Paleo School Lunch Idea – Pesto Chicken Salad

How hard is it to pack a paleo school lunch?  On a scale of 1-10 I would rank it a 7 or 8.  Without having enough pre-made proteins, snack foods and veggies, it can be very difficult to pack off your children with a healthy lunch.   I still struggle with this after going paleo three years ago.   Kids don’t have access to a fridge or usually a microwave so thinking through what will stay warm in a thermos or cold in an insulated box are all part of the logistics.   Many times my go to is simply cooking up some ground beef with some veggies and seasonings and packing that in a thermos.  It is efficient but I have to admit sometimes the thermos comes home pretty full and my daughter is pretty hungry when she gets home.

For Erin’s first day of school this year, I packed her off with Pesto Chicken Salad, Chai Sweet Potato Muffins (recipe coming soon) and some cucumber slices.  One of my best lunches ever!  I skip the garlic and cheese in my pesto to keep it clean and keep your breath fresh for the rest of the day.  Nothing like garlic breath for the entire day.

Paleo Lunch Box - Pesto Chicken Salad, Chai Sweet Potato Muffins and Veggies

Paleo Lunch Box – Pesto Chicken Salad, Chai Sweet Potato Muffins and Veggies

Pesto Chicken Salad with Pears or Apples

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt or flavored sea salt
  • 2 tbs lemon juice or season to taste
  • 1 pear or apple peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 stalks celery chopped (optional)
  • 1.5 lbs cooked chicken breast chopped


  1. In a food processor, mince the walnuts and basil.
  2. Add your olive oil, salt and lemon and pulse.
  3. Taste and add more seasonings if desired.
  4. Combine your chicken, pear and celery in a medium bowl.
  5. Add enough pesto to cover your chicken you may have extra.
  6. Keep cold in a fridge.  (You can heat this up if you want a warm lunch.  I like it cold or microwaved for a minute.


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