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Dinner Recipes

Zesty Pesto Chicken and Spinach Salad Recipe Is Weeknight-Easy for Only $1.98 a Serving

Topped with from-scratch pesto, this easy supper is bursting with fresh summer flavor

Pesto is one of my favorite summertime condiments. It makes a fresh, no-cook alternative to tomato sauce when served over spaghetti. And it’s versatile so you can use it to add zing to lots of different dishes. That’s what inspired this Pesto Chicken and Spinach Salad recipe. It comes together in no time. Best of all, at only $1.98 a serving, this satisfying supper won’t break the bank.

Sure, you can buy pesto sauce at your local grocery store. But with all that fresh basil available, it’s so much more delicious to make your own. Plus, it whizzes up in mere minutes so you can make a double batch. Simply cover and refrigerate then add a dollop to pizza, use it as a sandwich spread and drizzle it over grilled meats and veggies. Try it yourself to see how easy this recipe is to make, then leave us a comment.


4 serving

Total Time

Prep Time

Cook Time


  • ½ cup orzo pasta
  • 1½ cups fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 cups baby spinach (3 oz.)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved



Cook orzo according to package directions; drain, rinsing under cold water until cool, about 1 min. Drain well. In food processor, process basil, oil, lemon juice, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic and 1⁄8 tsp. pepper until smooth; reserve.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and remaining 1⁄8 tsp. pepper. Coat grill pan with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5 min. Flip chicken; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook until no longer pink in centers, 7–8 min. Transfer to cutting board and let cool slightly.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, tear or cut into pieces. In bowl, toss chicken with spinach, tomatoes and orzo; transfer to shallow serving platter. Serve with reserved pesto sauce.


  • Calories: 370
  • Fat: 20 gram
  • Saturated Fat: 3 gram
  • Protein: 28 gram
  • Carbohydrate: 20 gram
  • Fiber: 2 gram
  • Cholesterol: 65 mg
  • Sugar: 2 gram
  • Sodium: 264 mg
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