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Back in my hair salon days, I worked down the street from this amazing little lunch cafe that made the best everything. Tomato basil soup, tortilla soup, chicken salad, sandwiches, you name it – they were the best at it.
My favorite item was their basil chicken salad on their house-made cranberry nut bread. Although I can’t really do the cranberry nut bread, I can certainly recreate the pesto chicken salad at home.
This salad is quick and easy to make. The flavor is straightforward, yet unexpected.
This is fabulous on its own, or you can wrap it up in a low carb tortilla with some lettuce. It’s a great lunch item to make on a Sunday for the whole week. Plus, kids really love it. The flavor is simple, but very refreshing.
Pesto Chicken Salad (THM S)
Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food
- 1.5 – 2lbs chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
- 1 c mayonnaise
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 c fresh parsley
- 1/4 c EVOO
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1/4 c grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
- 1 handful sunflower seeds or pine nuts
- 1/2 c sliced almonds (not necessary, but adds great texture)
- salt and pepper
- In a blender or food processor, add the basil, mayo, EVOO, sunflower seeds, parsley, grated garlic, cheese, salt, pepper, and an ice cube. *NOTE: The ice cube will help keep the pesto mayo nice and green. Sometimes, when basil is chopped in a processor or blender it will get brown and “bruise.” The ice helps prevent that.
- Blend until you get a smooth puree, and add it to the shredded chicken. If the mixture still seems a little dry, you can add more mayo if needed. Adjust for salt and pepper, and add the sliced almonds (if using). Toss it all together, and refrigerate or serve immediately.