This salad has been on repeat already this summer! It’s been a go-to already for a Sunday evening loaded salad to kick off the week. You know when by the end of the weekend rolls around and your body is craving all the greens, this salad comes to the rescue to really provide you with all the greens while being a balanced meal. Plan to add this Pesto Power Greens Salad into your weekly meal plan! You’ll love this combination.
Pesto Power Greens Salad
The summer months call for loaded bowls filled with greens! When it’s hot outside, this is what I crave the most! Especially after a weekend of activities and wanting to make a nutrient dense meal. This Power Greens Pesto Salad comes to the rescue. I love the combination of the grilled zucchini and squash paired with marinated pesto chicken and a delicious mix of greens.
One thing that I love to do when I make salads at home is add a lot of different textures into the bowl. With this, you get the combination of toasted slivered almonds, grilled veggies and chopped broccoli pieces to give you quite the bite each time. Plus, making your own dressing or sauce to mix into the bowl takes it up a notch too. This creamy cashew cilantro sauce is not only a delicious sauce to add to your roasted veggies, it’s great to add to fresh salads too!
What you need to make Pesto Power Greens Salad:
- Power Greens (or any mixed green!)
- Pesto (made at home or store bought)
- Thin sliced chicken breast
- Salt, pepper
- Slivered almonds
- Avocado oil
- Cashew cilantro sauce
How long does the chicken need to marinate?
I let the chicken marinate in the pesto overnight! You want it to really soak up the pesto before cooking it. I let the chicken marinate in a large Stasher Bag and placed it in the fridge.
What you need for Cashew Cilantro Sauce:
- Raw Cashews
- Fresh Cilantro
- Coconut milk (full fat coconut milk in a can)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Lemon, Juiced
- Garlic clove
- Sea salt
What if I don’t want to use the Cashew Cilantro Sauce?
No problem! You can use any sauce or dressing that you like here. Another one that I’ve used when making this salad is the Cilantro Dressing at Trader Joe’s. If you have access to a Trader Joes’s definitely check it out! It has been a new favorite around here. Other dressings that would be delicious are a green goddess dressing or top with more pesto and mix!
What I used to make this salad:
- Staub Grill pan: this pan is one of my favorites! Especially living in apartment and don’t have the best access to a grill at all times! It definitely gives you the grilled food that we all love.
- Food processor: another kitchen item I use ALL the time!
How to store the leftovers:
This recipe makes enough for extra chicken and dressing leftovers! I like to use it as “prep” for the week to easily throw these together at any time during the week. I like to store any leftovers in the fridge in these containers.
- The key is to put the grilled zucchini and squash on the power greens right after they finish grilling! That way it will wilt the greens just enough here. Trust me on this one!!
- Chop up the broccoli into smaller pieces so you don’t have large broccoli pieces in your salad 🙂
If you like this salad, you may also enjoy these on One Balanced Life:
- Summer Berry Chicken Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
- BBQ Chicken Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Chopped Salad
- Grilled Romaine BLT Salad
Looking for more easy lunch ideas? Try these!
- 1.4 lbs chicken, thin sliced
- 5 cups power greens (or any mixed greens!)
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 1 zucchini
- 1 squash
- 1 cup broccoli, small pieces
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- Avocado Oil
- Sea salt, pepper
- for the cashew cilantro sauce:
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1/2 jalapeno (no seeds)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (in a can--makes sure its mixed)
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- 1/3 cup raw cashews (soaked for 4+ hrs)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- water for desired consistency
- Marinate thin sliced chicken breast with pesto overnight.
- Prepare grilled chicken on grill or grill pan. Cook throughly. Set aside.
- Prepare grilled veggies by coating with a little avocado oil, sea salt and pepper. *you want zucchini and squash to still be somewhat firm.
- Prepare cashew cilantro sauce by combining all ingredients into the food processor. *Make sure raw cashews have soaked for 4+ hrs.
- Toast the slivered almonds by adding on medium to high heat on the stove top. Mix for 2-4 minutes until toasted.
- After grilling the veggies, immediately pour on top of greens to wilt a bit.
- Assemble salads with power greens and veggies, pesto chicken, toasted almonds and cashew cilantro sauce. Enjoy!
until next time...