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Grilled Tarragon Chicken with Pasta, Pecans and Spring Greens

  • Author: (By Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish salads, grilled chicken, easy entertaining


Grilled Tarragon Chicken with Pasta, Pecans and Spring Greens is a scrumptious one-dish salad that’s full of delicious flavors – and perfect for warm summer evenings!



Grilled Tarragon Chicken Marinade

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (around 1 1/4 pounds total)

Pecan-Tarragon Pesto Dressing

  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) toasted pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed tarragon leaves
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • 4 ounces rotini pasta
  • 1 container (5 ounce) mixed baby spring greens
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 container (10 ounce) grape tomatoes, or 2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) toasted pecan halves
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish


Grilled Tarragon Chicken Marinade

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, tarragon, rosemary and garlic.
  2. Butterfly and halve chicken breasts; place in a zip top baggie and add the marinade. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Pecan-Tarragon Pesto Dressing

  1. In a blender or small food processor, blend the pecans, parsley, tarragon, lemon juice, garlic and salt until well mixed. With machine running, slowly add olive oil. Add cheese and process just until mixed. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes, to allow the flavors to blend.

Preparing Chicken and Salad

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pesto dressing. Set aside.
  2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or preheat a gas grill on medium-high.
  3. Coat grill racks with vegetable oil. Remove chicken breasts from the marinade, scraping off most of the tarragon leaves. Place chicken on racks and grill, covered, until seared, around 4 minutes. Turn over and continue grilling until chicken reaches 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer, around another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside.
  4. Toss the pasta with the greens and 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide evenly among 4 dinner plates.
  5. Slice cooked chicken on the diagonal and arrange on top of greens. Arrange tomatoes and pecans around chicken, on top of greens.
  6. Spoon a bit of pesto dressing over the chicken; Sprinkle shaved Parmesan over the top of all (I like to break up large pieces). Pass any remaining dressing on the side.


Make ahead: chicken can be marinated up to 24 hours ahead. Pesto can be made up to 2 days ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using. Pasta can be cooked earlier in the day, tossed with the pesto, covered and kept at room temperature.

© A Well-Seasoned Kitchen ®