Pesto lemon chicken

Mary's take on the classic Mediterranean tricolore salad but with cucumber instead of mozzarella and added chicken.

Each serving provides 382kcal, 27g protein, 12g carbohydrate (of which 10g sugars), 24g fat (of which 4g saturates), 6g fibre and 0.6g salt.

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  • 3 cooked chicken breasts, skinned, boned, halved horizontally and sliced into thin strips
  • 2 large ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • ½ cucumber
  • 18 baby plum tomatoes, halved lengthways

For the dressing

To serve


  1. To make the dressing, put the pesto, mayonnaise and lemon juice in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Add the chicken and stir again. If possible, leave it to marinate for several hours or overnight.

  2. Place the avocado slices in a separate bowl, pour over the lemon juice and toss so the avocado is completely coated.

  3. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, use a teaspoon to remove and discard the seeds and then peel using a potato peeler. Cut into crescent-shaped slices and arrange these in layers with the avocado slices, tomato halves and pesto chicken. Season with salt and pepper. (If assembling ahead, do not add salt until just before serving.)

  4. Scatter over the toasted pine nuts, micro salad and basil leaves to finish.

Recipe Tips

Tip 1: The chicken is best mixed in the dressing a day ahead to allow the flavours to infuse, while the salad should be made fresh on the day.

Tip 2: Micro salad is as it sounds – mini leaves that are pretty and full of flavour. If you can’t get hold of micro salad, then a bag of mixed salad leaves or even watercress would make a good alternative.

Tip 3: Freeze any leftover fresh pesto and use within one month.