5 from 1 vote
Ready to serve Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad, made with fresh ingredients bursting with the flavor of pesto for a full meal or a hearty side dish for any BBQ!
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken pesto pasta, pesto pasta
Servings: 12 side dish portions
Calories: 338 kcal
Author: Michele Hall
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 5-10 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 cup basil leaves packed, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 pound pasta any bite sized pasta will work
  • 8 ounces chicken breasts shredded (ok to sub thighs)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubed to bite sized pieces
  • 4 basil leaves sliced thinly to strips (garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large pot bring water to boil to cook the pasta. Cook to al dente, then drain pasta saving 1/4 cup of the water for later.

  2. While pasta is cooking prepare pesto.

  3. In a Food Processor, pulse walnuts and garlic to small bits.

  4. Then add Basil leaves and pulse until well blended,

  5. Start with 1/4 cup of olive oil and slowly add to nut/basil/garlic mixture.

  6. Now add the grated parmesan cheese and pulse until combined evenly.

  7. If mixture seems to dry, add additional olive oil until it looks easily spreadable.

  8. Once Pasta is done cooking, drain and reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.

  9. Place pasta back in pot, then add pesto mix and stir to coat evenly. If the pesto isn't covering evenly, add in reserved pasta water a spoon at a time until it looks even.

  10. Toss in shredded chicken, halved tomatoes, cubed mozzarella and stir until well combined.

  11. Sprinkle strips of basil and fresh parmesan over the top.

  12. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.