Chicken Pesto Burgers

There are few flavors I love more than chicken and pesto. You will find that pesto recipes creep up a lot on the blog- from soups to pasta dishes to sandwiches. In fact, it is rare you would ever open my fridge up and not find a bottle of pesto in there. That is why I was so excited to give these Chicken Pesto Burgers a whirl for an easy weeknight meal on our grill.

All the flavor in this patty comes from the pesto, minced garlic, and a little Parmesan cheese. A generous slice of fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and a little drizzle of pesto complete these. They would be great topped with a little spinach or arugula, should you have any in your fridge or can be served plain if your grocery day is still looming (like me). I served these on crusty whole wheat rolls, but they would be great without a bun too, if you are watching your carbs.

The patties are very delicate so I found that grilling them on a foil-lined grill (sprayed with a little nonstick cooking spray) over a medium-low flame was the way to go with these. You will want to make sure that they have a good five minutes on the grill before attempting to flip these and using two spatulas (one to flip and one to assist) is the best way to help these patties hold their shape.

Add a side of roasted green beans for a fun side that you and the kids will love. With these fresh alternatives,  you have the delicious makings for a fresh take on the old burger and fries!

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Chicken Pesto Burgers
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Chicken, pesto, mozzarella...what's not to love? Be sure to read the cooking notes above about this delicate patty!
  • 1 pound uncooked ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 4 tablespoons purchased basil pesto
  • ¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 whole grain rolls
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (optional for topping)
  • 8 small tomato slices
  • Ground black pepper
  1. In bowl combine ground chicken, half of the pesto, the Parmesan, garlic, and salt. Shape into four ½-inch-thick oval patties (to fit bread).
  2. Line your grill with aluminum foil and spray the foil generously with nonstick cooking spray. Turn grill on to a medium-low heat.
  3. Grill, uncovered, 10 to 13 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (165 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling.
  4. Top each patty with a mozzarella slice. Cover grill; grill 1 to 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
  5. Add bread and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until toasted. (For gas grill, preheat grill. Place patty in your whole wheat bun. Top with a drizzle of pesto and sliced tomatoes to finish. Sprinkle with coarsely ground black pepper.

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

I am participating in Mouthwatering Mondays over at A Southern Fairytale!

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Published August 20, 2012 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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