Pesto Chicken Salad
Jun 14, 2023
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This pesto chicken salad is everything you want in a summer meal. Juicy chicken, crisp vegetables, and toasted pine nuts get tossed with a fresh and creamy basil pesto sauce that takes this salad over the top. Plus, it double duties as a durable meal prep idea for the week or a crowd-loving summer salad.
Don’t get me wrong — my ultimate chicken salad can never be replaced, especially with how many raving reviews it has. But when basil season is upon us, it’s time to turn a new (green) leaf on a classic by mixing chicken salad with my homemade basil pesto sauce. It was a spur-of-the-moment idea, but I have to say, this pesto chicken salad is almost too good. If you love pesto as much as I do… it’s guaranteed to be a summer salad favorite.
Pesto Chicken Salad Ingredients
The ingredient list is quite simple. But I’ve got a few notes below on the condiments used in this salad.
- Chicken: Follow my poached chicken recipe for perfectly cooked chicken. Then, you can dice it into cubes or make shredded chicken. Want an even easier shortcut? Use store-bought rotisserie chicken.
- Vegetables: Diced celery ribs and red onion add crisp and crunchy goodness (and a pop of red!).
- Nuts: I love toasting the pine nuts for just a few minutes for an even better nutty flavor. But feel free to use raw nuts as well.
- Cheese: The cheese is optional, but a sprinkle of grated parmesan is a delicious addition.
- Sauce: Stir the mayonnaise and basil pesto for a fresh and creamy combo. I truly believe homemade is best for both condiments. So I’ve linked my basil pesto recipe below, and here’s how to make mayonnaise.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below in the recipe card.
How to Make Pesto Chicken Salad
Stir the salad. Once you have everything sliced and diced, add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Stir until the salad is well combined and evenly coated with the basil pesto.
Serve or chill. You can enjoy this salad right away or leave it chilled in the fridge for later.
Since this recipe is meant to be chilled, don’t leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours. Otherwise, store it in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days.
More Summer Salad Recipes
Turn the best of summer produce into these easy summer salads. And if you need a few more ideas, take a peek through this list of salad recipes that will hopefully spur your creative juices in the kitchen.
- Greek Salad
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Caprese Salad
- Tuna Salad (or this delicious salmon salad!)
- Classic Potato Salad
I hope you love this pesto chicken salad as much as I do for the summer season! Once you make it, let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.
Pesto Chicken Salad
- Stir. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients until it's well combined and evenly coated with the basil pesto.
- Serve or chill. Enjoy this salad right away or leave it chilled in the fridge for later.
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