Pesto Chicken Salad

For Pesto:

2 cups packed fresh green leaves – basil leaves, spinach, baby kale, or arugula or a combo of all

¼ cup nuts or seeds – pine nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 clove garlic

¼ teaspoon salt

2-4 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice




For the Chicken Salad:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

1 tablespoon all-purpose poultry seasoning

½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

¼ cup good quality mayonnaise

1 head bib lettuce


Make the Pesto:

  1. Heat the oven to 400⁰
  2. Place the nuts or seeds on a sheet pan flat not touching one another and place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip the nuts, allowing them to toast on both sides but be cautious not to burn them.
  3. Place the green leaves, toasted nuts/seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade attachment. Process until the ingredients are finely chopped, about 30 seconds.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil and lemon juice, blending until the pesto is uniform and set aside.


Make the chicken salad:

  1. Place chicken single layer on a plate or pan. Sprinkle all-purpose seasoning evenly onto both sides of the chicken.
  2. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat until it begins to sizzle.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 8-12 minutes, until the chicken is opaque through the middle and an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of meat should register 165⁰
  4. While the chicken is cooking, chop the sun-dried tomatoes and clean large Bibb lettuce leaves.
  5. When chicken is cooked through, transfer to a cutting board and cut or shred the meat while still warm.
  6. Place the chicken, sun dried tomatoes, mayonnaise, and pesto in a large bowl and stir until well-combined.
  7. Serve using a large Bibb lettuce leave as a wrap.