Blueberry Chicken Pesto Salad or Fast Friday

Chicken Salad with Blueberries and Pesto

I, like really, did not plan on making this. I really planned on going out for dinner but our budget had different ideas. And so it is that I found myself scrounging in the fridge at 7PM trying to make something that would satisfy me. Truthfully, I think a potato would make me happy but rabbit catcher wants to avoid those white things. In any case, I found myself with leftover grilled chicken breasts, leftover pesto and lots of blueberries. I was going to post a recipe on Chocolate Cherry Crumb cookies- a take off from the Milk Bar cookbook – but that will have to wait. I have to clean the house and finish up some orders and it’s Friday and a friend’s birthday but that doesn’t have anything to do with anything. I’m just tired!

After making this chicken salad, I thought it quite pretty and though it was almost dark-the days are getting shorter already-I decided to take a few quick pictures. I didn’t know I’d be in a war zone, a battle zone of hummingbirds, fighting to get to my feeder. Yes, I was being dive bombed by hummers. Finally, after so many years of having hummingbirds in the mountains, they  have finally found my feeder here in the city. Now if anyone can give me pointers on how to photograph hummers I would appreciate it.

We have one bright orange one who appears to be the bad boy of the bunch.

He fluffs out his tail feathers and chases the others away. They hang tight sitting in the trees and then turn their electric engines on and buzz in the minute he leaves. Literally they flew right past my face and hovered right in front of me while I was trying to take pictures of this chicken salad. And so I got diverted and ended up with this.


And this.


But then we ate. And I have to tell you it is all gone. It filled the bill, so they say. You may not have hummers but you can make this. It is good and quick and perfect for a fast Friday. I don’t know what’s for dinner tonight but you can bet I’ll be waiting for my hummers during happy hour. Maybe I’ll be a little quicker this time or maybe I’ll even read the book on how to adjust my settings.


Blueberry Chicken Pesto Salad 
(Serves 2)

2 leftover grilled chicken breasts chopped
1/4 c leftover pesto (you can use this or basil pesto would work, too)
1/4 c mayonnaise
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1/3 c diced onion
1/2 c fresh blueberries
Salt and Pepper

Mix all together and serve with crackers or roll up in lettuce leaves.

A Few More to Try:
Summer Corn Pasta with Burrata
Kale Salad with Cherries, Almonds and Feta
Egg Salad

You Might Also Like

  • Natalie G
    August 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    such a unique salad, great for summer!

  • Laura Dembowski
    August 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I love hummingbirds so much! We have lots of them around here but they are not that ferocious 🙂 Ours scatter pretty quickly when they see people. But they are one of my favorite things about summer. Adding blueberries to chicken salad is a great idea!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      August 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Put up a feeder and I bet they will go used to you. Blueberries in chicken salad is great!

  • ChgoJohn
    August 4, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Never would have thought to combine blueberries with pesto but why not? I bet it was really tasty, Abbe, and thanks for the idea. Although we have a few hummingbird species, I've never seen an orange one. From what I have seen, they are territorial and "own" the feeders. The owner will expend a great deal of energy chasing off the others.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      August 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      I'd never seen an orange one either. I looked it up and it is called a Rufous hummingbird and they do chase others away. Never knew that! I'm ready to chase him away!

  • Liz Berg
    August 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    There is so much I love about this recipe! First, adding pesto…amazing flavor booster! And also adding berries…so yummy! Perfect summer meal.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      August 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      Definitely worth doing again, Liz!

  • Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
    August 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    This is such an interesting salad, and I usually have all ingredients around! I agree with Angie with the yogurt, it would make me feel better, ja. I used to have hummingbirds around my house many years ago, such a gorgeous bird.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      August 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      They are fun to watch, too! Yes, yogurt would save a few cals but mayo does taste good, too!

  • Mary Callan
    August 3, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Gorgeous salad!! and amazing pictures – happy to follow you !!
    Mary x

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      August 3, 2013 at 3:16 am

      Oh Mary, it's so nice to have you in my living room~ I'm working on the photos thanks to Mr. KR! who has given me great tips.

  • [email protected]
    August 3, 2013 at 1:06 am

    Never thought to combine pesto and blueberries in chicken salad! Bet it tastes fabulous!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      August 3, 2013 at 3:14 am

      Oh, Christin, it does! And thanks for visiting. Don't be afraid to sit a spell!

  • Abbe Odenwalder
    August 2, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Great idea, Angie!

    • Kitchen Riffs
      August 2, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Abbe, nice combo of flavors! The blueberries look mighty tempting. I've never tried to take hummingbird pictures, but you're facing two problems: you probably want decent depth-of-field to nail decent focus, so you probably want to shoot at f8.0 or so. And you need to stop motion, which means a high shutter speed (I'm purely guessing here, but I'd think at least 1/1000 second – but this really is a guess, might be even more). So that means you need an awful lot of light, or fairly high ISO. The easiest way to get the light is with an off camera flash – just a speed light that you attach to your camera with a synch cord. You can hold the flash in one hand, work your camera with the other, and there you go. Here the shutter speed is much less important, because the strobe is fast enough to freeze motion, and you really want to balance the power of the flash with the ambient daylight, so you need to adjust your flash (and other settings) accordingly. If none of the lighting stuff makes sense to you and you have any interest in flash, visit and start reading through Lighting 101. Lot of info there.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      August 3, 2013 at 3:36 am

      Oh man. Better not do this during happy hour. I will let you know how this works out. Better yet you will see how it goes! I think you are the best, John!

  • Angie Schneider
    August 2, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    A very interesting combo of flavours, Abbe. I might use yogurt dressing instead of mayonnaise. It sure looks very appetizing loaded with fresh blueberries.