Diabetic Cooking

Pesto chicken salad

Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes.


  • 4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto
  • 2 cups spring mix type lettuce, washed and patted dry
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets, coarsely chopped
  • 6 baby carrots, sliced in half
  • 10 grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fat-free balsamic vinaigrette dressing


Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Cut chicken breast into bite-size pieces. Spray nonstick skillet with cooking spray and add chicken. Turn pieces frequently and add additional spray if needed to prevent sticking. When chicken is cooked through (about 5–7 minutes), add pesto and stir well to coat each piece. Remove chicken from pan and allow to cool. On each of two salad or dinner plates, spread a cup of lettuce, followed by a layer of cucumber, then broccoli. Add half the cooled chicken to each, then place carrots and tomatoes around the mound in a decorative pattern. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and drizzle 2 tablespoons of dressing onto each salad.

Yield: 2 servings.

Serving size: 2 cups salad.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
Calories: 215 calories, Carbohydrates: 19 g, Protein: 19 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 3 g, Cholesterol: 45 mg, Sodium: 493 mg, Fiber: 4 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 lean meat, 3 vegetable, 1 fat. Carbohydrate choices: 1.

Kathleen Stanley is a Diabetes Educator at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.