Savory marinated lemon chicken is perfectly grilled, sliced, and served over zucchini noodles in a fresh homemade pesto sauce!
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Pesto sauce is a great and very low carb way to add an Italian flair to your meal. You can even freeze some to have on hand anytime you want!
The smell of fresh basil blooming every year always inspires new Keto Italian recipes! In this dish, tender and juicy grilled chicken breasts and zucchini are combined with fresh pesto to create an amazingly flavorful meal your whole family will love.
You're going to absolutely love this Keto pesto because you will be using all the freshest of ingredients along with a quality olive oil and parmesan cheese. That's the true key to making the best pesto recipes, FRESH ingredients.
Another essential ingredient in any pesto sauce is pignoli (pine nuts). You'll slightly roast them to release this wonderful nutty flavor.
What's in Keto Lemon Chicken with Pesto Zoodles?
For the Chicken
- Chicken Breasts
- Olive oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Grated Parmesan
- Garlic clove
- Fresh basil
*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
How to Make Keto Pesto Lemon Chicken
To Prepare the Marinated Chicken
Add the pieces of chicken to a zip lock bag with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, chopped garlic clove, fresh basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest.
Seal up the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken, making sure all pieces are well coated. Stick the bag in the fridge for at least 20 minutes or while you preheat your grill.
While the chicken is cooking, let's get started making the low carb pesto sauce.
To Make the Pesto Sauce
Add all the nuts, garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse a few times, then add in the basil and lemon juice, pulse briefly.
With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil slowly until combined.
Add in the ½ cup parmesan cheese (reserving 2 teaspoons) and pulse just enough to combine.
Add a little more olive oil if needed to make it loose enough to pour over the zoodles.
Add the zoodles to a bowl and heat in the microwave for about 45-60 seconds.
Then top with the pesto and toss to coat.
Add the sliced grilled chicken over the top and drizzle some pesto over it. Now, just top with the reserved parmesan cheese and serve!
If you'd love more Keto grilled recipe ideas, this round up includes 25+ Best Grilling Recipes and has something for everyone!
How to Make Zoodles?
If you're just now hearing the word zoodles, you may be wondering what they are. Zoodles are long spiralized zucchini squash that's heated slightly and used as a pasta substitute on Keto or low carb diets.
Though you can buy them already "zoodled" in the frozen food section of your grocery store, they are much better when made fresh.
Using a gadget called a spiralizer takes all the guess work out of how to make them. You just wash the zucchini, cut the tip ends off each once, place in lengthwise on the spiralizer and crank. It's truly that fast and easy. You can also spiralize summer squash the same way.
If you don't have a spiralizer, you can get a more shaved texture by using a veggie peeler. Either way, fresh is always better than frozen; however, if you're in a pinch, you can use frozen, just squeeze the water out of them really well before serving.
Once you get all the your zoodles prepared, the best way to cook them is not to death! Kidding, but not really. Cooking them too long will make them mushy. So, just zap them in the microwave or a sauce pan with a little butter or olive oil and cook just until heated. Drain the water off and serve.
Can You Freeze Pesto?
You're going to love this Keto pesto so much that you'll want to keep some on hand. Freezing it is a way to ensure you have some when you need it.
The best way to freeze it is to place a large spoonful of sauce into an ice tray and freeze it until solid. Place the cubes into a freezer bag or an air tight container for up to several months.
More Keto Zoodle Recipes
- Italian Braciole over Zoodles
- Lemon Chicken Tenders with Zoodles
- Zucchini Noodle " Pasta" Salad
- Creamy Tuscan Skillet over Zoodles
Can I Make Pesto Without Pine Nuts?
Pine nuts are used in traditional pesto sauces but can be hard to find sometimes. Walnuts are an excellent substitution in this case. If you choose walnuts, toasting them the same way you do the pine nuts is recommended.
What are the Carbs in Pesto?
This Keto pesto recipe is extremely low carb. There's no added sugars, so the only carbs in the sauce comes from the basil and pine nuts. There's only one net carb per serving in this sauce. How's that for low carb!?!
What are Other Ways to Eat Pesto?
- Use a drizzle of Keto pesto as a garnish in your favorite soup. It would add an extra flavorful touch to this Italian Wedding Soup.
- Sauce up any meat with Pesto. Lemon chicken is not the only grilled meat pesto is great with. Grilled fish, steak or pork all work well with pesto. You can even top these Italian Meatballs with a serving it.
- Add pesto to any of your favorite low carb veggies. Top this Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice for a whole new flavor profile.
- Low carb pesto can even be enjoyed with breakfast. Add it to the top of your scrambled eggs or omelet!
- To add extra healthy fat to your diet, add a spoonful to your favorite salad dressing. This Creamy Italian Salad Dressing would be perfect with pesto!
- If you're wanting a really special low carb appetizer platter, you can serve this Keto pesto a long side this Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower Hummus and these Homemade Gluten Free Tortilla Chips. You can even serve it with your next Antipasti Platter!
Other Low Carb Sauces
- Hollandaise Sauce
- Easy Alfredo Sauce
- Bang Bang Sauce
- Buffalo Cheese Sauce
- Béarnaise Sauce
- Quick and Easy Marinara
- Italian Meat Sauce
- Easy Cheese Sauce
Grilled Lemon Chicken Pesto over Zoodles - Keto and Low Carb
To Prepare the Chicken
- Add the cut chicken pieces into a large ziplock baggie and top with the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic clove, dried basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest. Seal up the bag and massage the marinade into the chicken, making sure all pieces are well coated. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, while you preheat your grill.
- After 20 minutes, grill your chicken. While the chicken is cooking, you can make the pesto sauce.
To make the Pesto Sauce
- Add all the nuts, garlic, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times, then add in the basil and lemon juice, pulse briefly. With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil slowly until combined.
- Add in the ½ cup parmesan cheese (reserving the 2 teaspoons) and pulse just enough to combine. Add a little more olive oil if needed to make it loose enough to pour over the zoodles.
- Add the zoodles to a bowl and pour some pesto over it, toss to coat. Add the sliced grilled chicken over the top and drizzle some pesto over it. Top with the reserved parmesan cheese and serve!