Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken

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In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m OBSESSED with pesto and use it on just about everything - so this Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken is RIGHT up my alley!

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken from (@whatsgabycookin)


You’ve seen me use pesto on caprese quinoa salads, on pizzas, on pasta, on salmon and chicken, on veggies… you name it. Pesto is one of the most versatile ingredients on the planet and this summer it’s coming out to shine, especially as in conjunction to all my farmers market finds.

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken from (@whatsgabycookin)

Stir it in, spread it on, use it as a marinade – you can add it to just about anything to give it an extra zip of flavor and today it’s front and center in this Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken. This salad is one for the record books. A loaded farmers market salad with all sorts of fresh produce (bacon optional), some grilled chicken on top (which you could easily sub for salmon) and the most delish pesto vinaigrette using Barilla® Traditional Basil Pesto.

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken from (@whatsgabycookin)

I made it for girls’ night a few weeks ago after a trip to the Santa Monica farmers market and it literally couldn’t have been more perfect! Everyone scarfed it down and then proceeded to dive deep into this season of Billions. Perfect night in, am I right?! Also, is it weird that I now want to moonlight in the finance world … the answer is yes considering I know nothing about it!!)

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken from (@whatsgabycookin)

Barilla Traditional Basil Pesto is made in Italy (duh) from 100% Italian basil and freshly grated Italian cheeses to give it that extra oomph. It’s made with non-GMO ingredients and I’m obsessed - for more info and a bunch of great recipes, head over to the Barilla website. And when you’re ready to whip this up, you can find Barilla pesto in the pasta sauce aisle at your local market! In the meantime, scroll down for the recipe!

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken from (@whatsgabycookin)

Pesto Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Chicken

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 2 votes
A loaded farmers market salad with all sorts of fresh produce, bacon, some grilled chicken, and the most delish pesto vinaigrette.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian, American
Servings 4 people


For the Salad:

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint small strawberries
  • 1 sheet feta cubed
  • 1 handful small basil leaves
  • Fresh chives
  • 4 cups farmers market lettuce
  • Medium heirloom tomatoes sliced
  • 2 avocados thinly sliced

For the Chicken:

  • ½ pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano

For the Pesto vinaigrette:

  • 4 tablespoons Barilla Traditional Basil Pesto
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and transfer it on a paper towel lined plate. Drain off most of the bacon grease, leaving just about 2 teaspoons.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and coat with the fresh and dried herbs. In the same skillet, over medium-high heat, add the chicken to bacon grease and cook until golden and crisp on both sides, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and let rest. Slice into pieces when ready to serve.

For the vinaigrette: Combine the Barilla Pesto with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

    Assembly: In a large bowl, assemble the salad. Start with the bed of lettuce, add the chicken, and then everything else. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.


      The vinaigrette lasts for a week in the fridge.

      Nutrition Information

      Calories: 935kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 78g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 42g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 776mg | Potassium: 1192mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1167IU | Vitamin C: 99mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 4mg
      Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

      Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking


      1. This was amazing! I served it as an easy family get together meal...while a few were skeptical about the fruit, they were won over by the amazing flavors!

      2. This use for pesto is such a great idea! I always think hot- for pasta/pizza/chicken/eggplant, but now I totally want it in a cool setting!

      3. This was utterly ridiculous. Never in my life have I fantasized about a salad for 6 hours after inhaling it. I too shopped at the Santa Monica Farmers Market on Wednesday and Venice Farmers Market on Friday for the cheese!

      4. I’m starving, this salad looks AMAZING!!!! I just want to reach into my phone and eat some!! I’ll definitely be making this in the coming weeks when strawberries are in their prime in Connecticut!! You always come out with the BEST recipes time after time! What would we do without you, Gaby?!

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