Grilled Honey Barbecue Chicken

A perfectly grilled, juicy chicken breast is a thing of beauty – and once you have mastered this take-it-slow technique, chicken success on the grill will be guaranteed, every time! Don’t be afraid of the lightly spiced paste, I was worried my children wouldn’t go for it. But slathered in the sweet honey glaze? They gobbled dinner right up!

Honey Barbecue Chicken
Serves: 6
Consider making a double batch of the spice paste and honey glaze. With dinner insurance in the fridge, you are just a step away from a savory dinner - simply brush some on grilled or seared meat, pork, fish or shrimp. The flavor is incredible. Happy cooking!
  • ½ cup Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Honey mustard
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Paprika (preferably sweet paprika)
  • 1 tsp Brown sugar, light
  • 1 tsp Oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Chipotle chili powder (optional)
  • 4 - 4½ lbs of Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, trimmed
  • ¾ cup Honey
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce, low-sodium
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha (optional)
  1. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, honey mustard, garlic, paprika, brown sugar, oregano, Kosher salt and chipotle chili powder (if using).
  2. Spread spice paste all over the chicken breasts and store them in a large ziploc bag. Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
  3. In the meantime, in a second small bowl, whisk honey, soy sauce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar and Sriracha (if using). Set aside and reserve ½ cup to serve with dinner.
  4. Spray the grill with canola spray and heat to high. Close grill top and allow the grill to heat to 350 - 400 degrees.
  5. Once grill is heated, turn the burners to low, place the chicken on the grill, preferably on a slant for the grilling marks.
  6. Grill chicken for 5 minutes and then flip to the other side.
  7. Once the chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, brush with glaze and then flip for an additional 5 minutes. From this point forward, brush with glaze every time the chicken is flipped.
  8. Once that time is up, flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes. At this point the chicken might be finished, or need an additional 5 -10 minutes of cooking time.
  9. You should pull the chicken when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, while resting, the chicken will continue to cook an additional 5 degrees (chicken is ready to eat when the internal temperature is 165 degrees).
  10. Once chicken is finished cooking, allow the chicken to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  11. Serve with reserved sauce on the side.


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Grilled Asian-Style Portabello Mushrooms

Few vegetables are more delicious on the grill than portabello mushrooms…they lend themselves to all types of flavor profiles and they grill beautifully. This mouthwatering marinade pairs perfectly with the mushrooms, but would also work well with steak.

Shown with Grilled Baby Bok Choy

Grilled Asian-Style Portabello Mushrooms
Serves: serves 4
This marinade is soooo good! Your mushrooms need as little as an hour in the marinade, but up to overnight works well too. Planning a quick weeknight dinner - I would double the marinade and include a few steaks. Happy cooking!
  • 4 tbsp Soy sauce, low-sodium
  • ½ of a Lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Sambal oelek (see note)
  • ½ cup Canola oil
  • 4 Portabello mushrooms, gills removed (see note)
  1. In a small bowl mis together soy sauce, lime, garlic, sambal oelek and canola oil.
  2. Place mushrooms in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Seal and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  3. Spray grill with canola spray and preheat to medium. Place mushrooms on the grill and cook, turning every 5 minutes for 15-20 minutes total.
  4. Remove from grill and serve immediately.
Sambal oelek - An Indonesian hot sauce that adds a subtle kick to the mushrooms. If you don't have it swap in Siracha. These mushrooms aren't spicy so you don't want to skip some type of hot sauce.
Why remove the gills? You simply need to scrap them out with a spoon. The gills can hide any sand or dirt - which would make your mushrooms taste gritty. And if you are making any type of sauce the dark gills can discolor anything they touch.


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Grilled Baby Bok Choy

Bok choy on the grill is so good, flavorful and interesting…and best of all quick, which makes it the perfect candidate for a weeknight dinner side. Of all the Asian ingredients I keep in the fridge, miso paste might be my favorite. I love it’s unami punch and versatility.

Shown with Asian-style Portabello Mushrooms

Grilled Baby Bok Choy
Serves: serves 4
I love bok choy on the grill, it's just like grilled romaine, unexpectedly good in a way you never anticipated. I know it sounds crazy, but bok choy is actually very kid-friendly. You don't need to do much for these ingredients, just toss them with a bit of butter or oil, and seasoning and hit the grill. Happy cooking!
  • 3 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp Canola oil
  • 3 tbsp Miso paste, white
  • 1 lb Baby bok choy not trimmed (see note)
  1. In you have a grill basket - preheat grill to medium. If you do not have a grill basket, spray the grill with canola spray before preheating.
  2. Melt butter, canola oil and miso paste in a small bowl in the microwave.
  3. In a large bowl toss bok choy with miso butter mixture.
  4. Transfer to the grill, and cook, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
  5. The leaves should be slightly crisp and the bulbs tender. When eating you can discard the bok choy bulbs.
Bok choy - I like to cook the bok choy without trimming the stalks - it's easier to grill if everything is intact.


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Spanish-Style Grilled Pork Loin

Pork loin is always a  big hit in our house. It’s delicious, lean, healthy and lends itself to all types of savory flavors. When it’s cold outside I sear and then roast the pork, but as soon as Spring arrives I head out to the grill. Not only am I fascinated by the alchemy of the grill, I love not having dishes to wash, so I am always trying to figure out how to make our entire dinner outside. The tasty marinade bastes the pork and then transforms into a delicious sauce for your dinner…and a vinaigrette for a quick salad later in the week. Now that’s getting some serious mileage from a small cooking investment!

I served my kids the pork without the sauce. If you have adventurous eaters, I envy you! You could also serve the sauce in a little ramekin alongside the pork and encourage them to give it a try.

Spanish-Style Grilled Pork Loin
Serves: serves 8 - 10
When you are feeding a crowd you can't go wrong with pork loin. It's a crowd pleaser and so much easier to manage on the grill then lots of burgers or chicken breasts. If you don't have oregano, either thyme or rosemary would work equally well in this marinade. Happy cooking!
  • 1 cup Oregano leaves
  • ¼ cup Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup Olive oil
  • ¼ cup Sherry vinegar
  • 4½ - 5 lb Pork loin, trimmed (see note)
  1. In a food processor combine oregano leaves and garlic and pulse until a paste is formed.
  2. Add Kosher salt, olive oil and sherry vinegar and pulse until the dressing is emulsified.
  3. Place the pork in a pyrex dish, poke about 10 holes with a fork in each side of the pork and spread both sides with approximately ⅓ cup of the dressing.
  4. Transfer the rest of the marinade to a mason jar - now you have dressing for your pork.
  5. Cover the pork with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  6. Spray grill with olive oil or canola spray and heat to high. Let grill preheat until the temperature gauge reads at least 300 degrees.
  7. Place pork on the grill, I like to put it crossways for grill marks, and grill over high heat, turning every few minutes for about 15 minutes total (this is the searing part of the cook time).
  8. Turn heat to low and continue cooking, turning the pork every 15 minutes, for about 45 minutes longer.
  9. The internal temperature of the pork should be 145 degrees when you take it off the grill. Let it rest for about 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute, the internal temperature will continue to rise.
  10. Thinly slice to serve (the meat will be slightly pink in the center).
Pork loin - it's important to trim not only the excess fat and the silver skin off the pork. The silver skin is tough and inedible when cooked, so you definitely want to cut it off.


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Grilled Sesame Tuna

Seared ahi tuna is one of those fabulous meals that exists somewhere between dreams and reality…this recipe was born from a sushi craving. I love to feed my kids as much seafood as possible, but the reality is that means frozen shrimp or seafood on sale. I saw yellowtail on sale at Wegmans last week, so I snapped it right up. My kids really like seafood, so it wasn’t hard to get them to try tuna. However, the sesame seeds are completely strange to them and I definitely got some pushback, so I adjusted accordingly. I made one of the tuna steaks sesame seed free – and everyone ate their dinner. You have to pick your battles….

Shown here with Wasabi Sauce

Wasabi Sauce

Grilled Sesame Tuna
Serves: serves 4
If you aren't sure your kids will eat sesame seeds then play it safe and make one tuna steak sesame seed free. To introduce them to the flavor give them a small piece from your plate and let them try it. For my kids I try to have realistic expectations...eating sesame seeds is less important than enjoying a happy and healthy dinner. Happy cooking!
  • 2 Tuna steaks (1¼ - ½ lbs total)
  • 4 tbsp Canola oil, divided in half
  • 2 tsp Sesame oil, divided in half
  • ⅔ cups Sesame seeds, mix of white and black seeds, divided in half
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt, divided in half
  1. Spray grill with canola spray and turn to medium high.
  2. Pat tuna dry.
  3. On one plate combine half of the canola oil and sesame oil.
  4. On a second plate combine half of the sesame seeds and Kosher salt.
  5. Dip tuna in the oil mixture, making sure to completely cover the tuna.
  6. Transfer to the plate with the sesame seed mixture and throughly coat the tuna, pressing the sesame seeds to adhere to the tuna.
  7. Grill tuna on medium high for 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and slice thinly to serve.

Grilled Baby Bok Choy


Grilled Asian-Style Portabello Mushrooms


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Grilled Chicken Wrapped in Bacon

I feel silly even writing this up as a recipe, but one evening last week without a clear plan for dinner, I came up with this super-fast, throw-it-all on the grill dinner. In our house, and I suspect most of yours, anything with bacon is a hit – hence the inspiration behind this dinner. I rounded dinner out with some grilled green beans and corn. I get so excited when I can make a whole dinner on aluminum foil!

Chicken Wrapped in Bacon

Grilled Chicken Wrapped in Bacon
Serves: 8-10
This recipe is uttter simplicity, which I needed at the time. But feel free to jazz this up a bit. Mixing a little Dijon mustard with the olive oil or adding some fresh herbs would be delicious. Happy cooking!
  • 4½ lbs Skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut in half on the diagonal (see note)
  • 1 cup Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Mediterranean spiced sea salt
  • 10 pieces of Bacon (thick cut would work best)
  1. Place chicken on a large baking sheet. In a small bowl mix together olive oil and sea salt until blended. Brush chicken with olive oil mixture.
  2. Wrap each chicken breast, you should have 10 total pieces of chicken, with 1 piece of bacon. (You can affix with a skewer but if they are wooden you will need to soak them for 30 minutes first).
  3. Spray grill with canola spray and preheat the grill to low. Close the lid and allow to heat up for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Carefully place each piece of chicken on the grill, the bacon can move around a little bit, so tongs can be helpful. Let the chicken cook without moving for 10 minutes per side.
  5. Check chicken for doneness, you want to pull the chicken from the grill when the internal temperature is 160 degrees. As you let it rest for 10 minutes, the temperature will rise 5 degrees, so it will be a safe 165, but also moist and flavorful.
Chicken - In the family packs of skinless, boneless breasts that I buy there are 5 large breasts, way too big to be one serving (in my opinion). So, each time I open a pack of chicken I do one of two things depending on the recipe. When grilling I prefer a thicker breast, so I cut the breast in half on a diagonal. When I am cooking chicken on the stovetop - saute or stir fry - I know I need a thinner piece of chicken, but I can't imagine pounding out all of those pieces. I simply slice each chicken breast in half from side to side, eliminating the need to pound the chicken. I know this is not a perfect method, but when you are making this much food I need speed and ease of preparation.


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Mojo Pork Tenderloin

I love pork tenderloin! Grilled or roasted – it always turns out yummy and juicy. Think of it as a blank canvas, much the same as a skinless, boneless chicken breast – you can add any flavor profile to it and create an interesting and delicious meal. This marinade is so easy and the pork tastes incredible. Pork tenderloin is a great option for a quick family meal, or double this recipe and you have a ideal main dish for a crowd. It’s much easier to move a few pork tenderloins around the grill instead of tons of chicken breasts. Try this pork as the centerpiece of a make-your-own taco bar. Ours had thin slices of pork, flour tortillas, my grilled salsa (recipe link below), sour cream, Mexican rice (I had a ziploc of it frozen from our last Mexican dinner), shredded cheese and my incredible black bean salad (recipe coming soon). When I talk about how to make dinner kid-friendly this meal is a perfect example of how to do that – each person gets to make their own taco so everyone enjoys their dinner. I round this meal out with a big platter of raw veggies – my kids love vegetables so they can supplement their VERY basic tacos (pork, cheese and tortilla) with a few handfuls of vegetables, and dinner is done!

This picture shows the recipe doubled - normally you will grill 1 package of pork which contains 2 pork tenderloins.
This picture shows the recipe doubled – normally you will grill 1 package of pork which contains 2 pork tenderloins.


My go-to Mexican inspired salad dressing is this delicious honey-lime vinaigrette. Try it the next time you make tacos, enchiladas….

You have to try this salsa! It is sooo good!

Mojo Pork Tenderloin
Serves: 8
Love the Cuban flavors of this marinade, Mojo always say "summer" to me. Make sure to use fresh oregano, it really is the centerpiece of this marinade. I served this pork as part of a taco bar, but it could easily stand alone with rice and a salad. Happy cooking!
  • 3 tbsp Oregano, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Canola oil
  • ¼ cup Orange juice
  • 2 Limes, zested and juiced
  • 4 tsp Minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2½ lbs Pork tenderloin, trimmed (the package will have 2 smaller pork tenderloins around 1¼ lb each)
  1. In a small bowl whisk together the oregano, canola oil, orange juice, lime zest and juice, minced garlic and Kosher salt.
  2. Place tenderloins in a Ziploc bag. Pour marinade over the pork. Marinate in the refridgerator for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before grilling to allow the pork to lose some of its chill.
  3. Prep grill with canola spray and preheat burners to low. Close the lid and allow the grill to heat up for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Place pork on the grill and cook it for 10-15 minutes on each side. The pork is ready to come off the grill when it has an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Let it rest on a platter for 10 minutes before slicing so it can finish cooking (the temperature will increase another 10 degrees) and the juices can redistribute.


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Classic Hamburgers

When Jeff saw me writing down my hamburger recipe, he asked why I would write a recipe for this because, “They’re just hamburgers”. I completely disagree, because simple recipes of classic dishes you’ll make over and over, those recipes are the most important to nail down and perfect. So, this isn’t a jazzy restaurant burger with all types of fillings and ingredients, this is simply a classic hamburger that everyone in our house loves. We like to add cheddar cheese to the burgers that are being eaten that night, and then add the slice of cheddar when we microwave the leftover burgers, one at a time. Offered at our house with ketchup, mayo, lettuce, a ripe tomato or avocado if we have it and family favorite pimento cheese. This dinner is my summer Sunday go-to when the kids are arriving back at our house, I love welcoming them home with their favorite foods.

Perfect Hamburgers

Classic Hamburgers
Serves: 10 burgers
I know 10 hamburgers is a lot, so certainly consider halving this recipe. Or, just make these hamburgers for your next cookout and set out a fixings bar alongside...easy entertaining! Happy cooking!
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 4.5 lbs Ground beef, 80/20 mix
  • 10 slices of cheese if desired - we like cheddar
  1. In a large bowl add worcestershire sauce, Kosher salt and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
  2. Add ground beef and gently mix with your hands until the beef is saturated with the sauce.
  3. Form into 10 patties of equal size. If you are making these ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until 30 minutes before grilling.
  4. Spray grill with canola spray and turn burners to low. Preheat the grill for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add burgers and grill with top down, touching them as little as possible (see note) for 8-10 minutes per side. They will flame up a little bit because the 80/20 ground beef has some fat, but over low heat the flame ups are not too bad and can, in general, be left unattended.
  6. When you burgers are looking almost done, add cheese slices if desired. Close grill and cook 2 additional minutes.
  7. How can you tell if your burger is done? We cook our burgers to medium so we are looking for an internal temp of 160 degrees.
  8. Remove burgers from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
Do not ever press down on your burgers! Each time you touch them, or worse still, press your spatula down on them, your burger loses juice. And we want a juicy burger, so try and touch them as little has possible.


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Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad

We had such a terrific dinner Monday night! It was one of those meals that the first time you pull it together, it’s a home run! This marinade is simply delicious, and with a few additional ingredients it becomes an unbelievably tasty vinaigrette. I really want to start showing how I balance what Jeff and I (and the older boys if they are home) want to eat for dinner with what the four younger ones will eat, and most importantly that dinner will be a HAPPY time. My kids enjoy eating all kinds of flavors, they just don’t like having their food mixed together. This dinner is an really accurate picture of how dinner works at our house.

Our grown-up dinner salad this evening. If you have kids who would enjoy a salad like this good for you! My kids would not!
Our grown-up dinner salad this evening. If you have kids who would enjoy a salad like this good for you! My kids would not!


Our kid-friendly dinner...the same grilled ginger-sesame chicken, along with grilled green beans and corn.
Our kid-friendly dinner…the same grilled ginger-sesame chicken, along with grilled green beans and corn. No pots and pans to wash!

Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad
Serves: 8-10
I know this recipe makes A LOT of chicken, but consider following the recipe ratios as is. I slice each of the 5 large chicken breasts that come in the family size pack in half. That gives me 10 servings of chicken (an adult might want 2, but 1 works perfectly for a child). I fed 2 grown-ups, 2 college kids, 2 teenagers and 2 kids and I have 2 pieces of chicken left over. If you don't need that much consider making the marinade and then marinating your chicken in two separate bags. Use one bag for dinner now and freeze the other bag for dinner in the next month. Asian marinades in general always freeze well, and it is such a great feeling to be one step away from throwing dinner on the grill. Happy cooking!
  • 1½ cups Low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • ¼ cup Hoisin sauce
  • 5 tbsp Ginger (see note)
  • 5 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 4 tsp Sriracha
  • 5 lbs Skinless, boneless chicken trimmed
  • 1 cup Rice wine vinegar, unseasoned
  • 4 tbsp Scallions, minced (see note)
  • Amounts on the salad ingredients will vary according to how many salads you are fixing:
  • Romaine
  • Broccoli slaw
  • Unsalted, roasted peanuts
  • Cilantro, minced
  1. In a medium size bowl whisk together soy sauce, canola oil, hoisin sauce, ginger, sesame oil and Sriracha.
  2. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag and add 1½ cups of the marinade to the bag. Once the bag is sealed, massage chicken to make sure each piece is covered in the marinade. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 8 hours. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling.
  3. Meanwhile back in the bowl with the remaining marinade. Add rice vinegar and whisk throughly. Next add scallions and whisk to combine. Pour into a Mason jar or tupperware and refridgerate until ready to use.
  4. When you are ready to grill - remove chicken from the fridge 30 minutes prior. Spray the grill with canola spray and turn the burners to low. Close the lid and allow the grill to heat up for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Place chicken on the grill and allow to cook without turning for 10 minutes (with grill lid closed).
  6. Once you put the chicken on the grill start to assemble your salads.
  7. Flip chicken and cook the other side for 10 minutes more. Depending on the thickness of your chicken it could be done now, or might need an additional 5-10 minutes. If you have a digital thermometer, use it - it's so helpful! You want you chicken to have an internal temp of 160, then you can pull it. It will reach the safe temp of 165 while it rests. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes to allow it to finish cooking and the juices to redistribute.
  8. Thinly slice and serve atop the salad.
Ginger - I bought fresh ginger once and thought it to be expensive and a pain to peel. I discovered ginger paste in a tube, and I know it sounds like a huge exaggeration, but it changed my life! I love Asian food and it is so helpful to know you always a tube of Ginger paste in the fridge. It keeps for a few months, is very inexpensive AND most importantly, it is so quick and easy to use!
Scallions - the easiest way to cut the green parts is to use scissors.


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Pesto Chicken

One of Jeff’s favorite condiments is pesto, and after reading Williams-Sonoma’s Grill Master recipe for a Pesto Chicken Sandwich, I was inspired to come up with a version that worked for our family. I first made this meal as a pool-side lunch a few weeks ago – OMG, it was incredible! Such a fancy yet easy meal – I felt like I was sitting at a beach club in the Caribbean.

Shown here with summer succotash...stay tuned for that recipe
Shown here with summer succotash…feel free to turn this into a sandwich.

Lunch in yummy!
Lunch in progress…so yummy! And yes, I went back for a second helping of succotash!

Pesto Chicken Sandwich
Serves: 4
I served my delectable pesto chicken with sauce dripping off the sides, warm tomatoes and melting mozzarella. It's a messy but a delicious meal - the grilled bread and summer succotash are just the perfect accompaniments to sop up the juices. Happy cooking!
  • 4 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts (6 oz each)
  • ¼ cup Olive oil, plus an additional ½ cup for the tomatoes and bread
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt, plus an additional ½ tsp for the tomatoes and bread
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder, plus an additional ½ tsp for the tomatoes and bread
  • ½ cup Pesto plus extra for serving
  • 8 Tomato slices, sliced thick
  • 8 bread slices, sliced thick
  • 4-8 slices Mozzarella cheese (see note)
  1. Spray the grill with canola spray and heat to low.
  2. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with Kosher salt and garlic powder.
  3. Grill 10 minutes on the first side, then flip. After 5 minutes, brush chicken breasts with pesto on one side, then in another 5 minutes flip and finish brushing with pesto.
  4. While chicken is grilling, pour ½ cup olive oil onto a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with ½ tsp Kosher salt and ½ tsp garlic powder. Place tomatoes and bread onto the baking sheet, turning both a few times until they are throughly coated with the olive oil mixture.
  5. Check chicken for doneness at this time. You want the internal temp to be at least 160 (it will still cook off the grill to reach the required 165). If chicken is finished cooking, remove to a plate.
  6. Place tomatoes and bread on the grill and cook about 2 minutes per side, or until you have slight grill marks on both and the bread is toasted. Remove from the grill.
  7. To assemble - let each person assemble the chicken to their liking, I enjoy an extra dollop of pesto on top of mine!
Mozzarella cheese - You will notice I specified 4-8 slices depending on how cheesy you want your chicken to be. If you want to melt your cheese onto your chicken simply place the cheese on the chicken during the last 2 minutes of grilling time. I prefer to add the mozzarella on top and let it melt sightly into the tomatoes and chicken because I want a spot for some additional pesto!


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