Go Back
+ servings

Paleo Pesto Chicken Salad (Dairy Free, Whole30)

I've got a fabulous paleo pesto chicken salad recipe for you, and it is topped off with a quick, dairy free arugula pesto dressing. This is an easy and delicious paleo breakfast, lunch or dinner salad. I cannot wait you for to try this deliciousness!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 361kcal


Arugula Pesto

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups arugula packed tightly
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Lucini extra virgin olive oil


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs SEE NOTES!
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups arugula or romaine lettuce lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 4 persian cucumbers sliced thinly
  • 6 radishes cut into matchsticks
  • 4 soft boiled eggs quartered (SEE NOTES!)
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • pine nuts toasted, for garnish
  • fresh chives finely chopped, for garnish


Arugula Pesto

  • In the bowl of a food processor, add garlic cloves. Pulse a few seconds at a time until they are minced. Scrape down the sides with a spatula if necessary.
  • Add arugula, pine nuts, salt, nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Pulse again multiple times until the arugula has all been incorporated and finely chopped, about 1 minute.
  • Turn the food processor on high and very, very SLOWLY pour in the olive oil. Once it is all incorporated and it looks smooth throughout, it is ready! Set aside.


  • Turn on the Instant Pot on manual. Add chicken thighs, water, salt, pepper and oregano. ⁣SET the pressure to HIGH and the timer for 12 minutes.⁣
  • After the chicken has finished cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, move the “sealing” nob to “venting” and let it release completely. Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and shred using two forks on a cutting board.⁣ Set aside to cool.
  • Add arugula to a big bowl or platter. If your pesto is thicker than you'd like to use as a dressing, feel free to whisk in a little bit of water (1 tablespoon at a time) until it is a little thinner. Pour desired amount of dressing on arugula and mix well with a utensil or your hands.
  • Add the rest of the salad ingredients and a bit more dressing. Taste for seasoning / dressing adjustments and serve.


If you don't want to make your own shredded chicken, feel free to use a Rotisserie style chicken from the market!
Here is a really lovely soft-boiled egg making tutorial!


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 1090mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 69mg