Chicken and Rice Salad with Pesto Yogurt Dressing

  • Active Time 5m
  • Total Time 15m
  • Rating ****

Serves 4

Dinner doesn't get much simpler than this: Boil some rice and toss it with pesto, yogurt and rotisserie chicken from the supermarket. Leftover cooked chicken or turkey will work just fine, too.


  • For the Rice:
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • For the Dressing:
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • For the Homemade Pesto: (Makes 1 Cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 roasted chicken, bones and skin removed (about 1 pound meat), meat torn into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)



Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the rice and boil until just done, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.


In a large serving bowl, whisk together the yogurt, pesto, salt and pepper.


Toss the chicken and the rice, and combine with dressing.


  • Store-bought pesto is perfectly acceptable for this rice salad (that's what we used), but if you'd like to make it yourself, here's an easy, delicious version.

    In a blender or food processor, mince the garlic and basil with the salt. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Continue running the machine until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the ingredients if necessary. Add the pine nuts and Parmesan and blend or process until the nuts are chopped.

 Both the dominant herbal flavor of the pesto and the yogurt's acidic tang suggest a sauvignon-blanc-based wine. Look to the Loire, sauvignon's ancestral home, for an herbal, gassy, citrusy Sancerre or Pouilly-Fume.

    Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

    RecID 2901

    nutrition information per serving

    1164 calories; 58g total fat; 177mg cholesterol; 1401mg sodium; 81g carbohydrates; 16g fiber; 78g protein

    These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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