Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

5 from 1 vote

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When you need a quick lunch or dinner, a chicken pesto pasta salad is super easy to throw together and can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Pasta salad is a great make ahead lunch too. Prepare a big batch on Sunday and enjoy it all week!

Pesto Pasta Salad on serving platter
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Why I Love Pesto Pasta Salad

  • Easy to make
  • Great hot or cold
  • Simple ingredients
  • Full of flavor

Ingredients Needed

This easy meal can be made with fresh or shelf stable ingredients. It’s up to you!

I typically prefer fresh ingredients, but you can always buy a few cans to have on hand for last minute meals before grocery day.

Pesto Pasta Ingredients

Here’s what to Buy:   

  • Bow tie pasta noodles (or your favorite pasta shape – pre-cooked tortellini is another great choice)
  • Basil pesto – make your own pesto or buy it from the store.
  • Chicken breast – cook your own or use rotisserie meat. Canned chicken is a great shelf stable option.
  • Grape tomatoes – sliced (try my favorite tomato slicer)
  • Fresh mozzarella pearls
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make it

Fill a large pot halfway with water and boil over high heat.

Add the noodles and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente.

cook pasta

While the noodles are cooking, rinse and slice the tomatoes in half.

Stir the pesto into the strained noodles add chicken, tomatoes, and mozzarella to the bowl and toss to combine.

Mix together chicken pesto pasta

Eat warm or cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour if serving cold.

Pesto Pasta Salad with chicken

Storage Tips

Refrigerate and store leftovers in an airtight container. Enjoy for 3-5 days.

This pasta dish is a great make ahead or school lunch! Separate portions into food storage containers to bring them on the go or pack in a lunch box.

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Pesto Pasta Salad

5 from 1 vote
Pesto pasta salad is a savory pasta dish with garlic, cheese, tomatoes and chicken. Made in under 15 minutes, it's a great salad warm or cold as a make ahead meal.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 16 oz bow tie pasta noodles
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • 12.5 oz chicken breast
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions 

  • Fill a large pot halfway with water and boil over high heat.
  • Add the noodles and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the noodles are al dente.
  • While the noodles are cooking, rinse and slice the tomatoes in half.
  • Remove from heat and strain, then run cold water over the noodles, gently mixing the noodles, for one minute.
  • Add the basil pesto and noodles to a large bowl and stir to coat the noodles.
  • Shred chicken or if using canned chicken, open and drain any liquid.
  • Add chicken, tomatoes, and mozzarella to the bowl and toss to combine.
  • Eat warm or cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving if serving cold.

Notes

Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 579kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Sodium: 582mg, Potassium: 588mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1636IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 189mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Chicken, Main Course
Cuisine: American

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About Andrea Updyke

Andrea Updyke is a married mom of two boys living in Raleigh, NC. She is a published author and blogger of more than 18 years and loves to celebrate the little things that make life awesome.

Whether she's sharing tasty recipes, traveling or hanging with the family, Andrea's goal is to help make your days a little easier and a lot more fun! Email inquiries to andreaupdyke@gmail.com.

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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