Chicken salad is one of the most underrated lunches out there. When it’s made fresh, it can be tangy, crunchy, and briney in the best of ways. Here, we add Armanino Basil Pesto Sauce to add a nice Italian accent.
1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
⅓ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
⅓ cup Armanino Basil Pesto Sauce
ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup oil-packed julienned sun-dried tomatoes, drained & roughly chopped
10 small slider rolls
10 butter lettuce leaves
3 small tomatoes, sliced
Trim the chicken of any skin and excess fat and place in a single layer in a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover by at least one inch.
Bring to a simmer over low heat and slowly cook for 10-12 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken) until cooked through. An instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat should register 165°F.
Remove the chicken from the water and allow to cool – about 10 minutes until it’s easy to handle.
Shred into bite size pieces. Cool completely. Can be cooked a day ahead and refrigerated.
Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Careful – they tend to go from perfect to burnt very quickly. Let cool.
Pat the excess oil from sun-dried tomatoes with a paper towel and roughly chop.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, pesto and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
Fold in the cooled shredded chicken, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts until well-combined. Taste and add more salt or pepper if desired.
Serve on small slider rolls with lettuce and tomato, if desired. Pesto chicken salad be made up to four days ahead and refrigerated.
For a real Mediterranean spin, add chopped Kalamata olives, chopped marinated artichoke hearts or a tablespoon or two of drained capers along with the shredded chicken.
Skip the buns and add a scoop of Pesto Chicken Salad to a bed of greens for a wonderful light lunch.
Don’t limit yourself to slider rolls. Pesto Chicken Salad is great on pretzel rolls, hoagie buns or stuffed into a pita with a bunch of crunchy vegetables and is wonderful alongside a bowl of tomato basil soup.