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Grilled Chicken with Plum Sauce and Pine Nuts

A moist and tender recipe for marinated grilled chicken with plum sauce using pureed plums and balsamic vinegar and topped with toasted pine nuts. 

Chicken topped with a plum sauce on a white plate

*I received free samples of California Dried Plums mentioned in this grilled chicken with plum sauce post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Dried Plum Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. 

I love to use my grill this time of year. It’s an easy and mess-free way to get a good, nutritious meal on the table in a hurry. When brainstorming my recipe creation for the California Dried Plum board recipe challenge hosted by the Recipe ReDux,

I wanted to utilize some of my favorite food-enhancing properties of dried plums and use the grill for the cooking method. Dried plums impart incredible moisture to meats in a marinade and they add a wonderful natural sweet flavor to compliment a savory dish. That sweet/savory combo makes me swoon! I love how this balance of flavors creates a tasty protein-packed meal with great contrast of textures.

Grilled chicken with plum sauce glaze and pine nuts

Health-Enhancing Benefits of Dried Plums

  • Dried plums help support healthy bones. Studies show that eating one-two servings of dried plums for one year increased bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.
  • Dried plums can replace fat or sugar in your recipes, reducing calories and adding wonderful flavor. You can use half the amount of fat or sugar, replacing the other half with prune puree.
  • Dried plums add moisture to meat and baked goods, so use in marinades, stuffings or sauces.
  • Natural elements in dried plums act as flavor enhancers, so they will heighten the flavors of your other ingredients while boosting the nutrient value of your dish.
  • California dried plums make a nutritious snack, supporting digestive health, immunity and healthy aging.
  • Dried plums contain less than 100 calories for one serving (4-5 plums), along with 3 g fiber, 293 mg of potassium, 16 mg magnesium and more vitamin K than any other fresh or dried fruit.

How To Make A Chicken Marinade with Dried Plums

This recipe makes a wonderful, thick marinade to yield incredibly moist grilled chicken. All thanks to this flavorful dried fruit! I also use coconut sugar in this recipe, another one of my favorite natural sweeteners. It has a nice depth of flavor and tastes similar to brown sugar. Feel free to substitute brown sugar in this recipe, if you wish.

plum marinade for grilled chicken with plum sauce and pine nuts

A recommendation on this dish:  If you are using larger chicken breasts, use a meat mallet and pound them out to an even thickness, this will result in even heat distribution in the meat while cooking. I use smaller, organic breasts, so I can skip this extra step.

A platter of grilled chicken breasts with a plum glaze and pine nuts

grilled chicken with plum sauce and pine nuts sliced on a plate

Grilled Chicken with Plum Sauce and Pine Nuts

A moist and tender recipe for marinated grilled chicken with plum sauce using pureed plums and balsamic vinegar and topped with toasted pine nuts
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 412kcal
Author: Amee


  • grill


  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I recommend smaller 4 oz breasts they cook more evenly and have a better texture)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup California dried plums
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Mediterranean seasoning blend
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • First, prepare the plum puree.
  • Combine 1 cup California dried plums (about 18 plums) and 6 tbsp hot water in a food processor.
  • Process until smooth and transfer to a measuring cup and set aside.
  • Now prepare the marinade for the chicken.
  • Combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup plum puree, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp Mediterranean seasoning blend in a large bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Whisk to combine, the marinade should be thick, like barbecue sauce.
  • Add chicken breasts to marinade and pour into a sealed container.
  • Refrigerate for 2-3 hours for flavors to mingle and for the meat to tenderize, or better yet marinate overnight.
  • Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium-low heat until lightly golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  • Preheat grill, then turn down to medium heat.
  • While grill is heating, prepare your sauce.
  • Finely chop the remaining 1/4 cup California dried plums and place into a small saucepan. Add 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp plum puree, and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Cook on medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tbsp butter. Set aside while you grill the chicken breasts.
  • Cook chicken until internal temp is 165 degrees F, turning several times and basting with remaining marinade. Allow to cook for a few minutes after the final basting. Cooking time will vary with the size of the chicken breasts. I flipped the breasts about every 2 minutes and basted for a total of 4 rotations. They were good and saucy!
  • Serve each chicken breast with about 2 tsp plum sauce and top each serving with toasted pine nuts.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 412kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 759mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 434IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @ameecooks or tag #ameecooks!
Amee Livingston
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  1. This looks fantastic! That sauce is simply amazing! What a stunning dish!

    1. Hi Nina! It’s a spice blend with oregano, onion, garlic, salt, etc. You can find it at specialty spice stores or McCormick makes a Greek seasoning blend that works great in this recipe.

  2. Yay for grilling season! This chicken looks so flavorful- awesome! Good luck with the contest 🙂

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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