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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Rooster Pesto Pasta Salad with Entire Meals Elements

Nothing says recent fairly like the colourful flavors on this simple pasta salad.It’s my go-to meal prep possibility when the climate will get heat. I like that it’s filled with hen, pasta, recent veggies, cheese, and pesto, so I’m getting each taste and diet. And I particularly like to deliver it to summer time BBQs and potlucks and for my selfmade packed lunches.

Overhead view stone bowl filled with chicken pesto pasta salad topped with fresh Parmesan cheese shreds

I Wish to serve it as a primary dish more often than not

Not solely is that this protein and veggie-packed salad flavorful, however it’s additionally simple to make. True, it may very well be served as a aspect salad, however it’s really a primary dish, with sufficient protein, carbs, wholesome fat, and fiber to gas you thru the day. It additionally works nicely as a aspect dish.

Because of this, I like to make a giant batch to maintain readily available for fast, simple meals that my entire household will eat. It’s really a game-changer when life will get busy and I like that my youngsters clear their plates after I make it despite the fact that they don’t love greens.

Close up view plate full of chicken pesto pasta salad

Recipe Highlights

This hen pesto pasta salad is a recipe I make on repeat when the climate will get heat. Listed here are just a few the reason why:

  • With minimal prep time and simply 12 minutes of cooking time, your complete dish comes collectively in nearly half-hour, which means I can get out and in of the kitchen quick. 
  • It calls for easy elements, together with store-bought pesto sauce
  • It tastes nice served heat or chilly, so it is useful on my busiest of days. 
  • I can simply combine and match the elements to fulfill totally different preferences and burn up any additional protein or veggies I’ve readily available. 
  • Leftovers retailer nicely so I can put together a giant batch as soon as and luxuriate in it for days. 
  • It options seasonal elements, making it budget-friendly and nutritious.
All ingredients for chicken pesto pasta salad in separate bowls arranged together in a cluster

What You’ll Want

  • Diced cooked hen – use leftover grilled hen, shredded hen, hen breasts, precooked hen breasts strips, or  rotisserie hen. 
  • Cavatappi pasta – any small to medium-sized pasta shapes akin to penne, rotini, or bow-tie pasta will work. Use gluten-free pasta, if wanted. 
  • Contemporary mozzarella – I take advantage of ciliengine or mozzarella pearls. Nonetheless, you too can use a big ball of recent mozzarella and lower it into bite-sized items
  • Persian or mini cucumbers – could sub English cucumbers
  • Grape or heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • Pink onion
  • Pesto – I take advantage of this selfmade basil pesto, however any store-bought pesto will style nice
  • Parmesan cheese – for the perfect style and texture, purchase a block of parmesan and grate it your self.
All ingredients for pesto pasta salad in a stone mixing bowl, two spoons tossing ingredients together

Ingredient Spotlight: Do-it-yourself Pesto

Whereas you should use store-bought pesto sauce for this recipe, I a lot choose utilizing our selfmade pesto. In contrast to many pre-made choices, our pesto recipe is:

  • Mild, flavorful, and simple to customise
  • Filled with wholesome fat
  • Makes use of walnuts as a substitute of pine nuts
  • Dairy-free, Paleo, and Whole30-friendly
  • Nice to arrange forward of time and simple to make use of with a wide range of recipes like basil pesto hen.

Do-it-yourself Pesto Recipe

How To Make It

  1. Mix the cooked hen and pasta in a big bowl. 
  2. Add the remaining elements, and blend gently to mix. 
  3. Garnish with recent basil leaves and extra parmesan, if desired. 
  4. Serve instantly, or switch the hen pesto pasta salad to the fridge to chill. 


For the Finest Texture

Watch out to prepare dinner the pasta simply to al dente in response to the bundle directions. Then, instantly rinse it with chilly water to cease the cooking course of. In any other case, the pasta is more likely to change into mushy.

Close up view pesto pasta salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh basil and Parmesan cheese

Change It Up

Listed here are some methods I prefer to customise this recipe:

  • Swap the hen with tuna or shrimp 
  • Add in spinach or child arugula for additional greens 
  • Mix the pesto sauce with heavy cream or cream cheese to create a creamy hen pesto pasta salad recipe  
  • Embody sun-dried tomatoes
  • Change the mozzarella and Parmesan with crumbled feta

Make It Dairy-Free

Omit the cheese and use dairy-free pesto to maintain this pasta salad dairy-free.

Make It Gluten-Free

Use your favourite gluten-free pasta, cooking it simply till al dente. A few of our favorites that we’ve examined on this salad are garbanzo-based cavatappi, gluten-free rotini, and the brown rice and quinoa fusilli from Dealer Joe’s. 

Overhead view glass meal prep container filled with a serving of pesto pasta salad

How To Retailer

Retailer any leftover pasta salad in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 4 days. Give the combination a great stir to redistribute the elements earlier than serving. The pesto could darken a bit however it’s nonetheless suitable for eating and many scrumptious.

The Good Aspect Or Fundamental Dish

This pasta salad pairs nicely with a wide range of primary dishes akin to grilled flank steak, grilled salmon kabobs, and grilled bacon burgers if you wish to add a bit extra protein to the meal.
Nonetheless, it’s additionally nice to function an entire meal by itself. For those who’re searching for methods to bulk up the meal, strive pairing it with sides like cornbread muffins and fruit salad.

Overhead view stone bowl filled with chicken pesto pasta salad


Rooster Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

A lightweight, vivid and flavorful twist on pasta salad. Studded with tender bites of hen and a bunch of recent veggies, this salad is nice for make-ahead lunches or a lightweight dinner.

Prep: 20 minutesCook dinner: 12 minutesComplete: 32 minutes

Servings: 11 cups – 8 (1 ¾ cup) servings 1x


  1. Mix cooked and cooled pasta and hen in a big mixing bowl. 
  2. Add mozzarella cheese pearls, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, pesto, and Parmesan cheese. Combine gently to mix. 
  3. Garnish with recent basil leaves and extra Parmesan, if desired.
  4. Retailer any leftovers in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 4 days.

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For gluten-free, we’ve examined and like these manufacturers of pasta when served chilly: Banza, Barilla Gluten-Free, and Dealer Joe’s Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli.

Vitamin Data

  • Serving Measurement: 1 3/4 cup
  • Energy: 340
  • Fats: 17 g
  • (Sat Fats: 6 g)
  • Sodium: 350 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 22 g
  • (Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 2 g)
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Ldl cholesterol: 65 mg


© The Actual Meals Dietitians

The photographs on this weblog put up had been taken by Rachel Cook dinner of Half Acre Home.

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