Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto and Chicken
(This is an old recipe that has been archived on the site. I am leaving the printer-friendly recipe here so people who have enjoyed the recipe can still find it.)
Zucchini Noodle Salad with Pesto and Chicken is a tasty combination with pesto-marinated chicken and a pesto vinaigrette.
- 4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts, well trimmed and cut into 2 lengthwise pieces (see notes)
- 14 oz. chicken broth + about 1/2 can water
- 1/2 cup diagonally sliced green onion
- 2 medium-sized zucchini (about 10 inches long)
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup purchased Vinaigrette Dressing (see notes)
- 1/3 cup pesto (see notes)
- 2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (or use any all-purpose seasoning of your choice)
- fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- If you’re cooking the chicken, trim chicken breasts of any visible fat or undesirable parts and cut each breast in half lengthwise.
- Put the chicken stock + half the can of water in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
- Add the chicken and poach for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is firm.
- Then drain chicken into a colander placed in the sink and let it cool.
- While the chicken cools, whisk together the vinaigrette dressing, pesto, Spike Seasoning, and black pepper to make the dressing.
- When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into large bite-sized chunks, put in a Ziploc bag (or plastic container with a snap-tight lid), add about 1/4 cup of the dressing, and let chicken marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (or at least 30 minutes if you don’t have a few hours.)
- When you’re ready to assemble the salad, slice green onions diagonally to make 1/2 cup sliced green onions.
- Cut both ends off the zucchini and cut a slit lengthwise part way through each zucchini. (This makes separate noodles instead of big long strings of noodles.)
- Then use one of the three methods for making zucchini noodles to turn the zucchini into noodles. (I used the Spiralizerwith the medium noodle blade.)
- Put the zucchini into a salad bowl that’s big enough to hold all the ingredients and toss with the remaining dressing (or as much dressing as you prefer.)
- Add the marinated chicken, dressing from the Ziploc bag, and green onions, and stir gently to combine.
- Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve.
- This wasn’t bad at all after it had been in the fridge overnight, although it was best freshly made.
You can also use 4- 5 cups diced leftover chicken to make the salad. I like to use Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) and Basil Pesto with Lemon for this recipe, but it’s also delicious with my favorite pesto from the store.
To make this salad dairy-free, make Basil Vinaigrette with homemade vinaigrette to replace this dressing.