This pesto salad with kale and white bean is the perfect example of a refrigerator sturdy salad that can be changed up daily with a variety of add-ins to prevent burn-out. Check out how to make pesto salad in this article of Apronese!

Salad Add-In Options

This pesto salad already has good bones. You can eat it as is, or add things like a chopped hard-boiled egg, some crumbled feta, leftover roasted vegetables, avocado, croutons or toasted pita triangles, or even cooked quinoa.

Substitution Options

If you don’t like kale, you can use chopped spinach in a pinch. I suggest using chopped parsley, which has a similar sturdiness to kale.

You can simply leave the chicken out or add an extra can of white beans instead.

While cannelini beans are the best for this salad due to their creamy yet firm texture, chickpeas also working well.

If you can’t find pesto for a good price, this parsley pesto is a great homemade substitute for the store-bought pesto. You can also swap it out for this tomato basil vinaigrette.

How to Make Pesto Salad

How to Make Pesto Salad with Kale and White Bean

This pesto salad can be customized each day for a new meal.

Prep Time: 20 mins / Total Time: 20 mins

Servings: 4 (about 2 cups each)


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


  • Place the finely chopped kale in a large bowl. Rinse and drain the cannellini beans, slice the tomatoes in half, and then add them both to the bowl. Chop or shred the chicken, and add it to the bowl as well.
  • Add the pesto to the bowl with the other salad ingredients, then toss until everything is lightly coated in pesto. Taste and add more pesto if desired (I used only 1/2 cup).
  • Serve the salad immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. Serve each portion of the salad with a wedge of lemon and squeeze the fresh lemon juice over top just before eating.


Serving: 2 cups ・ Calories: 332.2 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 23.13 g ・ Protein: 27.9 g ・ Fat: 14.43 g ・ Sodium: 715.18 mg ・ Fiber: 7.38 g

The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.

How to Make Kale and White Bean Pesto Salad – Step-by-step Photos

Chop Kale even more finely
Step 1: Chop your kale finely. You’ll want about 6 loosely packed cups of finely chopped kale for this salad.

Kale White Beans Chicken and Tomatoes
Step 2: Place the kale in a large bowl. Rinse and drain one 15 oz. can of cannellini beans.

Chop or shred one cooked chicken breast (mine is from a rotisserie chicken), and slice 1 cup grape tomatoes.

Add the beans, chicken, and tomatoes to the bowl with the kale.

Basil Peso Jar
This is the type of basil pesto I’m using in this recipe. You can usually find them near the pasta sauces.

Add Pesto and Toss
Step 3: Add 1/2 cup pesto to the salad, then toss until everything is lightly coated.

You can add more pesto if you prefer.

Finished Kale White Bean and Pesto Salad

And that’s it! It’s best to serve the salad with a lemon wedge for an extra pop of bright flavor. Squeeze the lemon over top just before eating, and enjoy. Come back to Apronese for more salad recipes!