Pesto Chicken Salad With Red Grapes

"This is a recipe they demonstrated on our local afternoon news show and thought ohhh my goodness I simply have got to make that. This is a great dish for do ahead summer entertaining. Sweet and juicy grapes are the zesty extra that revive weary tastebuds on a hot summer day. The fragrant paste of basil, garlic, and pine nuts is classic and devine. Use it not only in this recipe but also as an appetizer stuff it into hollowed out cherry tomatoes. For a quick dip, stir 1/4 cup pesto into 1/2 cup plain yogurt,mayonnaise, or sour cream; sprinkle with parmesan cheese and season to taste."
photo by glynn117 photo by glynn117
photo by glynn117
Ready In:




  • Pasta and Chicken:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat; add salt, then the penne. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the penne. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or according to package instructions, until the pasta is al dente. Drain well, rinse with cool water, and drain again.
  • While the pasta is cooking, poach the chicken. Pour water into a medium saute pan, to a level about 1 1/2 inches deep (when it is added, the chicken should be covered by about 1/2 inch water). Stir in the salt. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the chicken; reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the skillet. Cut it into 1-inch pieces and place on a plate to cool. Discard the poaching liquid.
  • Basil Pesto:

  • Process all the ingredients in a food processor (or blender) until the mixture is a coarse puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • The pesto will keep for up to 1 week in a covered container in the refrigerator; pour a thin film of olive oil on top of the pesto to prevent discoloration. For longer storage, spoon the mixture into a foil-lined custard cup, cover tightly with foil and freeze. Once frozen, remove the foil-wrapped packet and store in a freezer bag for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or remove from the foil and thaw quickly in the microwave.
  • Creamy Pesto Dressing:

  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • In a medium bowl toss together the pasta, chicken, carrots and grapes. Add the dressing and toss again. Place lettuce on plate and scoop the chicken mixture on top, and garnish as you wish.
  • The dressing will keep for up to 2 days in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. (If it thickens after standing, thin with milk or water.) This salad can be made early the day it is to be served; refrigerate and serve later, either chilled or at room temperature.
  • ***Variation***.
  • Substitute other pasta shapes, such as rotini or rotelle.
  • Rather than poaching the chicken breasts try grilling them.

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  1. Wonderful combination of flavors. I used all the pesto and loved this easy dish.
  2. I've made this several times over the past year and it is wonderful! I gave the recipe to my sister and she has made it several times as well and her whole family loves it! Definitely make the pesto from scratch...the bottled stuff just doesn't taste as good. Great summer entertaining dish!


That baby in the picture...yep that's me some eon's ago...not even gonna tell you how many. I live in the Sierra Mountains bordering a National Forest with my chickens and goats. My wonderful husband who passed on October 10,2006 was extremely ill with several terminal illnesses and is sorely missed. You will find "Renal Failure" cookbook with recipes collected for his meals, these seem to also be pretty good for Diabetic Diets and some for Heart Healthy Diets. <a href="¤t=EddieandIatLaurasMarriagetoPaulOber.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> If you go to My will find one "From the Grey Cookbook" This is a collection of my Dear Late Mothers recipes...and in memory of all the wonderfully delicious meals she used to cook for us. <a href="¤t=Mom.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> I Love to cook good food, but Italian is one of my specialties. Baking is my fun...pies, cookies, and making candy. Don't do cakes, nobody here eats them. But make a cheesecake and it disappears. Gardening is a hobby, and love to run out and pick fresh vege's and herbs to add to my meals. Besides my dogs, cats, fish, 3 goats, I have a really good collection of chickens, and the ladies present me with a steady supply of fresh eggs, and fertilizer for the garden. Food preservation and storage is a passion. <a href="¤t=cabbage06.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="garden pics"></a> <a href="¤t=mycallalilliesinbackyard.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a> As you might be able to tell from my name I collect bears, ceramic and stuffed (Started with one on the Birth of my first grandchild) now have over 600 bears and no room in my house for another...not that they don't continue to find a spot in my humble home as everyone has to give me one no matter the occasion. <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"><img src=""> <img src=""> Still Dirty and Still going strong...What a Gang!!! <img src=""><img src=""><img src=""><img src=""><img src=""><img src=""> <img src=""> removing the X inbetween "<img src="">
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