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Easy Cold Pesto Chicken Skewers

August 20, 2017 (Last Updated: January 14, 2019)

This cold pesto chicken skewer recipe is so simple and SO tasty, and perfect for a potluck BBQ or picnic. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make this appetizer one of your guest’s favorites, so make sure to get the good stuff. All fresh and organic ingredients when possible.

Pesto covered chicken laid out on a plate covered in arugula.

Easy Cold Pesto Chicken Skewers

I made these chicken pesto skewers for a picnic that was in the middle of Prospect Park in Brooklyn, so I wanted them to be as delicious cold as they would be warm. I wanted to make them, refrigerate them and pack them up without any fuss.

If you use jarred pesto, grocery store brand chicken or powdered, over-salted cheese and boring old butter, you’ll really miss the mark.

If you’ve never made your own pesto before, you’ll never go back to the oily store-bought kind when you do. Who doesn’t love the smell and flavor of fresh basil?

Its one of the most wonderful summer flavors I can think of, and fresh-made pesto is simply as good as it gets!

I put a little spin on the classic pesto recipe by using pepitas and/or almonds, as opposed to pine nuts.

I know, your Italian grandmothers may spin in their graves, but since you’re using higher quality ingredients overall, it’s fine to go for the less expensive nut options.

It still tastes amazing!

A hand holding a skewer with 3 pieces of chicken, covered in pesto.

For More Tasty, Picnic-able Treats & Inspiration

A Fancy Little Prospect Park Picnic
Layered Raspberry & Peach Crisp
Beautiful Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

If you try this recipe or any of my tasty drinks or treats, make sure to take a picture and tag me on Instagram! I love to see your creations! And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest for more loveliness, too.

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4.75 from 4 votes

Cold Pesto Chicken Skewers

This cold pesto chicken recipe is so simple and SO tasty, but the quality of your ingredients is key, so make sure to use all fresh ingredients.
You’ll require a food processor, skillet, medium-sized mixing bowl and 10-15 4 inch skewers for this recipe.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Resting time2 hrs
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: low-carb, pesto, picnic food
Servings: 12 Skewers
Calories: 116kcal


For the pesto

  • 1 cup fresh basil - packed
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated pecorino romano cheese - packed
  • 1/4 cup mix of almond and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

For the chicken

  • 3 organic chicken breasts
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Kerry Gold or organic butter


  • Cut your chicken into bite-size pieces. Add a tbsp. of butter to your pan and cook your chicken until perfectly brown, about 10 minutes. If your skillet isn’t large, you may have too cook your chicken in 2 batches. When they’re close together in the pan, too much liquid releases and they don’t brown properly.
  • When your chicken is just about finished, sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dash of garlic powder. Toss chicken in the pan to fully season.
  • Refrigerate chicken for at least 2 hours or until cold.
  • Make your pesto. Place basil, olive oil, cheese, almonds, pepitas and balsamic vinegar in a food processor and grind until fully chopped and mixed.
  • Pour pesto over chicken in a mixing bowl and mix till fully coated.
  • Skewer 3 or 4 pieces onto sticks. Serve cold.


Serving: 1Skewer | Calories: 116kcal | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 235mg | Vitamin A: 160IU | Vitamin C: 1.1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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