Pesto Chicken Burgers

I found this recipe in my latest edition of Everyday Food. It looked easy enough and I had a few of the ingredients already on hand…love when that happens!  I was able to use fresh basil from my garden (love summertime!), the fresh mozzarella was on sale at Whole Foods and I swapped the focaccia bread to ciabatta since I had a coupon for a dollar off a loaf.  (Check out Whole Foods online coupons here)

So all in all, a healthy, easy and affordable meal.  I served this alongside roasted Yukon gold potatoes.  I didn’t stress too much about having a green side since the pesto is made with basil and spinach and there were grilled tomatoes on top of the burgers.  You may like a green salad to round out this meal.

Pesto Chicken Burgers

Recipe Adapted From:  Everyday Food Magazine


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup baby spinach (1 ounce)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 pound ground white-meat chicken
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices (I used heirloom tomatoes because I think they are so pretty)
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 pieces focaccia, halved (I used ciabatta)

1.  In a food processor, puree basil, spinach, garlic, walnuts, oil and 1 tablespoon water.  Season pesto with salt and pepper.

2.  Heat grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat.  Combine 1 tablespoon pesto, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and chicken and form into 4 patties.  Clean and lightly oil hot grill.  Brush tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Grill patties, covered, 4 minutes.  Flip patties and top with cheese.  Add tomatoes to grill and cook, flipping once, until tomatoes are lightly charred and burgers are opaque and chicken is cooked throughout, about 4 minutes.

3.  Assemble sandwiches in ciabatta bread with pesto, burgers, and tomatoes.

Note: I had to cut these burgers in half simply due to the size of them and my kids aren’t able to eat that much.  This certainly can make at least 1 1/2 meals for a family of four.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Emilia says:

    Ooh Basil, walnuts and grilled tomato- what is not to love!
    Your pictures are scrumptious!!
    Since I am always looking for creative, tasty and efficient variations…Having made these and your summer brunch entry, in your opinion could I make these burgers with great northerns or leftover salmon?
    Seeing that it is thankfully the season of farmer’s markets and ability to have an abundance of corn and zucs could I make your summer brunch entry with either of those or would they have to much moisture? 🙂


  2. Susy says:

    I am wondering if maybe zucchini may indeed be a little too wet? I think the corn would work well for the frittata, possibly corn and basil?

    As far as the burgers, I think the salmon and/or beans would be a great substitute! Let me know how it turns out!


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