Presto! Pesto Chicken Packets

There is nothing I love more than a really quick weeknight dinner that seems like food for company. This recipe is simple, takes about 15 minutes to prep and ends up really “fancy”. (By “fancy” I mean, looks way more complicated than it really is). This is perfect for a BBQ with friends or any Wednesday after a 10 hour work day.

I was doing my Sunday meal planning and I pulled an old cookbook that I really haven’t looked at in a while from my shelf. The Betty Crocker Cookbook “New Edition” from 2005. There is actually a section on grilling! And since we are in the middle/end of summer in Ohio – it’s really important to spend every second we can outside since we know what’s coming in November-March. This book has SO MUCH information in it! It’s really great. So if you are new to the kitchen, this is a good book to have.

The recipe seemed simple, but I didn’t realize how easy it would be to whip together. You just make foil packets and throw them on the grill. The best part is the ingredients are very simple.

First, you need to buy some pesto – or if you had a good basil crop, use some homemade. Since I haven’t made any pesto this year and last year’s supply is used up, I purchased some. This brand was actually really good. I’m glad I spent the extra 50 cents and got this versus the store brand. DSC01669a

Make sure you have some heavy duty foil. I used the regular stuff for one of the packets and it didn’t hold up quite as well and I had to double layer it. Make it easy on yourself and get the heavy duty.

All you do is put the chicken, some cut up tomatoes, and cut up zucchini or squash and pesto, fold them up, and grill. Super easy.

I apologize because I didn’t take any pictures of the finished product. I was so hungry that I ate before I took any snaps. Whoops.

Here is the recipe – similar to the one in Betty Crocker “New Edition” Cookbook, 2005

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 small tomatoes (plum tomatoes) or whatever you’ve got cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 summer squash – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  1. Heat up the grill. Cut four 18 x 12 inch pieces of heavy duty foil. Don’t skimp, if they are too small they will be hard to fold. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. Put one chicken breast and 1/4 of the squash and tomatoes on each packet. Spoon 2 tbsp of pesto over each packet. Add a bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Fold foil over the chicken/veggies so edges meet. Seal making tight 1/2 inch fold, then fold over again. Allow space on sides for circulation and expansion (these will puff up on the grill like pillows).
  4. Cover and grill packets over medium heat for 20 or so minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Depending on how fancy you want to be, serve by cutting a big “X” in the top of the packet and fold back foil.

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