Pesto Lemon Chicken

A popular favourite, inspired by the Mediterranean tricolore salad. This vibrant chicken recipe by Mary Berry is finished with a fresh pesto and lemon dressing.


A take on the classic Mediterranean tricolore salad but with cucumber instead of mozzarella and with added chicken. The chicken is best mixed in the dressing a day ahead to allow the flavours to infuse, while the salad should be made fresh on the day. 

Serves 6


3 cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved horizontally and sliced into thin strips
2 large ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
Juice of ½ large lemon
½ cucumber
18 baby plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
For the dressing:
4 tbsp fresh green basil pesto
6 tbsp light mayonnaise
Juice of ½ large lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
25g (1oz) pine nuts, toasted
Micro salad (see tip)
Basil leaves


To make the dressing, measure the pesto, mayonnaise and lemon juice into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Add the chicken and stir again. If possible, leave it to marinate for several hours or overnight.

Place the avocado slices in a separate bowl, pour over the lemon juice and toss so the avocado is completely coated.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, use a teaspoon to remove and discard the seeds and then peel using a potato peeler. Cut into crescent-shaped slices and arrange these in layers with the avocado slices, tomato halves and pesto chicken. Season with salt and pepper. (If assembling ahead, do not add salt until just before serving.)

Scatter over the toasted pine nuts, micro salad and basil leaves to finish.

The dressing can be prepared 1-2 days in advance.


Micro salad is as it sounds - mini leaves that are pretty and full of flavour. If you can’t get hold of micro salad, then a bag of mixed salad leaves or even watercress would make a good alternative.

Freeze any leftover fresh pesto and use within 1 month.

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