Dinners/ Lunches/ Recipes

Pistachio Pesto and Apricot Chicken Salad

Pistachio Pesto and Apricot Chicken Salad

A fresh, nutty chicken salad with the richness and bright flavor of pistachio pesto and the sweet chewiness of dried apricots. This Pistachio Pesto and Apricot Chicken Salad is perfect for bringing to parties, prepping for lunches throughout the week, or enjoying as a refreshing summer dinner.Pistachio Pesto and Apricot Chicken Salad

Pistachi-OH SNAP, I’ve got a super easy and satisfying recipe for you 😉 ! Every time I say/type a food pun, I can literally feel how nerdy I’m being. But hey, I’m all about that #NutritionNerd life haha. Who’s with me?

Now about this recipe…

In my house, pesto is basically our ketchup. We put that ish on everything. Pesto instantly lends to any dish a fresh flavor from the basil, but at the same time richness from the nuts and olive oil.

While our standard pesto batch is usually made with pine nuts, using pistachios sounded like the perfect way to add some flare. I don’t know why but anything made with pistachios (or hazelnuts) instantly sounds a million times fancier to me.

Personally, I think no chicken salad is ever complete until the savory flavors have been balanced out by a little something sweet. Cue the dried apricots! Not only do they complete the other half of the sweet+savory duo, but they add a nice chewiness, complimenting the creamy pesto and crunchy pistachios.

Pistachio Pesto and Apricot Chicken Salad

I’m all about keeping prepped veggies and proteins on hand because most of the times I’m hangrily throwing my lunch together right after a run or workout, so there’s no way I’m waiting more than 10 minutes for food. Having this chicken salad ready to go is so perfect! I enjoy it with roasted veggies and rice, carrots and crackers, or as a sandwich (as pictured above). Pistachio Pesto and Apricot Chicken Salad

Not to mention, it makes the perfect party food, served up as a fancy appetizer on crackers (as pictured above) or right out of a bowl as a side.

Pistachio Pesto and Apricot Chicken Salad

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-8 (depending on if served as a meal or a side)


  • Pistachio Pesto:
  • 1 loosely packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 loosely packed cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup raw pistachios, toasted until fragrant
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp sea salt (depending on taste preference - also adjust if you end up using pre-salted pistachios)
  • Other:
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Avocado, grapeseed, olive, or other choice of cooking oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped into 6ths



Pistachio Pesto: Place all the ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender and process until all the ingredients are incorporated and it's mostly smooth.


Chicken: Preheat the oven to 425. Place the raw chicken breasts on a foil-lined pan. Lightly coat all the breasts in cooking oil of choice, then rub in desired amount of sea salt. Cook the breasts in the oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on their thickness. Cut into the thickest breast and make sure it is completely cooked and no pink remains to determine if the breasts are done. Allow them to cool for about 10 minutes before pulling the chicken using two forks. Set aside once pulled.


Assembly: Add the chicken and pesto to a large bowl, layering them in as you go to ensure more even distribution. Stir together, making sure to coat all the chicken in the pesto. Next, add in the chopped dried apricots and mix to incorporate. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving, best served right out of the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for about a week.

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Pistachio Pesto and Apricot Chicken SaladHere’s hoping you all have an absolutely amazing week! I’m currently at a sleep away cross country camp, so mine will be full of running and fun. I have some posts ready to go for you, so stay tuned for more coming up this week 🙂 .

Enjoy the moment,

xoxo Meah <3

Let me know…

What’s your best food pun?

What sauce/condiment do you put on everything (ketchup, mustard, hummus, pesto, etc)?

What are you most looking forward to this week?


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  • Reply
    Kate @ Framed Cooks
    08/12/2017 at 4:00 pm

    I love the idea of making pesto with pistachios – genius! As for condiments…I’m going with grainy mustard. I stir it into SO many things. 🙂

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  • Reply
    08/10/2017 at 2:32 pm

    Yum! What an awesome combo 🙂 I don’t really use many condiments but if I had to pick one it would be sriracha sauce!

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  • Reply
    Elizabeth | Take on E
    08/10/2017 at 2:21 pm

    I can’t pick a favorite food pun. They’re all amazing (a-maize-ing?)!! This pesto sounds great. I made a carrot top pesto once. Basically anything that you grind up into a sauce is a pesto to me LOL. It helps sell it if it’s green… 🙂

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