Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is NOT safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

This recipe is safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

This is a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.


"A well-made salad must have a certain uniformity; it should make perfect sense for those ingredients to share a bowl." -Yotam Ottolenghi

The refrigerator light goes on...

Chicken salad is so easy to make, and I love this version with the basil pesto.

Using avocado rather than mayonnaise to make the basil pesto creamier makes this chicken salad even more amazing. The avocado is so rich and creamy and brings a great flavor to the dressing all on its own. Even better, there is more monounsaturated fat and the avocado brings added fiber to the dish!


Basil Pesto Chicken Salad

Servings: 4 as an entrée | Serving size: about 1 1/2 cups

Cooking time: 75 minutes (includes minimum chilling time)

This recipe can easily be multiplied, keeps well, and is better the second day after the garlic has had a chance to come to full flavor.

Basil Pesto Chicken Salad recipe from Dr. Gourmet


  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 ribs celery (diced)
  • 1 small shallot (finely minced)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place the pine nuts, garlic, parmesan, 2 tablespoons water, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil in a blender or mini-chopper.

Purée until smooth.

Add the basil and puree until smooth.

Add the avocado and puree until smooth.


Place the water and wine in a large skillet over medium heat.

Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat until the water is at a shiver.

Gently add the chicken breasts and poach for about 10 - 15 minutes depending on the thickness.

It is best to use a instant thermometer and remove the breasts just as they reach 160°F.

Let the chicken rest for about 3 - 5 minutes.

When they are cool cut them into 1/2 inch cubes.

Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and add the diced celery, shallot, basil pesto, salt and pepper.

Fold the salad together gently and chill for another 15 minutes.


Nutrition Facts

Serving size: about 1 1/2 cups

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving

Calories 290 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value
Total Fat 13g 17%
    Saturated Fat 2.5g 12%
    Monounsaturated Fat 4g
    Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 85mg 29%
Sodium 300mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 14g 5%
    Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
    Sugars 5g
Protein 29g
Vitamin A 7% Vitamin C 10%
Calcium 8% Iron 9%
Vitamin K 60mcg Potassium 800mg