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Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

Make this delicious pesto chicken pasta salad the whole family will love, perfect for those hot summer days!

This is pesto chicken pasta salad. There are four glass rectangle containers filled with the pesto pasta salad. The pasta salad has bowtie noodles, tomatoes, spinach, and chicken tossed with pesto. The pasta salad is topped with parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Pesto chicken pasta salad

This pesto chicken pasta salad is quick and delicious. It is high in protein and perfect for meal prep. With just 6 ingredients, you'll be ready to enjoy this delicious pasta salad. The whole family is going to be obsessed with this recipe.

I prefer to enjoy recipes like this during the spring and the summer, once the weather is warmer. It is so refreshing and a perfect dish to enjoy outside or bring to a tail gate or BBQ.

What is pesto?

Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce. It is made from crushed basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, salt, and Parmesan cheese. Before you start sweating over all of those ingredients, the good news is that you can find it pre-made in a jar.

Pesto is super fresh, super vibrant, and full of nutty, garlicky flavor. It's the perfect ingredient for a refreshing pasta salad. It's also used on pizza, in pasta dishes, and on sandwiches.

Pesto pasta salad ingredients

You'll only need to gather 6 ingredients before making this delicious pasta salad:

  • chickpea pasta
  • chicken breast 
  • cherry tomatoes
  • mozzarella pearls
  • pesto
  • spinach

Substitution ideas for pesto pasta salad

  • Chickpea pasta: You can use any pasta you like best for this recipe. The chickpea pasta reduces the total carbs and increases the total protein.
  • Mozzarella pearls: To make this dairy-free, use dairy-free mozzarella.
  • Pesto: If you're dairy free, you can use a dairy-free pesto.

How to make pesto pasta salad with chicken

  • Gather all ingredients and prepare as necessary. (Cook chicken; prepare chickpea noodles; slice and dice vegetables.)
  • Add all ingredients (minus pesto) to a large bowl. Mix well.
  • Add pesto and stir until fully coated.
  • Chill in fridge until ready to enjoy.

Tips for storing pasta salad

It's best to store the Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad in an airtight container in the fridge. This recipe will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

How to meal prep this pasta salad

This refreshing pasta salad makes 8 servings but will only last in the fridge for 5. Make sure you take that into consideration when you're meal prepping this recipe.

When meal prepping, I think it is easiest to divvy up the individual servings into separate containers. That way when you're ready to eat one, all you have to do is grab one from your fridge!

This is pesto chicken pasta salad. There are four glass rectangle containers filled with the pesto pasta salad. The pasta salad has bowtie noodles, tomatoes, spinach, and chicken tossed with pesto. The pasta salad is topped with parmesan and red pepper flakes.

Should I make pasta salad the night before?

Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad is definitely meant to be served cold. Making it the day before will ensure your pasta salad has enough time to thoroughly cool.

Serving this pasta salad while cold is so refreshing and perfect for a BBQ side or a dinner on a warm summer evening. You won't regret the extra time in the fridge!

Does pesto work with chicken?

Pesto is yummy in all sorts of recipes, but chicken and pesto has to be one of my favorite combinations. A pesto chicken sandwich, a pesto chicken skillet, a pesto chicken pasta salad...they are all so delicious!

Is pesto meant to be eaten cold?

You can enjoy pesto warm or cold. It is up to you and your preference. This pasta salad recipe is to be served cold which is part of what makes it so refreshing.

More pasta salad recipes

This is pesto chicken pasta salad. There are four glass rectangle containers filled with the pesto pasta salad. The pasta salad has bowtie noodles, tomatoes, spinach, and chicken tossed with pesto. The pasta salad is topped with parmesan and red pepper flakes.
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

Make this delicious Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad the whole family will love perfect, for those hot summer nights!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pasta salad, pesto pasta salad
Servings: 8
Calories: 311kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Ingredients

  • 8 oz chickpea pasta
  • 12 oz chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 8 oz mozzarella peals
  • 8 oz pesto
  • 1 cup spinach
  • topping: parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Gather all ingredients and prepare as necessary. (Cook chicken; prepare chickpea noodles; slice and dice vegetables.)
  • Add all ingredients (minus pesto) to a large bowl. Mix well.
  • Add pesto and stir until fully coated.
  • Chill in fridge until ready to enjoy.

Nutrition

Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.7g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 284mg | Potassium: 468mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 13mg
Recipe Rating




Kelly

Sunday 10th of December 2023

This was so easy to make! And delicious. I also added a dash of balsamic vinegar and it was great

Kirby

Friday 8th of December 2023

This is one of my favorite lunch dishes to make! I swapped the cherry tomatoes for homemade sun dried tomatoes and it was delish!

Heather

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

How many grams or ounces is it per serving?

Jordan Smith

Thursday 24th of August 2023

Hi Heather, the grams per serving will change depending on the specific ingredients you use. The easiest way to calculate this number is make the recipe, weight the total recipe and divide by number of servings (in this case, 6). The number you get will be the grams per serving. Hope that helps!

Alicia

Tuesday 20th of June 2023

Easy and so good!

Katie Blomker

Wednesday 31st of May 2023

This was delicious and so easy to make! Our family went to the pool ALL day so I decided on this and it took 30 mins and then put into the fridge until it we were ready to eat.

Jordan Smith

Thursday 1st of June 2023

Hi Katie, I'm so glad you and your family enjoyed this! I think it's absolutely PERFECT for busy summer days.