Easy Summer/Picnic Menu: Chicken Salad Sandwich with Basil Pesto


Freshly made basil pesto is heavenly. I learned about the sauce through a food talk with a friend a long time ago and I’ve been hooked ever since! Basil really liven things up. Not to mention the fragrance…oh so delightful. I have them growing in a container outside of our apartment this summer. So I’ve been able to use them a lot for pesto, on pizza, and on tomato salad. Yumm!

Anyway, one time last month I picked a bunch of basil leaves and made pesto sauce. Then I mixed it with roasted chicken breast and made sandwiches out of the delicious combination. I packed them up along with another type of chicken salad sandwich with mayo, chives, and celery and brought them for lunch on our hiking trip. The pesto sauce, with that fantastic aroma of basil, crunchy pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and garlic, wrapped the roasted chicken so well. Super easy to make and packed with great flavors. Now that’s a great combination 🙂

What we’ll need:

  • 1 pound of thick-cut roasted chicken breast meat from the deli section. (Next time I will roast bone-in and skin-on chicken in the oven, like this recipe. I was rushing to pack for the trip since I had miscalculated my schedule that day. Hence the deli alternative to create the sandwich at the time. It worked really well though!

Chop and mix in a food processor:

  • Two handful of fresh basil leaves (maybe close to two cups)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • A tablespoon of pine nuts  (I’ve read that walnuts work fine too)
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan/Asiago cheese
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

  • Dice the roasted chicken
  • In a large bowl, mix basil pesto sauce with the chicken
  • Serve with Italian or Pumpernickel bread
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