Grilled Chicken Breast Stuffed with Artichoke Pesto

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Artichoke Pesto

Last weekend was a busy one. I spent a big chunk of the weekend at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival where I volunteered on Saturday morning to assist in three seminars. The sessions included a Tuscan Wine Tasting featuring the wines of Brancaia Wines and Winery, a Spirits and Cheese Pairing, and a talk about farming by Tyler Brown, executive chef of  the Capital Grille in Nashville.

Being my first trip to the festival, I didn’t know what to expect at the food tasting on Sunday afternoon. I knew I would sample some fantastic food, but I didn’t expect the utter culinary orgy that it turned out to be!

When you walk through the gate, you get a real wine glass with a lanyard so you can eat while your wine glass is hanging around your neck. Brilliant! Some of the best restaurants from all over the south set up stations where they offer festival goers small 3 or 4-bite samples of their best dishes. And if there’s something that you really like, you’re free to take as many samples as you want.

The first row of tents comprised the barbecue area and my tail started wagging the minute I spotted a tent serving pulled pork and mac and cheese…truly some of the best I’ve ever had. After several samples of pork and brisket, we moved on to the seafood area where we sampled a fantastic sea scallops dish and the Big Green Egg tent where they were smoking some amazing fowl.

Two other huge tents featured a variety of spirits, wines, and food, including doughnuts with caramel and bacon and fresh peach ice cream. By the time we finished meandering through the last tent, I was engorged and ready for a nap!

Needless to say, there wasn’t much time for blogging over the weekend. Trying to cook and photograph during the week after a workday isn’t ideal, but I was able to squeak out this easy grilled chicken recipe. If you have all the ingredients for the pesto, it’s a cinch to make in a food processor. Serve this chicken with some steamed vegetables and grilled tomatoes and you’ve got a healthy and delicious summer meal.

Grilled Chicken Breast Stuffed with Artichoke Pesto

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Grilled Chicken Breast Stuffed with Artichoke Pesto


9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

1 cup flat-leaf parsley

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

1 clove garlic

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning chicken

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus additional for seasoning chicken

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

6 boneless chicken breasts

6 ounces goat cheese


1. Add artichoke hearts, parsley, basil, walnuts, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined. With the food processor still running, slowly add olive oil. Scrape down the sides as needed and process until smooth. Transfer pesto to a small bowl and add Parmesan cheese. Mix well.

2. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board. Holding a sharp knife parallel to the cutting board, cut a pocket into the side of each breast, being careful to not cut through to the other side.

3. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of pesto into each pocket and top the pesto with 1 ounce of goat cheese. Secure opening with a toothpick.

4. Preheat grill to medium high heat (about 400 degrees). Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

5. Transfer chicken to grates and grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Let rest for 5 minutes and serve.

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Bill Harris

I grew up in small town Mississippi eating traditional southern fare.A lifelong foodie, I started cooking and experimenting with food at a very young age. I started Southern Boy Dishes as a creative outlet and a way to share my love of food.

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Speak Your Mind

  1. Pete says

    So I don’t have a grill. I live in an apartment on the second floor in the city with no balcony. Could this also be baked? It sounds really good.

    • says

      Hi Pete, thanks so much for dropping by SBD. You can absolutely cook this recipe in the oven. I’d recommend 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. I’d make sure and use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Hope you enjoy!

  2. says

    Bravissimo, Bill! Love that you are using lemon zest for the artichoke pesto. Topping it off with goat cheese makes my mouth water. Love your recap on the Atl Food and Wine Fest. I so concur… total food gluttony but so much fun!

  3. says

    One of the great things about Los Angeles is they have similar food events (all the time). I swear not 6 weeks goes by without a new one popping up. Los Angeles Food Festival, The Taste Los Angeles, LA Times Food and Wine, LA Wine Fest. LA Restaurant Week. They just keep coming. Not that I’m complaining! GREG

  4. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan(dot)come says

    A wine glass around your neck? Ha – that’s a brilliant idea indeed! I hated that I missed the Atl Wine and Food Festival – but with blog reviews from you and Laura, I feel I was there! :)

    This chicken sounds wonderful – the lemony artichoke pesto with walnuts and goat and parm cheese is BRILLIANT!

  5. says

    My tail starts wagging at the thought of barbecue too! And the wine glass on the lanyard is a wonderful idea. Sounds like you had a great time, and this chicken dish is terrific. Thanks.

  6. says

    A wine glass attached with a lanyard….ingenious. Glad you had a great time at the food festival, sounds like foodie heaven! We have festivals here in CO but they always seem to be in the mountain towns 3-5 hours away! I usually can’t take that kind of time away from home.
    I love artichokes but for the life of me can’t get inspired by them. This however, is a great recipe! Simple and delicious! You have inspired me to buy some artichokes!

  7. says

    Sounds like you had a great time at the food and wine festival! So happy for you! Our NYC food and wine festival is in October. Can’t wait! This is a great looking summer chicken recipe! Beautiful!

    • says

      I would say 375 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes, but I would highly recommend using a meat thermometer so you don’t undercook or overcook. You can take it out of the oven when the temp reaches 165.

  8. says

    The Food and Wine Festival sounded like fun! Pulled pork and mac & cheese? Oh my! Stuffed chicken breasts grilled on pan-seared is one of my go to meals when I feel lazy. I can’t wait to try stuffing with goat cheese and pesto. Sounds really good!

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