Even though it’s only week two of June, it’s already a million outside. It’s so hot that I don’t even want to cook, so I rely on big batches of cold salads. This Kale White Bean Pesto Salad is a great example of a sturdy, refrigerator-friendly salad that can be modified daily with various add-ins to avoid burn-out. You can eat it plain and simple, without any extra thought. There are beaches to visit, sports to play in, and summer fun!


The Kale White Bean Pesto Salad already shows good bones. It can be eaten as-is, and I’m perfectly content with it. If I want to change it up, I can add a chopped hard-boiled egg, crumbled feta, leftover roasted veggies, avocado, croutons, pita triangles or leftover cooked quinoa. Each bowl can be made unique.


Chopped spinach can be substituted for kale if you don’t like it. However, this will not give the salad as much volume or keep it as fresh in the fridge as kale. Chopped parsley is a good alternative to kale, as it has the same strength and texture.

You can leave out the chicken or add white beans to replace it. Cannelini beans work best in this salad because of their firm and creamy texture. However, chickpeas can also be used.


My goal is to make my recipes as simple as possible. However, I did have leftover pesto, tomatoes, and kale for this recipe. Because I love grape tomatoes and add them to my scrambled egg, the tomatoes won’t be a problem. When I have a lot of fresh kale, it is best to saute it with garlic, salt and pepper. It tastes so good, and I can eat it right away. And because it wilts so quickly when cooked, one large bag of kale quickly turns into one serving. For the pesto leftovers, I will consult my archives.


This Make-Ahead Kale White Bean Pesto Salad will keep your fridge stocked with healthy food that you can use daily to create a new dish.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving size: 2 cups


  • 6 cups finely chopped kale ($1.50
  • 1 15oz. Cannellini beans ($0.69)
  • 1 chicken breast* (price: $2.00)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes ($1.00)
  • 1/2 cup pesto ($1.44)
  • 1 large lemon, cut into wedges ($0.43)


  • In a large bowl, place the finely chopped kale. Drain the cannellini beans and cut the tomatoes in half. Then, add the two to the bowl. Add the chopped or shredded chicken to the bowl.
  • Toss the pesto in a bowl with all the salad ingredients. If you like, taste and adjust the amount of pesto (I used 1/2 cup).
  • Serve the salad immediately or let it cool in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat. Each portion of the salad should be served with a wedge of lemon, and the fresh lemon juice drizzled over it before serving.


*I used a lump of chicken meat from a rotisserie chicken. However, you can also grill or cook a breast of chicken in a skillet and then cut it once it is cooked.


Serving Size: 2 Cups Calories 332.2 kcal Carbohydrates 23.13 G Protein: 27.9 G Fat: 14.43G Sodium: 715.18Mg Fiber: 7.38G

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