Chicken and Potato Pesto Salad


Some sauces may seem off limits, but this potato pesto salad is easily dairy-free with the right ingredients. Although pesto usually contains cheese, we use this delicious Basic Vegan Pesto recipe, which is also quite versatile. I sometimes change up the herbs or even add a little nutritional yeast if we’re craving some light cheesiness.

Chicken and Potato Pesto Salad Recipe (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free)This chicken and potato pesto salad recipe with photo was shared with us by the Idaho Potato people.

Special Diet Notes: Potato Pesto Salad

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, and soy-free. Make it nut-free with my recipe suggestion above.

For a vegan / vegetarian potato pesto salad omit the chicken, but add in some of your favorite vegetables. We like cooked sweet potatoes, parsnips, red bell peppers, and/or tomatoes.

Chicken and Potato Pesto Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Perfect for potlucks, picnics, or back-to-school and work lunch boxes, this pesto salad is a light, but hearty meal. And it is a fabulous make-ahead option. In fact, it is best when made a day in advance so the flavors have time to meld. Just be sure that you add the pesto right after the potatoes cook. Warm potatoes more readily absorb the delicious dressing.
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 servings
  • 2 pounds Idaho potatoes, well scrubbed (peeled, if desired)
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¾ cup prepared dairy-free pesto sauce
  • 3 to 6 cups mixed salad greens (optional)
  1. Fill a large heavy pot with tight-fitting cover half full with water. Bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise in ½-inch slices. Add the potatoes to the boiling water, cover and return to boiling. Cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add the green beans to the pot with the potatoes and cook another 4 minutes. Drain the potatoes and beans and set aside. The vegetables should still be relatively firm.
  4. In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high to high heat and cook chicken while stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until meat is completely cooked through.
  5. Remove the chicken from the heat and stir in pesto sauce. Gently stir in the potatoes and green beans, taking care not to break up vegetables.
  6. Serve salad warm or at room temperature on a bed of salad greens, if desired. If making ahead, chill overnight.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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