I love jalapenos. While I am a self confessed heat addict, they are extremely good for you too! Jalapenos have more vitamin C than eating an orange and are packed in vitamin A! So feel good about eating this recipe. And if you don't like heat but like the pepper flavor, take the seeds out and this marinade will have very little heat.

This is a loose interpretation of the term “pesto”. Instead of basil, I use cilantro and pair with jalapenos and lime juice to make my “triple crown” of favorite flavors. This would be equally great on grilled veggies and as a dip paired with tortilla chips.

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jalapeno pesto, jalapeno cilantro pesto, cilantro pesto chicken, grilled pesto chicken, grilled romaine

Jalapeno Pesto Chicken

  • Author: Robyn




  • 3 limes- used for juice and zest
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
  • 4 jalapenos- if you don't like heat, remove the seeds.
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tblsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Additional ingredients:

  • 6 pack of chicken legs- enough for 23 people

I paired the chicken with quick and easy grilled romaine and texas toast for a satisfying and easy meal. Do you have a favorite play on pesto? Please share and I'll feature them here on the blog!


Use a food processor or emulsion blender to mix all of this together. Zest all of the limes for lovely lime goodness, then cut them in half and juice them directly into the processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix in the processor until all the ingredients are mixed uniformly.

Marinade the chicken legs for up to 4 hours. If you don't have time to marinate that long, you will still have good flavor in the chicken.

Grill the chicken on a medium/high grill, about 350 degrees, approximately 7-8 minutes each side, or until an internal temp of 170 degrees has been reached (use a meat thermometer, don't try to guess!)


jalapeno lime marinade, jalapeno pesto, cilantro lime pesto, cilantro lime marinade

Jalapeno-lime-cilantro goodness! My favorite flavors in a pesto consistency!


jalapeno pesto, jalapeno cilantro pesto, cilantro pesto chicken, grilled pesto chicken, grilled romaine

I paired this chicken with grilled romaine hearts and texas toast for a quick and easy “meal on the grill”.