Paleo Pesto Chicken Salad

Paleo Pesto Chicken Salad

There was a manila folder that sat on top of the fridge. This was before we used the internet for everything and printing things off was still the norm, and that folder was the result: a collection of recipes clipped from magazine, printed from websites, or scratched on napkins. That’s where my dad kept all of his regular recipes. He still might, I just haven’t looked on top of the fridge in a while.  

There’s a simple beauty in keeping all of your recipes in a folder on top of the fridge. When we wanted to make something, we’d pull that folder down and flip through the pages, one at a time, until we uncovered the slip of paper we needed at that moment. There was no organization system, so sometimes I’d spend what felt like forever looking for the right one, but eventually it would show up.  

Paleo Pesto Chicken Salad

I’ve never managed to keep my own manila folder. I’ve always been a little too scattered (or creative, if you feel like calling it something nice 😉). It’s rare I make a dish more than 5 times, and if I do it’s because I crave it. That’s the main reason why Oliver wanted me to start this blog— I would make dinner and a week later he’d want the same thing again, but I’d tell him the recipe was gone, or that I didn’t have one at all.  

When this blog started, I think he thought (fairly so) that I’d be able to keep track of those recipes better. And you know what? It works! (And not just when a recipe is in development, and we eat it several time in one week). I also go back to old posts all the time when I’m thinking, “I could really go for some mole,” or “these bananas are destined to become bread”.  

Paleo Pesto Chicken Salad

This chicken salad recipe was something I started making pre-blog. It was the result of a lot of left over chicken, a little creativity, and a love of pesto. Now I’m writing it down, so that I’ll keep coming back to it.  

Paleo Pesto Chicken Salad

Paleo Pesto Chicken Salad

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

Regular chicken salad is dressed in a heavy mayo — this version is lighter, perfect for summer!

Serves: 4    |    Total Active Time:



Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breast, precooked and cubed
  • 1/2 cup black olives, halved
  • 2 medium zucchini, cubed
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, cut small
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced grape tomatoes
  • 2 ounces basil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare the veggies: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss the broccoli and zucchini in avocado oil. Spread them out in an oven-safe dish and place in oven. Roast for 20 minutes, until zucchini is cooked through and broccoli begins to brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Prepare the pesto: in a food processor, pulse the garlic and nuts until coarsely ground. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and nutrition yeast, along with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper. Pulse once or twice, then add the basil and pulse until ground into a paste.
  3. Use a spatula to scoop the pesto into a serving dish. Fold the tomatoes, olives, cubes chicken, and cooled veggies into the pesto.
  4. Serve warm or chilled. Great on greens, crackers, or straight from the bowl.