Chicken Margherita (Grilled or Stovetop!)

Chicken Margherita combines juicy grilled chicken with melty mozzarella cheese, pesto, and fresh tomatoes for an incredible summer meal!

This post is sponsored by American Dairy Association Mideast. As always, all opinions are my own.

grilled chicken margherita with mozzarella, pesto, and tomatoes on top

Did someone say mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes? You have my attention.

Any time these three ingredients team up, I’m on board.

This combination of ingredients just screams summer. Like Destiny’s Child in 2000, it’s an irresistible trio.

dark plate with grilled mozzarella chicken

30 Minute Chicken Margherita

Today, we’re bringing all that incredible flavor to one of my new FAVORITE dinners: Grilled Chicken Margherita! We love this dish because:

  • It’s filling, but not heavy.
  • It’s loaded with fresh summer flavors.
  • It’s got plenty of gooey, melty cheese.
  • It’s made in 30 minutes flat (even less if you use all store bought ingredients).
  • You can make it on the grill or on the stovetop. You didn’t think we’d let a rainy day keep us from Chicken Margherita, did you?

So, let’s get on with this thing, shall we?

grilled chicken breast with mozzarella, tomato, and pesto

Ingredients in Chicken Margherita

This Chicken Margherita recipe comes together quickly, so you’ll want to make sure you have all the ingredients ready before you start. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness (more on that later)
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings– Kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • Basil pesto– Use store bought, or harvest your garden basil and make homemade basil pesto!
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese- Can you substitute shredded mozzarella? Of course, but nothing beats the fresh stuff!
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Arugula
  • Balsamic reduction (or store bought balsamic glaze)
chicken margherita on a dark gray plate

How to Make Grilled Chicken Margherita

  1. Preheat your grill to 400-425 degrees.
  2. Clean and oil your grill grates– Fill a bowl with a Tablespoon or so of vegetable or canola oil. Use tong to dip a paper towel into the oil then rub it over your grill grates. This helps prevents sticking.
  3. Pound your chicken breast to an even thickness. You can use a meat mallet or a rolling pin wrapped in saran wrap. I like them about 1/2-3/4 inches thick. This helps them cook quickly and evenly.
    • Want a quick fix? Buy chicken tenderloins instead of chicken breasts!
  4. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Place the chicken on the grill and grill for 5 minutes, then flip.
  6. Grill for another 2 minutes then add a small scoop of pesto on top of each chicken breast, followed by a slice of mozzarella and a second small scoop of pesto. Cover and continue to cook another 3-4 minutes or until chicken registers 165 degrees. (We love this meat thermometer).
  7. Plate the chicken with a handful of arugula, plenty of chopped cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

Want to make it on the stovetop?

  • Follow the same directions as above, but saute the chicken in olive oil over medium high heat. After flipping and adding the mozzarella and pesto, cover the pan with a lid until the cheese is melted and chicken is done.
margherita chicken with a gold fork taking a bite

More Quick Meals and Grocery Tips

At a time when grocery shopping and feeding our families can be extra stressful, I thought it might be helpful to share some of our favorite healthy meals and budget saving tips.

Dairy farmers are committed to nourishing our communities, and are continuing to work around the clock to ensure our grocery shelves are stocked with fresh, nutritious dairy products. Milk from Ohio’s dairy farmers make it from the cow to your glass in as little as 48 hours! See where some of Ohio’s dairy companies, including milk processors and cheese makers are located across the state.

For more information about dairy farming and nutrition, visit www.Drink-Milk.com, and follow the American Dairy Association Mideast on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

grilled chicken margherita with mozzarella, pesto, and tomatoes on top

Grilled Chicken Margherita

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Easy Chicken Margherita combines juicy grilled chicken with melty mozzarella cheese, pesto, and fresh tomatoes for a light, flavorful dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus additional vegetable oil if grilling
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1-1.5 lbs)
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Balsamic reduction or glaze

Instructions

For the grill:

  1. Preheat the grill to 400 degrees. Dip a paper towel in a bowl of vegetable oil and use a pair of tongs to oil the grill grates.
  2. Place the chicken between two sheets of saran wrap and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound it to an even thickness. I prefer my chicken breasts to be about 3/4 inch thick.
  3. Rub the chicken with a Tablespoon of olive oil and then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Place the chicken on the grill and grill for 5 minutes, then flip. Grill for two minutes, then open the grill and top each chicken breast with a Tablespoon of pesto followed by the mozzarella slices and a second scoop of pesto. Cover the grill and continue to grill for another 2-3 few minutes, or until the cheese is melted and chicken registers 165 degrees.
  5. Serve with arugula and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.


For the stove top:

  1. Place the chicken between two sheets of saran wrap and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound it to an even thickness. I prefer my chicken breasts to be about 3/4 inch thick.
  2. Season the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. Heat a Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes or until well browned.
  4. Flip the chicken over and cook for another 2 minutes, then add a scoop of pesto, mozzarella slices, and another scoop of pesto. Cover the pan and continue to cook another 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and chicken registers 165 degrees.
  5. Serve with arugula and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 468Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 1045mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 54g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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