Kalyn's Kitchen

Chicken Pesto Salad

Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas is delicious and this is the perfect low-carb salad to make with leftover rotisserie chicken! 

PIN the salad to make it later!

Close-up photo for Low-Carb Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas

I wasn’t planning to share this Chicken Pesto Salad right away when I made it to update the photos, especially since I just shared another low-carb chicken salad last Monday. But when we updated the recipe and took these new photos it was on a cooking day when my friends Marlys and Bev were being recipe tasters, and they were absolutely  crazy over this salad. In fact, Bev was having some friends for lunch and she asked me for the recipe so she could make it for her friends before I updated it on the blog! I can’t say enough about how everyone loved this salad, including Kara, who was lucky enough to get the leftovers. So I decided I had to share it with you right away!

In this updated version of the salad I switched out the edamame for green peas, and I know some of you will be suspicious about the carbs in peas. But we did the math, and if you make the recipe and divide it into the six servings I recommend, the peas only add 3 carbs per serving. And I thought the flavor with peas was so much better that for me it seemed worth the carbs; of course use less peas if you prefer.

I’ve already made this one more time just to have in the fridge for myself, so you know it’s a winner for me, and if you like these ingredients I urge you to make this salad right away! Check out My Favorite Low-Carb and Keto Recipes with Pesto for more ideas for basil pesto or use Low-Carb and Keto Recipes for Leftover Turkey or Chicken for more ideas!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • diced cooked chicken
  • green onions
  • frozen green peas
  • sliced black olives
  • mayo
  • basil pesto 
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice

Tips for making the salad easy to get on the table!

I didn’t have any homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon, so we used Kirkland Basil Pesto, which was really good in the dressing with a little lemon juice added. And to make it extra quick and easy to make this salad, we used that already cut-up rotisserie chicken that comes in a package at Costco.

Steps for Making Low-Carb Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas

Steps for making this salad:

(This is just a summary of the steps; scroll down for the actual recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. While the peas thaw, cut up the chicken into pieces about 3/4 inch square and put in a large bowl.
  2. Thinly slice green onions, drain olives, and measure out the peas.
  3. Mix the mayo, pesto, and lemon juice to make the dressing.
  4. Mix desired amount of dressing into the chicken and stir well to coat all the chicken with dressing.
  5. Gently stir in the green onions, olives, and peas.
  6. Season salad to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
  7. Salad can be chilled a few hours or served right away. It will keep overnight in the fridge, but you might want to add a little more dressing when you serve the leftovers.

Thumbnail photo for Low-Carb Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

I’d enjoy just the salad alone for a summer lunch, but if you want to make it a more substantial meal this would taste great with Low-Carb Spicy Mexican Slaw or Kalyn’s Low-Carb Coleslaw.

More Delicious Low-Carb Recipes with Basil Pesto:

Ultra Easy Pesto Lemon Chicken Kabobs
Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese
Barely-Cooked Asparagus with Basil Pesto
Easy Baked Pesto Chicken

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Close-up photo for Low-Carb Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas

Chicken Pesto Salad

Yield Makes 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas is an amazing low-carb salad and this is easy to make with leftover rotisserie chicken!



  • 6 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 can (3.8 oz.) sliced black olives, drained

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (see notes)
  • 1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice (see notes)


  1. Thaw peas with in colander while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. Dice chicken into pieces about 3/4 inch and put into mixing bowl.
  3. Slice green onions, drain olives, and measure out peas.
  4. Whisk together mayo, pesto, and lemon juice to make the dressing.
  5. Mix desired amount of dressing into the chicken, tossing well so all the chicken is coated with dressing.
  6. Gently stir in the green onions, olives, and peas. (You might want to add a little more dressing if you didn't use it all.)
  7. Season salad to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
  8. Salad can be chilled a few hours or served right away. It will keep overnight in the fridge, but you might want to add a little more dressing when you serve the leftovers.


We made this recipe with Kirkland Basil Pesto, but if I had some of my homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon I'd definitely use that. I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice for this recipe.

This recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 502Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 272mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 35g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you go easy on the peas like I did, this Low-Carb Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas would be approved for low-carb diets and for phase two or three of the South Beach Diet. South Beach would prefer light mayo, and other low-carb plans would prefer full-fat; take your choice on that!

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Check out Salad Recipes for more ideas for tasty salads! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This favorite salad was first posted in 2007! The recipe was last updated in 2021.

Pinterest image of Chicken Pesto Salad

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    22 Comments on “Chicken Pesto Salad”

  1. It would be nice if you put the carb amount with your low carb recipes. It would really help when your counting your daily carbs. If no carb count I don’t try it…

  2. Scott, I love that idea, thanks!

  3. This is brilliant on top of a bowl of fresh spinach. Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. I made this with commercial pesto, which was probably a mistake as it seemed to need some help in the flavor department. I added freshly chopped basil, feta cheese and a bit of lemon juice and it tastes great now. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Andrea, yes I think you could mix cooked rice into the salad and it would be great. You might need a little more dressing.

  6. This salad sounds amazing! I have a ton of pesto that I just made from my basil so I'd love to try this. Do you think it would be good with rice in it? I'm wanting to bring it to a picnic but I need more filler in it. Preferably something gluten-free. Thanks!

  7. This was a wonderful chicken salad variation — I had it two times this week! Once I ate it on top of raw spinach, and the second time open-faced on toast. I had some homemade white bean and basil pesto that I put to good use here. I didn’t add the peas because I didn’t have any at the time, but I love peas and will definitely try adding them in the future.

    • Hi there! Quick question and maybe it was on here and I just missed it but are you supposed to cook the peas or put them in once they have thawed? Thanks!

      • Hi Stephanie, the peas are partially cooked when they’re frozen, so they just need to be thawed (and drained if they seem too wet.)

  8. Thanks everybody for the nice comments. (You can tell I’m overbooked when I’m doing such a bad job of responding, but I do always appreciate everyone who comments!)

    Amity, thanks for letting me know you liked it. I love peas in salad!

  9. This is really good. I made it for lunch today. Thanks for the idea. I never would have thought to put peas in chicken salad, but it’s great. 🙂

    • I made this and ate it all week. I kept the salad separate from the dressing and then mixed the two together when I had a helping. Worked great for freshness. Next time I’m going to try using Trader Joe’s Artichoke Antipasto and add just a little bit of cooked quinoa. 

  10. I can’t wait until our basil plants get in gear so we can start freezing some pesto!

  11. This sounds so good with the addition of the pesto, I always have some around, will be trying this soon!

  12. Is there anything that doesn’t benefit from a dollop of pesto? Sounds delicious [and I love the new asparagus in the header – so perfect for spring!].


  13. This sounds really yummy! I will try it out very soon! 🙂

  14. Delicious! And what could be easier? Thanks, Kalyn.

  15. I should never go to your blog when I’m hungry. This salad looks great. Now I have to go make lunch, I’m going to try it with turkey ’cause that’s all I have:)

  16. Wow! That looks and sounds really tasty! I’ve got to try it! 🙂

  17. Dang it, we finished our rotisserie chicken last night. That would be just the thing to take on the plane! Guess I forgot what I got that chicken for.