Pesto Chicken Burger

by Erin

There is a juicy, flavorful burger recipe in this post today. It involves homemade pesto using basil, spinach and walnuts, which is mixed into a chicken burger and is then topped off with a blob of fresh Mozzarella that becomes perfectly melted over the hot burger. Oh and I almost forgot to mention the grilled tomatoes that are assembled into the burger. You should probably spread some of the pesto on your bun too.

And of course since I am always thinking about you, I have shared this in time to plan you Independence Day menu around it. You’re welcome :-).

In other news, here in Memphis we are experiencing yet another grossly hot summer full of sun, humidity and a lack of clouds and rain. This is most upsetting to me because I love being outdoors, but I can barely stand being outside for more than five minutes. And the pool doesn’t fix the problem either. Have you ever gotten out of the pool and then lied down to wait for the sun to dry you off? Yea that doesn’t work because as the water evaporates, you begin to sweat, a lot. I think homemade popsicles are in order soon.

One year ago: Bubble Up Pizza


Serves 4


1 cup fresh basil leaves

1 cup baby spinach

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup walnuts

4 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for grilling

1 Tbsp water

Salt and pepper

1 lb. ground chicken breast

2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices

3 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced

4 whole wheat buns, halved


  1. In a food processor, puree basil, spinach, garlic, walnuts, oil, and water. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. In a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon pesto, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and chicken. Form into 4 patties. Lightly oil hot grill. Grill patties, covered, or 4 minutes. Flip patties and top with cheese.
  3. Brush tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes to grill and cook, flipping once, until tomatoes and lightly charred and burgers are cooked, approximately 4 minutes.
  4. To serve, spread remaining pesto onto burger buns and assemble burger with a tomato slice.

Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Food July/August 2012.

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Emily @ Life on Food July 2, 2012 - 5:21 am

Just a perfect summer dinner! I am obsessed right now with all things pesto, tomato and mozzarella. Adding a chicken burger is a great way to switch things up.

Tracey July 1, 2012 - 3:46 pm

This looks so good!! I love ground chicken, and have been keeping an eye out for more burgers to try this summer. This is going on the menu soon :)

It’s been hot and humid here too, but I’m not going to complain. As long as the sun is out, I’m a happy girl!

Carolyn June 29, 2012 - 12:42 pm

Oh yum, the pesto built right into the burger. Love!

Jennie @themessybakerblog June 29, 2012 - 10:08 am

Oh, my! This burger looks so yummy, and I love a big ol’ blob of cheese on my burgers. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers June 28, 2012 - 7:25 pm

I would love one of these burgers!!! I love homemade pesto, super delish!! It hasn’t been hot here in California. Cool weather and the fog is suppose to roll in this weekend, with more cooling temperatures. I think I need to go to Memphis! I need some hot heat!! :)

spiffycookie June 29, 2012 - 7:50 am

Ugh you can have all the heat you want. I despise it. Once it gets over 90 I’m miserable, especially with the humidity here.

sally @ sally's baking addiction June 28, 2012 - 9:32 am

I love chicken burgers… even more than regular burgers or even turkey burgers! Pesto is amazing on any type of sandwich and i can only imagine how tasty it is on this! Stay cool in all that heat!


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