Grilled pesto chicken, fresh avocado & cherry tomatoes top this healthy, easy, gluten free salad recipe. It’s delicious as an entree or side dish and it’s perfect for meal prep!
Today’s post is sponsored by my friends at California Avocados!
I love topping a delicious bowl of greens with flavorful grilled chicken. And obviously, I’m not the only one! These Bruschetta Grilled Chicken Zoodle Bowls are the most popular gluten free recipe on the blog.
When it comes to my favorite topping for any salad, bowl or basically any meal, it has to be avocados! Creamy, flavorful California Avocados are a staple in my pantry and a huge part of my diet. I love that you can add them to everything from smoothies to enchiladas.
For this salad, I added a whole sliced California avocado with quartered cherry tomatoes and grilled pesto chicken. I used homemade Basil Pesto for the pesto chicken, but store-bought works also!
This salad is bursting with flavor! It can be served with the chicken hot or cold, as an entree or side dish. You can easily toss the salad together while meal prepping and divide it up for lunches throughout the week.
No boring salads here! This salad will become your new favorite. And the great thing is, it’s quick and easy to make in just 29 minutes!
How to make Pesto Chicken Salad
Toss boneless, skinless chicken breasts with basil pesto. I highly recommend homemade fresh basil pesto. It’s so easy to make and so delicious!
If you’re limited on time though, store bought will work just fine. I recommend checking around the deli section of your grocery store. A lot of stores will have their own packaged fresh pesto in the refrigerated section. These are typically much more delicious than the jarred version in the dry goods section.
Once the chicken is tossed with the pesto, grill the chicken on an outdoor or indoor grill. Don’t have a grill available? No worries, simply sear the chicken on the stove in a cast iron skillet, or the heaviest skillet you have available.
After the chicken is grilled, allow it to rest for 10 minutes while preparing the salad. Toss spinach leaves and thinly sliced red onion with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Place in a large bowl and top with quartered cherry tomatoes and sliced avocado.
Slice the chicken and place it on top of the salad. Drizzle extra basil pesto sauce on top of the salad and add a little fresh cracked black pepper.
Is this pesto chicken salad low carb?
This salad serves 2 as an entree and is 21 carbs per serving, making it a great low carb option.
Mix it up!
One of my favorite things about salads is how easy they are to mix up for your own tastes or dietary needs. Here are a few of my favorite additions to this salad!
- Mozzarella Pearls – I love adding these fresh little balls of mozzarella to this salad for a spin on a caprese!
- Parmesan Cheese – grate a little fresh parmesan cheese on top for an extra salty, cheesy flavor.
- Nuts – candied pecans add a little sweetness to this salad, while sliced almonds or walnuts add a nice crunch!
- Croutons – this salad is naturally gluten free, but if you’re not on a gluten free diet, add some crunchy croutons on top!
- Make it dairy free! Use this Vegan Kale Pesto instead of basil pesto to make the recipe dairy free.
For more exciting salad ideas, check out these recipes!
- Crispy Goat Cheese Avocado Salad
- Quinoa Caprese Salad
- Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Kale Salad
- Pineapple Mango Kale Salad
- Whole30 Turkey Taco Salad
Pesto Chicken Avocado Salad
Grilled pesto chicken, fresh avocado & cherry tomatoes top this healthy, easy, gluten free salad recipe, perfect as an entree, side dish or for meal prep!
Slice each chicken breast horizontally through the middle.
Toss the chicken with the basil pesto.
Place the chicken on an outdoor or indoor grill, or grill pan and grill for 6 minutes per side.
Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes.
While the chicken is resting, toss the spinach leaves and red onions with the balsamic vinaigrette.
Place in a large bowl and top with the cherry tomatoes and avocado.
Slice the chicken and place it on top of the salad.
Drizzle the salad with 1 tbsp basil pesto and top with fresh cracked black pepper.
If a grill is not available, simply cook the chicken on the stove over medium heat in large cast iron skillet, or the heaviest skillet available.
If meal-prepping this recipe, keep the dressing in a small container on the side until right before serving the salad.
This salad serves 2 as an entree or 4-6 as a side dish.