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Chicken Pesto Rice Salad

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This Chicken Pesto Rice Salad features lean chicken breast, grape tomatoes and artichoke hearts tossed in a basil walnut pesto for a salad that defies convention. The pesto is made with heart healthy walnuts, which are far more economical than their pricier pine nut cousin. This is a chicken and rice dinner you won't forget.
  Chicken breast 12 Ounce
  Garlic powder 1⁄8 Teaspoon
  Paprika 1⁄4 Teaspoon
  Canned artichoke hearts 14 Ounce, quartered
  Grape tomatoes 1 Pint, washed and halved
  Cooked brown rice 3 Cup (48 tbs)
  Salt 1 Teaspoon (to taste)
  Pepper 1⁄4 Teaspoon (to taste)
  Garlic 1 Clove (5 gm)
  Coarse sea salt 1⁄4 Teaspoon
  Fresh basil leaves 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Flat leaf parsley 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Lemon juice 2 Tablespoon
  Lemon zest 1 Tablespoon
  Walnuts 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Olive oil 3 Tablespoon
  Red pepper flakes 1 Teaspoon, crushed (to taste)

1. Stir together the diced chicken, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2. In a large nonstick skillet over a medium high heat, add the seasoned chicken with a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté stirring occasionally for 7 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
4. To make the pesto add the garlic and sea salt to a mortar and pestle and crush them together until they have a paste like consistency.
5. Grate in the lemon zest. Add in the parsley, basil, and lemon juice.
6. Continue crushing the mixture until the basil and parsley are pretty well broken down then add the walnuts and red pepper flakes.
7. Continue crushing the mixture until the walnut pieces are as small as you want then add the olive oil and stir it all together then set aside.
8. Add the cooked rice to a large serving bowl. Pour over the pesto. Add the chicken, tomatoes and artichoke hearts.
9. Stir everything together and refrigerate.

10. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over Chicken Pesto Rice and serve.

For easier preparation substitute leftover cooked diced chicken breast in the recipe. You could also use a food processor instead of the mortar and pestle to prepare the pesto more quickly.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Side Dish
High Fiber, High Protein
Preparation Time: 
40 Minutes
Cook Time: 
10 Minutes
Ready In: 
50 Minutes

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Average: 4.1 (3 votes)

Nutrition Rank

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 838 Calories from Fat 192

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 22 g34.1%

Saturated Fat 2.9 g14.6%

Trans Fat 0 g

Cholesterol 49.3 mg16.4%

Sodium 783.7 mg32.7%

Total Carbohydrates 117 g39%

Dietary Fiber 26.9 g107.6%

Sugars 27.2 g

Protein 37 g74.7%

Vitamin A 31.4% Vitamin C 46.9%

Calcium 9.9% Iron 19.7%

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

Chicken Pesto Rice Salad Recipe Video