Chicken Pesto Salad with olives and peas is so delicious and this is the perfect low-carb salad to make with leftover rotisserie chicken! And basil pesto fans will swoon over this tasty salad idea!

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Chicken Pesto Salad in serving bowl with fork

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 this salad with chicken and pesto 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 servingI 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!  

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!

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. And if you buy the little cans of pre-sliced olives that will also save a bit of time.

What kind of pesto should you use for Chicken Pesto Salad?

I’d love this salad with my Basil Pesto with Lemon, and I love to make that and freeze it so I’ll always have some on hand. But when I don’t have homemade pesto I would use my favorite Kirkland Basil Pesto, which was really good in the dressing for this salad with a little lemon juice added.

Want more tasty salads with chicken?

You can check out Low-Carb and Keto Salads with Chicken for lots more tasty salads that you can make with leftover grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken! Or use Low-Carb and Keto Recipes for Leftover Turkey or Chicken for more ideas ideas for using chicken or turkey.

Chicken Pesto Salad process shots collage

Steps for making Chicken Pesto 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.

Chicken Pesto Salad in serving bowl with fork shown on patterned napkin

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, Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Dressing, Al’s Famous Hungarian Cucumber Salad, Artichoke Heart Salad, or Kalyn’s Low-Carb Coleslaw.

More Recipes using Basil Pesto:

Pesto Lemon Chicken Kabobs

Chicken Stuffed with Pesto and Cheese

Asparagus with Basil Pesto

Easy Baked Pesto Chicken

Chicken Pesto Soup

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep where you’ll 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
Yield: Makes 6 servings

Chicken Pesto Salad

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!

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

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.

Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating (under the PRINT button in the recipe) or share a photo of your results on Instagram! THANKS!

square image of Chicken Pesto Salad in serving bowl

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you go easy on the peas like I did, this Chicken Pesto Salad with Olives and Peas would be approved for low-carb or Keto diets and for phase two or three of the original 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 might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pintereston Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube 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 with more information in 2022.

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