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Pesto Chicken Avocado Salad |

Pesto Chicken Avocado Salad

  • Author: Katja Heino
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x




  • 3/4 cup olive oil (THIS is my fav organic brand)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (like this) (or any vinegar or citrus that you like) ***  see note
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • 1 large bunch of fresh basil, leaves only
  • ½ clove of garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, macadamia nuts, hemp seeds, or pumpkin seeds


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp butter, ghee, melted (or any fat/oil you like)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 cups romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (like this)
  • basil leaves, thinly sliced


  1. TO MAKE DRESSING: In a glass jar, combine all dressing ingredients, place lid on, and shake vigorously.  Set aside.
  2. TO MAKE PESTO: Place basil leaves and garlic into food processor and process until completely broken up into a paste. Add olive oil and salt and continue to process until smooth. Add pine nuts, macadamia nuts, hemp seeds or pumpkin and pulse until desired consistency.
  3. FOR CHICKEN: Drizzle melted fat of choice, crushed garlic and salt over chicken thighs.  Stir to evenly coat. Preheat grill and turn down to medium heat.  Place thighs onto grill and grill on each side until browned and cooked through. Once cooked, remove from grill and place into bowl.  Drizzle on a 1/4 cup of pesto, stir to coat, and set aside.
  4. TO ASSEMBLE SALAD:  Place lettuce on large plate or in a large bowl.  Slice chicken into strips and place on top.  Add sliced tomatoes, avocado, and pine nuts.  Top with basil strips.  Drizzle on dressing. Serve and enjoy!


** Balsamic vinegar gives this dressing a lovely tangy flavor, but feel free to use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice if you prefer. Or any other vinegar or citrus.  This dressing is VERY versatile.

** I highly recommend grilling the chicken for this recipe.  It gives it that summer flavor.  But you can also cook the chicken in a skillet.  A grill pan works great.  I would grease the pan a bit first.