Easy Pesto Chicken and Farro Salad

With an over-abundance of mint and basil in my garden, I felt like pesto was in order. The freshly made pesto and nutty farrow are just so good with grilled chicken and roasted red peppers. This recipe was a huge hit with my family and came together quickly. Perfect for summer nights at home!

This recipe is also very flexible for a variety of dietary restrictions. It can easily be made vegetarian adaptable by omitting the chicken and subbing chickpeas. Can use a different gluten free grain or omit both the chicken and cheese to make it vegan. And for an even faster option, you can buy pre-made jarred pesto!

Serves 4 | Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free adaptable | Less than 45 minutes

  • 1 cup dry farro
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 large bunch of basil
  • 1 large bunch of mint
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tap salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breast, sliced down the middle and then in half
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 large jarred roasted red peppers, sliced thin
  • Extra basil, mint, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice for serving

Start by making the farro. Bring the water and farro to boil and then reduce to low. The farro should take about 20 minutes and should have absorbed most of the water, but still have a slight bite to it. When done, drain and rinse briefly, then set aside.

While the farro cooks, make the pesto. Combine the mint, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, almonds, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until combined. If appears too dry, add 1 tbsp olive oil at a time. Until you reach desired consistency (should be spoonable, not pourable).

Scoop 1/4 of the pesto mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the chicken. Toss to coat. Preheat a grill or oven to 450 degrees F and cook the chicken for about 12-15 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees F in thickest part of the meat. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into strips.

Mix the remaining pesto in with the farro and spinach. Spoon 1/4 spinach and farro mixture onto a plate and top with 1/4 chicken strips, 1/4 sliced roasted red peppers, squeeze of lemon, extra herbs and a sprinkle of Parmesan.

For the kids – I keep some farro and chicken plain and serve with plain spinach on the side. I sprinkle olive oil and Parmesan on the farro.

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