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!
Why I Love Pesto Pasta Salad
- Easy to make
- Great hot or cold
- Simple ingredients
- Full of flavor
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.
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.
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.
Eat warm or cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour if serving cold.
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
Be sure to check out my tips and tricks in the post. Scroll up to read!
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition information is estimated. For the most accurate info, always doublecheck with your ingredients.