Pesto Chicken Salad

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Indulge in the harmony of vibrant flavors and wholesome ingredients with our Pesto Chicken Salad recipe. This delightful dish seamlessly blends the boldness of pesto sauce with the succulence of grilled chicken, resulting in a symphony of taste and texture that’s as satisfying as it is nutritious. Whether you’re seeking a light lunch, a refreshing dinner, or an impressive party platter, this recipe has it all. Join us as we explore the art of crafting a pesto-infused chicken salad that’s a celebration of culinary creativity and a testament to the beauty of balance.

Pesto Chicken Salad is a delightful and flavorful dish that marries the vibrant tastes of pesto with tender, grilled chicken and fresh vegetables. While the specific origin of this recipe is not documented, it combines elements from Mediterranean and Italian cuisines, where pesto sauce is a well-known and beloved ingredient.

  • Pesto sauce, a fragrant blend of basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice, has its roots in Genoa, Italy. It’s a versatile sauce used in pasta dishes, sandwiches, and salads.
  • Grilled chicken salads are a popular choice in Mediterranean and Mediterranean-inspired cuisines, where fresh, wholesome ingredients are celebrated.
  • The combination of pesto and chicken in a salad creates a harmonious blend of flavors, making it a satisfying and savory meal.

Pesto Chicken Salad reflects the essence of Mediterranean cuisine, with its focus on vibrant herbs, quality olive oil, and fresh ingredients.

Pesto Chicken Salad

Our Pesto Chicken Salad takes the classic combination of greens and protein to new heights by infusing it with the robust flavors of basil pesto. Tender, grilled chicken breast takes center stage, adorned with a vibrant array of fresh vegetables, herbs, and a zesty dressing. The result is a medley of textures and tastes that dance across your palate, leaving you refreshed and satisfied. Whether served atop a bed of mixed greens, tucked into a wrap, or enjoyed with crusty bread, this dish is a culinary canvas that allows you to customize it according to your preferences.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 15 mins Rest Time 10 mins Total Time 40 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Calories: 313.59 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Pesto Dressing:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill or stovetop grilling pan over medium-high heat.

  2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and black pepper.

  3. Grill the chicken breasts for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked.

  4. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the mixed salad greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese.

  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the basil pesto, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey (if using), salt, and black pepper to create the pesto dressing.

  7. Drizzle the pesto dressing over the salad and toss to coat the ingredients evenly.

  8. Arrange the grilled chicken slices on top of the salad.

  9. Serve the Pesto Chicken Salad immediately and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4


Amount Per Serving
Calories 313.59kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20.16g32%
Saturated Fat 4.15g21%
Trans Fat 0.03g
Cholesterol 81.2mg28%
Sodium 631.1mg27%
Potassium 654.16mg19%
Total Carbohydrate 6.86g3%
Dietary Fiber 2.16g9%
Sugars 2.83g
Protein 25.72g52%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.

Note

Tips and Variations:
  • Customize the salad by adding toasted pine nuts, avocado slices, or roasted red peppers.
  • Substitute the chicken with grilled shrimp or tofu for a different protein source.
  • For a creamier dressing, stir in a tablespoon of Greek yogurt to the pesto dressing.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Enjoy the Pesto Chicken Salad as a standalone meal or pair it with a slice of crusty bread for a complete and satisfying dish.
Allergen Information:
  • Pesto sauce typically contains dairy in the form of Parmesan cheese. Those with dairy allergies can explore dairy-free pesto alternatives, which use nutritional yeast or dairy-free cheese substitutes.
  • Pine nuts, a common ingredient in traditional pesto, are tree nuts, so individuals with nut allergies should exercise caution or choose a nut-free pesto option.
Wine or Drink Pairing:
  • Pesto Chicken Salad pairs wonderfully with a crisp and chilled white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, to complement the herbaceous flavors of the pesto.
  • For a non-alcoholic option, consider serving it with sparkling water infused with a slice of lemon or a sprig of fresh basil.
Storage and Leftovers:
  • Leftover Pesto Chicken Salad should be refrigerated promptly in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
  • The salad can be stored for up to two days in the refrigerator, but keep in mind that the lettuce and vegetables may become wilted as time passes.
  • Enjoy leftovers as a quick and flavorful lunch or dinner option, or consider using the chicken in sandwiches or wraps for added versatility.
Keywords: Pesto Chicken Salad, Grilled Chicken, Greens, Basil Pesto, Nutritious, Flavorful.

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