Cook chicken tenders quickly on the grill and top with pesto made with cilantro and sesame seeds for a zesty, speedy dinner. Serve with: Quinoa and grilled asparagus.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2008




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk lime juice, soy sauce, oil and chili powder in a large bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the marinade in a small bowl. Add chicken to the remaining marinade; toss to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or up to 1 hour.

  • Preheat grill to medium-high.

  • Meanwhile, place cilantro, scallions, sesame seeds and the reserved marinade in a food processor and process until fairly smooth.

  • Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard marinade) and grill until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, about 2 minutes per side. Serve the chicken with the cilantro-sesame pesto.


Ingredient Note: Sesame seeds can be purchased already toasted. Look for them near other Asian ingredients. Or toast your own in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Tip: To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition Facts

168 calories; protein 24.3g 49% DV; carbohydrates 3.2g 1% DV; exchange other carbs; dietary fiber 1.3g 5% DV; sugars 0.4g; fat 6.2g 10% DV; saturated fat 1.1g 6% DV; cholesterol 62.7mg 21% DV; vitamin a iu 723.6IU 15% DV; vitamin c 5.6mg 9% DV; folate 17.3mcg 4% DV; calcium 30.1mg 3% DV; iron 1.5mg 9% DV; magnesium 42.1mg 15% DV; potassium 293.4mg 8% DV; sodium 302.9mg 12% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 12% DV.

Reviews (18)

Read More Reviews
18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 11
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious I love the Asian flavors and was so easy and healthy too. I didn't change a thing was delicious just as it was. Pros: quick and nutritious Read More
Rating: 4 stars
My very picky daughter who can't boil water fixed this with me last night and it was a hit!! We will fix this again and again. I did tweek as I always do by changing to sesame oil and adding garlic (everything should have garlic) but she is adding this to her "I can cook this" list. Beats Ramen at college!! Thanks!! Lois Leander TX Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Disappointed with recipe ingredients I was disappointed when I pulled up the recipe and there was no basil in it. I was under the impression that the term "pesto" referred to something prepared with basil. So after looking at the ingredients decided this dish was not what I was expecting to fix for dinner tonight. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I used tamari instead of low-sodium soy sauce and had to add more lime juice to overcome the saltiness. Also removing the stems from the cilantro was time-consuming; next time I wouldn't be so compulsive about it. John E Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Very good. The cilantro pesto almost tasted like a Japanese seaweed salad. We used tamari and kept the cilantro stems. Jodie Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Made this for guests last night- it was easy and delicious! Tweaked a little by adding garlic. We loved the blend of flavors it was sort of an asian taste. I will definately make this again- definately loved the chicken but next time I may try it over grilled shrimp or fish. Kristin New Jersey Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Most soy sauces contain gluten If you are making this for someone who has a reaction to gluten make sure your soy sauce does not contain wheat. It is the first ingredient in most soy sauces. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Husband Approved My husband loved this recipe and so did I! It was so easy to make with just a few ingredients. I used chicken breast chunks instead of tenders. The cilantro pesto really is refreshing but better than regular pesto! It's not oily. I used spaghetti instead of quinoa. Either way OMG! I am making this again tonight but using shrimp. Can't wait to go home and make it! Pros: Tasty tangy fast delicious genious Cons: None Read More
Rating: 4 stars
The marinated chicken was okay but especially LOVED the pesto. I ate it by itself when the chicken was gone. Did add a bit of grapeseed oil to the pesto when I prepared it. Other than that followed the recipe. Read More