Avocado Pesto on Grilled Chicken & Vegetables

Avocado Pesto Grilled Chicken Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

This was the first meal we cooked on our brand new grill.  The grill in which my husband literally invested blood, sweat and tears.  Well – no tears per se….but blood, sweat, a few swear words, and 5 stitches from the doctor at convenient care!  Poor guy!  He’d gotten the base all together and when I went out to help him lift the actual grill portion onto the base, he grabbed what was obviously a very sharp metal edge and sliced his finger open!  😟  


It looks like he’s saying University of Iowa is #1….and the fact that he’s wearing an Iowa shirt only perpetuates that idea, but truly he’s not!  Our daughter goes to Iowa State…arch rivals to U of Iowa.  He just insists on wearing that shirt even though Anna has bought him dozens of ISU shirts!  I thought for sure the shirt would get bloody and ruined, but somehow it remained unscathed….it’s the shirt that will not die!!!  LOL!!!

So 45 minutes later we were back home and I was helping him finish the assembly process!  Thankfully we got it together and moved into location with no further incidents, and I was able to prepare our delicious dinner of grilled chicken and vegetables with avocado pesto.  Seriously this is sooooooo good!  I told Mr. CEBH that I could eat this meal everyday for the rest of my life and never tire of it!  

New grills are so pretty and clean!  This is probably the one and only time you’ll see the inside of mine!!!  😉

Grilled Chicken And Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

Avocado Pesto Grilled Chicken Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

I wanted to use some basil a friend had given me, and I had some very ripe avocados so the idea of making avocado pesto seemed perfect!  And truthfully when I say I’d eat it this meal everyday – I mean it!  My favorite fair weather meal is grilled chicken and vegetables!  It’s simple, I don’t have to heat up the house cooking dinner, it’s 100% flexible depending on which vegetables I have on hand, and varies depending on which seasonings and spices I use on the chicken and vegetables!

Avocado Pesto Basil | cookeatbehealthy.com

For this recipe I used basil and lemon on the chicken because those flavors are perfectly complemented by the avocado pesto which is jam packed with basil, and brightened with lemon juice and zest.  The chicken marinated for about 3 hours in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and zest, a little salt, pepper, and garlic, some red pepper flakes, and of course….fresh basil!

Prior to grilling, the vegetables were seasoned very simply with EVOO, salt and pepper, garlic, and a few red pepper flakes.  I like to keep the vegetables pretty simple so their flavors can shine through, and in this dish, so that nothing else competes with the avocado pesto flavors!

Avocado Pesto Grilled Chicken Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

The pesto is made from avocado, basil, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and walnuts.  I prefer to use walnuts over pine nuts because number 1 – I don’t like pine nuts, and number 2 – I love walnuts!  Pretty good reasons, eh?!?  Really though, if you find pine nuts a little too “earthy” tasting, as I do, then use walnuts instead!  They are mild enough that they add very little to the flavor profile of the pesto, they’re waaaaaay cheaper than pine nuts, and they are full of omega-3 fatty acids so they’re super healthful as well!

Avocado Pesto | cookeatbehealthy.com

Isnt it pretty?!?  I just love the vibrant green color!  It doesn’t get much better than avocado pesto…2 of my favorite foods/flavors in 1 lovely recipe….YUMMMMMMMM!   

For the veggies I chose zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and bell pepper.  I cut almost everything into approximately the same bite sized pieces, but because zucchini practically screams “SPIRALIZE ME“, that’s exactly what I did!  And besides – I love using my Kitchenaid mixer with the spiralizer attachment.  I feel like such a pro-fesh-shun-ul when I use it!  Either that or a spy, because the box it comes in kind of looks like a spy kit to me!  😉  I used the ribbon spiralizer blade and out of 1 large zucchini I got what seemed like miles of zucchini ribbon!  Check out the mini video of me spiralizing the heck out of a zucchini….I find it mesmerizing!  Click the link to see it!


Spiralized Zucchini Ribbons | cookeatbehealthy.com

Grilled Vegetables | cookeatbehealthy.com

Avocado Pesto on Grilled Chicken & Vegetables
Serves 4
Delicious avocado pesto made with bunches of fresh basil pairs perfectly with grilled chicken breasts and vegetables in this healthy summertime dish!
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
534 calories
27 g
37 g
41 g
22 g
6 g
514 g
660 g
11 g
0 g
33 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 534
Calories from Fat 353
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g
Saturated Fat 6g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 10g
Monounsaturated Fat 23g
Cholesterol 37mg
Sodium 660mg
Total Carbohydrates 27g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 11g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the Avocado Pesto
  1. 1 ripe avocado
  2. 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  3. 1/2 cup walnuts
  4. 3 cloves, or 3 tsp chopped garlic
  5. 1/4 cup extra light tasting olive oil
  6. Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  7. 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  8. 1/4 salt - more to taste
For the Chicken
  1. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  2. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  3. Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  6. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  7. 1 clove, or 1 tsp chopped garlic
  8. 8-10 large basil leaves, chopped
For the Vegetables
  1. 1 very large zucchini, spiralized, or cut into bite sized pieces
  2. 1 pint grape tomatoes
  3. 2 cups quartered mushrooms
  4. 1 bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces - I used an orange pepper
  5. 1 large Vidalia onion, cut into bite sized pieces
  6. 2 tsp EVOO
  7. 1 clove or 1 tsp chopped garlic
  8. 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  9. 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
For the Avocado Pesto
  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of an 8-10 cup food processor.
  2. Process on low until well combined.
  3. Place in covered dish and refrigerate until ready to serve with grilled chicken and vegetables.
For the Chicken
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a gallon size resealable bag, then add chicken, coating both sides with marinade, and refrigerate at least 2-3 hours, turning occasionally, until ready to grill.
For the Vegetables
  1. Combine all ingredients in a resealable bag and toss to coat vegetables in oil and seasonings.
For Grilling the Chicken and Vegetables
  1. Heat grill to medium.
  2. Place chicken breasts on grill and cook, turning once, for a total of about 20 minutes.
  3. Check for doneness of chicken by inserting meat thermometer in thickest part of breast, the chicken is done when juices run clear, and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  4. Remove from grill and rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  5. Place the vegetables in a grill pan, or on a grill mat, and grill over medium heat along with the chicken.
  6. Stir vegetables a time or two to ensure even cooking.
  7. Remove from heat when the vegetables are slightly charred and fork tender - about 15 to 20 minutes.
To Serve
  1. Plate a serving of vegetables, top with 1/2 sliced chicken breast, then top with a generous scoop of avocado pesto.
  1. Before refrigerating pesto, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to help slow the browning of the avocado.
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/
The fat and calorie count assumes you’ll be using the entire recipe of pesto – so don’t panic!  You’ll only use about 1/4 the recipe for 4 servings!  I think this is a very good thing, because then I have leftover pesto to use on fish, a panini sandwich, mixed into olive oil and vinegar for a delicious salad dressing, as a dip for fresh veggies, etc. etc. etc……you get the idea!  

Grilling is the best!  I wish we could gril year round, but Iowa winters get pretty brutal to do that!  There’s a few hearty souls who manage, but we’re just too wimpy I guess!!!  What’s your favorite grilled meal?  Share in the comments!!!

Purple Basil & Garlic Hummus

Purple Basil Hummus | Cookeatbehealthy.com

This is one of those posts that I hadn’t planned on doing, but when the basil gods (in the form of a friend with a bumper basil crop) shine on a food blogger, I believe it’s a sign!  A sign that says **Hey…blogger lady…take this beautiful basil you’ve been gifted and turn it into something tasty for your blog!**  So, thanks to my BFF, Karen, I came directly home and whipped up a quick batch of Purple Basil & Garlic Hummus!

Purple Basil Garlic Hummus |Cookeatbehealthy.com

Purple Basil Garlic Hummus |Cookeatbehealthy.com

Hummus is a favorite in our household.  I love it for so many reasons…flavor, adaptability, ease of preparation, and healthfulness!  Hummus contains chickpeas which are high in fiber and protein, iron, folate, phosphorus, and B vitamins. The lemon juice in hummus is high in vitamin C and antioxidants.  Basil contains essential oils that have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  And the garlic…it’s a powerhouse of health benefits!  Garlic helps fight colds, help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and it contains antioxidants that can help prevent dementia!  Garlic can help you live longer, help detox your body of heavy metals, and it tastes delicious!  And finally the tahini in hummus is high in protein, rich in vitamins and minerals, easy to digest because of it’s high alkaline mineral content, and high in unsaturated (good) fat!  And finally, the olive oil in this recipe helps balance the cholesterol levels in your body.

Purple Basil Hummus | cookeatbehealthy.com

Then because I was hurrying 😟 (the faster I go, the behinder I get)…here’s a photo of the lemon and red pepper flakes.

Purple Basil Garlic Hummus | cookeatbehealthy.com

When it comes to making hummus it just couldn’t be easier.  Everything except the olive oil goes in the food processor.  Process on high until mostly blended, then begin streaming in the olive oil while still processing on high speed.  You may have to stop to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, continuing to process until it’s smooth and well blended!

Purple Basil Garlic Hummus | cookeatbehealthy.com

When it comes to serving your delicious homemade hummus the sky’s the limit!  Of course it’s a fantastic dip with a bowl of chips or fresh vegetables.  I love it spread on a sandwich or a wrap.  I have also made a fantastic hummus-slathered baked chicken dish that is to die for!  You could thin it out with a little vinegar and make a salad dressing or how about spreading it on a piece of toast with a little avocado and topping it all with a soft poached egg? I’m thinking stuffed mushrooms would be fabulous, or maybe as a sauce for roasted vegetables!  I could probably go on and on, and I’m sure you can think of many more applications!  Let’s just say it’s yummy and versatile and healthy – and we all should eat more hummus!  It doesn’t always work out that something so healthful is also so delicious, but when it does it’s a beautiful thing!

Purple Basil Garlic Hummus | cookware healthy.com

Tip:  By switching out the basil, garlic, and red pepper flakes for other seasonings, herbs, and spices, you can customize the basic hummus recipe to suit your tastes, or to take advantage of readily available fresh produce, as I did in this recipe by utilizing fresh purple basil.

Serves 16

Purple Basil & Garlic Hummus

10 minTotal Time

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  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, or about 3 tsp chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup extra light tasting olive oil
  • 1 cup packed purple basil (or substitute green basil)


  1. Place all the ingredients except olive oil in bowl of food processor and process on high until somewhat blended.
  2. While continuing to process on high, slowly stream in the olive oil, stopping as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Continue processing until all the ingredients are well blended.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Place in covered container and store in refrigerator for up to 7 to 10 days.


Red pepper flakes are optional, and the amount can be adjusted according to how much heat you prefer. If unable to find purple basil, green basil is a perfect substitution.

25 cal
1 g
2 g
1 g

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