Pesto Chicken Salad

Pesto Chicken Salad |

Chicken salad is so personal- everyone makes their own favorite version. I have never loved a heavy-mayo based chicken salad until I had one at a wedding shower a long, long ago- it was made with fresh tarragon, celery and some other basic ingredients. Even though I have come around to mayo-based chicken salads (although I am still super picky about which ones I’ll eat) I have been obsessed with this version lately, pesto chicken salad.

It’s such a nice change from your typical chicken salad and if you are using homemade pesto, it’s even better. The great part about chicken salad recipes is you can adapt them so easily- want less of a pesto flavor? Just increase the amount of Greek yogurt or sour cream used. It doesn’t call for mayo at all, but you could certainly add a little if you prefer.

I’ve only met one store-bought pesto that I love and it’s from Coscto. It has no preservatives and tastes just like homemade (basically because it isn’t full of junk!). If you don’t have a Costco membership, find someone that does and have them pick this up for you! So good.

Luckily my kids love it too and we’ll put it on just about anything.




Now that I’ve got more than one basil plants planted, I hope to start making my own again soon.

I love eating chicken salad wrapped in lettuce leaves but this is great with crackers, on bread or on top a big ol’ salad.


so that’s all I’ve got for today- just an easy recipe for the middle of the week! Enjoy!

Pesto Chicken Salad


  • 4 cups shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • fresh chopped basil (optional)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl and stir until well combined. Serve over a bed of greens, in pieces of romaine or in a sandwich.


Feel free to substitute mayo for a dairy free option.

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Question: Are you a chicken salad fan? What are your favorite additions to chicken salad?

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  1. Helen says:

    This looks delicious! I love chicken salad. I never thought of putting pesto in it. Very creative. =)
    Helen recently posted..My past weekMy Profile

  2. Yum! I’ve only had one mayo based chicken salad that I really liked but then I moved 800 miles away from it. I love pesto so I can’t wait to try this version!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Surf’s Up! : TI Surfset FitnessMy Profile

  3. Toni says:

    I love chicken salad and pesto, but store bought pesto does not even compare to homemade!
    Toni recently posted..What’s Beautiful? Confidence! #IWill #WhatsBeautiful #FitFluentialMy Profile

  4. Miz says:

    ahhh this is just my speed and tastebuds too.
    and yeah :-) Im nice enough to share and not just keep for me :)
    Miz recently posted..Im not boring.My Profile

  5. That looks delicious! And simple is always good for lunch ideas. Pinning this for later!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..34 Healthy Smoothie RecipesMy Profile

  6. I totally have that pesto in my fridge! I’ve definitely mixed it with GY. So good! :)
    Kierston @candyfit recently posted..Powering Through!My Profile

  7. Mary says:

    Pesto goes with everything! FACT! :)
    Mary recently posted..Write This Run recapMy Profile

  8. This sounds great. I bet it would be delicious with my kale pesto too!

  9. You are right about chicken salad being personal. I’m constantly trying out different chicken salad recipes and have bookmarked this quick and easy variation to try soon :-)
    Martha@ Simple Nourished Living recently posted..Lunch with Mom: Coronado CafeMy Profile

  10. I don’t eat chicken anymore but my husband does and he would love this! He was just asking for a meal with chicken and pesto together. Perfect timing ;) Thanks for the recipe :)
    Mandie Marie @ The Fruitful Turtle recently posted..The 1st Fruitful Turtle in MauiMy Profile

  11. Oh wow this looks SO good :) I am pinning this as we speak because pesto is one of my favorite condiments.
    Kailey (Caffeinated Runner) recently posted..A Moment of WeaknessMy Profile

  12. Love how easy this recipe is, & I have all the ingredients at home, including the Costco pesto! I usually make my own pesto too, but agree that the Costo version is yummy and nice to have on hand. Fun video & that flip belt looks very cool too :-)
    EA-The Spicy RD recently posted..Recipe ReDux: Spinach, Artichoke, & Feta Strata with Greek SalsaMy Profile

  13. Karen Ambrecht says:

    I like this recipe and will be sharing with a group at work. I was wondering why you don’t post the nutrition information with your recipes. Thanks

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says:

      Hi Karen. Thanks so much for the comment! I would love to post the nutritional info but the truth is just that it’s very time consuming and this isn’t my full-time job. I just write this blog for fun and the little money I do make does not allow me to spend extra time doing recipe analysis. I have 3 little ones at home so there is never extra time! :) As my blog grows, I assure you this will be a top priority. For now, keep sharing and enjoy the recipes! Best, Melanie

  14. Betsy Gustafson says:

    Made this yesterday and it was delicious. The proportions were just right – I used greek yogurt. The chicken is way more flavorful today after being wrapped in pesto for a day. Good either way though. Pretty easy too!

    We had this at a party a week ago and it was served on a long rectangular platter that had salad w/balsamic vinegar piled on it. The chicken salad was spooned on to form a thick line down the middle of the platter. Nice presentation.

    Thank you for the recipe!

    • Betsy Gustafson says:

      Correction – the salad it was served over was dressed with balsamic vinaigrette not vinegar.

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says:

      I am so glad you liked it Betsy. I’ve just returned from a long vacation and look forward to creating more recipes! Thanks for the comment!

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