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Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad with Edamame or Peas

Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad is delicious and this is the perfect use for leftover rotisserie chicken! Check out Salad Recipes for more ideas for tasty salads!

Click here to PIN Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad with Edamame or Peas!

Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com.

When I first made this Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad, I wasn’t sure it was going to be anything special, but after it chilled in the refrigerator I loved the way the flavors blended into a combination I really loved. I used my homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon, but even if you only have basil pesto from the store, this salad is a great way to use leftover chicken and this simple recipe is about as easy as they come.

The original version had green peas, but this time we used edamame for a more carb-conscious version of the salad.  It’s relatively high in fat from the mayo, pesto, and olives, so if you’re a South Beach dieters I’d eat a small portion with a nice big green salad on the side. For other low-carb eating plans, you might want to skip the edamame or peas, which would still be delicious.

(Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad was updated with step-by-step photos September 2012.  If you’re making Pesto from your garden basil, this salad is a very tasty way to use it!)

Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com.

While the edamame or peas thaw, cut up the leftover chicken into pieces about 3/4 inch square. Thinly slice green onions, cut the olives in half, and measure out the edamame (or peas). Mix the mayo and pesto to make the dressing. Mix all ingredients together, and for best flavor let the salad chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two.

Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com.

More Delicious Recipes with Basil Pesto:

Easy Penne Pasta with Zucchini and Basil Pesto from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pasta with Basil Pesto, Pine Nuts, and Cherry Tomatoes from eCurry
Baked Pesto Chicken from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Savory Tomato Pesto Pie from Farmgirl Fare
Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pesto Pasta Salad from Simply Recipes
Pesto Lemon Rice from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Spaghetti with Basil Pesto, Tomatoes, and Olives from The Perfect Pantry
Barely-Cooked Asparagus with Basil Pesto from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Mini-Meatball Sliders with Basil Pesto from Annie’s Eats

Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad with Edamame or Peas

This leftover Chicken Pesto Salad is the perfect use for leftover rotisserie chicken!



  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (scallions)
  • 1/2 cup frozen edamame or green peas
  • 1/2 cup black olives (or more, I used about half a can)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup mayo (can be light but don’t use fat free mayo for South Beach Diet)
  • 3 T basil pesto


  1. Thaw frozen edamame or peas with cold water, and let drain 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 and cut olives in half and add to chicken.
  4. Blot edamame or peas dry with paper towel, then add to bowl with other ingredients.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together mayo and pesto.
  6. Gently fold dressing into salad.
  7. Chill for an hour or two before serving.
  8. Variations: You could replace the edamame or peas with any number of other ingredients including diced red bell peppers, celery, radishes, cooked asparagus, or jicama.
  9. For a lower-fat salad, leave out olives and add another veggie ingredient to go with the peas.

This recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you go easy on the edamame (or use another low-carb/phase one ingredient) this salad would be approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet and most other types of low-carb diets.  With peas, it would be higher in carbs and be limited to phase two for South Beach. 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:
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.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad found on KalynsKitchen.com.

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16 comments on “Leftover Chicken Pesto Salad with Edamame or Peas”

  1. Scott, I love that idea, thanks!

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

  3. 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!

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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. 🙂

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

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

  11. 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!].


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

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

  14. 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:)

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

  16. 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.

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