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The grilled chicken recipe that will make you crave leftovers — yes, you will

The meal kit trend just took an unexpected twist: cookbooks. One of the first startups in the biz, Plated, just published a collection of customizable, “choose your own adventure” recipes. What that means is that the book is organized by scenario, from weeknight dinners to make-ahead meals. Both practical and beautiful, Plated would make a great graduation or wedding gift.

More: Oven-‘fried’ chicken that’s just as crisp and juicy as the original

My favorite chapter is Great for Leftovers, or as I like to call them, two-for-one meals. That’s when you cook one large dinner and use the leftovers for the next meal. So smart. And isn’t that the way a lot of us cook already? Check out these two recipes from the chapter: pesto-grilled chicken kebabs with ricotta pea salad, which turns into pesto chicken pizza almost as if by magic. Almost.

More: 3 totally different chicken recipes from Real Simple‘s cookbook

plated cookbook
Image: Robert Bredvad

Pesto-grilled chicken kebabs with ricotta pea salad recipe

Serves 2 plus 2 servings of leftovers


  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade (page 39)
  • 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 cups shelled fresh peas
  • 2 cups pea shoots
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, store-bought or homemade (page 40)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat a grill to high or a grill pan over high heat.
  2. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with 1/3 cup of the pesto to coat. Marinate for at least 15 minutes at room temperature (or cover with plastic wrap, and marinate overnight in the fridge).
  3. Pick the tarragon leaves off the stems. Mince the shallot. Halve the snap peas on a diagonal. Halve the lemon. Cut the white and light green parts of the scallions into 1-inch pieces (discard the dark green tops).
  4. When the grill or grill pan is hot, add the lemon cut side down. Grill, without moving, until charred and juicy, 2 – 3 minutes. Squeeze the juice into a large bowl. Whisk in the honey, tarragon and shallot. While whisking, slowly stream in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to emulsify. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Set the lemon vinaigrette aside.
  5. Thread the skewers, alternating chicken with scallion, about 4 pieces of each. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Brush the grill or grill pan with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the kebabs, and grill, brushing with some of the remaining pesto every 1 – 2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, 3 – 4 minutes per side.
  6. While the kebabs grill, in a medium pot, bring the stock to a boil over medium heat. Add the snap peas and shelled peas, and cook until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Add to the lemon vinaigrette along with the pea shoots. Toss to coat just before serving. Taste the salad, and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside half the chicken kebabs and half the pea salad to save for leftovers. Pull the chicken and scallions off the skewers. Cover, and store the chicken and salad separately in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  7. To serve, dollop the pea salad with the ricotta, and top with the kebabs.

Pesto chicken pizza with ricotta and peas recipe

Serves 2


  • Leftover pesto-grilled chicken and scallions (off the skewers)
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 pound store-bought pizza dough
  • 2 tablespoons pesto, store-bought or homemade (page 39)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, store-bought or homemade
  • Leftover pea salad
  • Kosher salt


  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces.
  3. Sprinkle flour over a clean, dry surface. Roll out the pizza dough as thinly as possible into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick, flipping and rotating the dough between each roll. Transfer the dough to the lined baking sheet.
  4. Spread the pesto evenly over the pizza, leaving a 1-inch border. Drizzle with the olive oil, and lightly season with salt. Dot with the ricotta. Bake the pizza until the crust is crisp, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, scatter the shredded chicken and scallions on top, and return to the oven until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Garnish with the pea salad before slicing and serving.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

99 easy chicken recipes that get dinner on the table in no time
Image: Rowena Dumlao-Giardina

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