Pesto Chicken Salad

Pesto Chicken Salad: A Flavorful Twist on a Classic

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Pesto Chicken Salad is a refreshing and vibrant dish that combines tender shredded chicken with the bold flavors of pesto, creamy mayo, and crunchy celery. This salad is perfect for a quick lunch, a light dinner, or as a flavorful topping for sandwiches or wraps. Here’s how to make this delicious and satisfying Pesto Chicken Salad.


  • 3 cups shredded chicken: Use cooked and shredded chicken breast or rotisserie chicken for convenience.
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped: Adds crunch and freshness to the salad.
  • 2/3 cup pesto: Use store-bought or homemade pesto for maximum flavor.
  • 1/4 cup mayo: Adds creaminess to the salad.
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded: Provides a salty and nutty flavor.
  • 1/4 of a red onion, sliced: Adds a subtle bite and color to the salad.
  • Salt and pepper to taste: Enhances the overall flavor.
  • Cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, greens for serving: Optional, for garnish and added texture.


1. Prepare the Chicken

  1. Shred Chicken: If not using pre-shredded chicken, cook chicken breasts until fully cooked and tender. Allow to cool slightly, then shred the chicken using two forks or your hands.

2. Assemble the Salad

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, chopped celery, pesto, mayo, shredded Parmesan cheese, and sliced red onion.
  2. Mix Well: Stir the ingredients until well combined, ensuring that the chicken is evenly coated with the pesto and mayo mixture.
  3. Season to Taste: Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preferences.

3. Serve

  1. Chill: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  2. Garnish: Before serving, garnish the Pesto Chicken Salad with halved cherry tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and a handful of greens, if desired.
  3. Serve: Serve the salad chilled as a standalone dish or as a filling for sandwiches, wraps, or lettuce cups.

Cook’s Tips and Variations


  • Make-Ahead: Prepare the salad a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator for an easy grab-and-go meal option.
  • Customize Texture: Add chopped nuts such as walnuts or almonds for extra crunch.
  • Adjust Consistency: If the salad seems too dry, add additional mayo or pesto to achieve your desired consistency.


  1. Greens Addition: Serve the Pesto Chicken Salad over a bed of mixed greens for a lighter option.
  2. Grilled Chicken: Use grilled chicken breast for a smoky flavor profile.
  3. Vegetarian Option: Substitute shredded chicken with chickpeas or white beans for a vegetarian version.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use store-bought rotisserie chicken for this salad?

A: Yes, using store-bought rotisserie chicken is a convenient option for making this salad. Simply shred the cooked chicken meat and proceed with the recipe as directed.

Q: How long does Pesto Chicken Salad last in the refrigerator?

A: Pesto Chicken Salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to give it a good stir before serving.

Q: Can I freeze Pesto Chicken Salad?

A: It’s not recommended to freeze Pesto Chicken Salad as the texture of the mayo-based dressing may change upon thawing.

Q: Can I use a different type of cheese in this salad?

A: Yes, feel free to substitute Parmesan cheese with shredded mozzarella, feta, or goat cheese for a different flavor profile.

Q: What can I serve with Pesto Chicken Salad?

A: Pesto Chicken Salad pairs well with crusty bread, crackers, pita chips, or alongside a simple green salad for a complete meal.

Pesto Chicken Salad is a versatile and flavorful dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its vibrant colors, bold flavors, and satisfying texture, this salad is sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. Whether enjoyed as a standalone dish, stuffed into a sandwich, or served as a light lunch, Pesto Chicken Salad is a delicious and nutritious option that will delight your taste buds. Try making this simple yet delicious salad today and savor the goodness of homemade flavors

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

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