinkled them with a little salt and allowed them to drain in a strainer while I prepared the chicken.
Then I cut a slit lengthwise and a little over halfway into the center of each chicken breast.
I cut up ½-inch cubes of fresh mozzarella and mixed them with ¼ cup of the prepared pesto and mixed in a tablespoon of water. Then filled each chicken breast with a rounded tablespoon of the mixture.
Next I used toothpicks and stitched up the slits to prevent the cheese and pesto from oozing out while cooking.
I placed the chicken on a hot grill with the sliced sides facing upward and grilled for 7 minutes on the first side. Then I gently flipped them over and grilled the other side for 3-4 more minutes or until they reached 165 degrees on my handy dandy digital thermometer. Love that thing!❤️
I let them rest for 5 minutes and meanwhile cooked my zoodles in a medium-high heat sauté pan with another couple tablespoons of the pesto mixed with a tablespoon of water.
Finally, I added some halved cherry tomatoes and gave it all a good toss.😍
The only thing left is to plate this masterpiece and dinner is served!👇
Another delicious, fresh, and healthy meal to add to your summer time recipe line up!
For the Smoked Almond Basil Pesto:
- 2 cups basil, packed
- ½ cup smoked almonds
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- ¼ cup PLUS 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
For The Chicken And Zoodles:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- grilling spray
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into ½ inch cubes
- 3 small zucchinis spiralized or store bought zucchini noodles
- 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ¾ cup smoked almond pesto or store bought pesto
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 5 basil leaves torn or chopped
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
For The Pesto:
- Combine basil, almonds, Parmesan cheese, and garlic in a food processor. Add 1 tablespoon of the water and 1 tablespoon of oil and process together. Drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil while mixture is coming together.
For The Chicken And Zoodles:
- Sprinkle zucchini noodles with ¼ teaspoon salt and allow them to drain in a strainer over a plate or in the sink.
- Cut a slit lengthwise and a little over half way into the center of each chicken breast. Cut slowly to ensure the pocket your creating doesn't have any holes for the cheese mixture to run out of while grilling.
- Preheat the grill on high heat.
- Toss the fresh mozzeralla with ¼ cup of the prepared pesto and 1 tablespoon of water. Then fill each chicken breast with a rounded tablespoon of the mixture. Next, using toothpicks stitch up the slits to prevent the cheese and pesto from oozing out while cooking. (I like to pull the bottom flap of chicken up over the top one as I'm securing them with the toothpicks.)
- Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper and spritz with grilling spray.. Place the chicken on a hot grill with the sliced sides facing upward and grill for 7 minutes on the first side. Then gently flip them over and grill the other side for 3-4 more minutes, or until they reach 165 degrees on a digital meat thermometer. Allow them to rest 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile mix together ¼ cup of pesto with a tablespoon of water. Then add tablespoon of olive oil to a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini noodles and the pesto mixture and stir together. Cook for 3 minutes then add the tomatoes and toss.
- Place the zoodles and tomatoes on a plate and top with a piece of chicken. Mixed together ¼ cup of the pesto paste with 1-2 tablespoons of water and drizzle over chicken. Garnish with fresh torn basil leaves and Parmesan cheese if desired.
- Pesto recipes make 8 ounces of pesto paste.
- Grilling the chicken for the majority of time with the cut side up helps to prevent the cheese and pesto from oozing out.
- Store bought pesto can be substituted for the homemade version.
- Pasta can also be substituted for the zucchini noodles.
Serving Size1 chicken breast w zoodles
Amount Per Serving Calories 462Total Fat 34gSaturated Fat 7gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 70mgSodium 885mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 28g