5 from 1 votes

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

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If you’re looking for a delicious and easy meal for your family, look no further than this Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad. This dish is packed with flavor, and thanks to its easy preparation, you can have it done in no time.

The combination of tender chicken, flavorful pesto, and fresh vegetables makes this dish a favorite among all ages. The best part is that it’s so quick and easy to make, even for a large crowd!

chicken pesto pasta salad in a large dish.

Ingredients

  • rotini pasta and salt
  • mascarpone cheese
  • Basil pesto sauce (the alternative is homemade pesto sauce with fresh basil)
  • fresh spinach
  • chicken, cooked and cubed
  • bacon, cooked and chopped
  • grape tomatoes, quartered
  • sliced mozzarella or fresh mozzarella balls

How to make Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Be generous with the salt. One pasta is al dente, drain but do not rinse. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine mascarpone and jarred pesto. Mix well. Stir in warm pasta. The pasta will make the mix ooey gooey and help the fresh flavors meld.
combining dressing and pasta for pasta salad.
  1. Stir in spinach until it is wilted, about 2 minutes or so.
  2. Transfer chicken and bacon and mix well. Fold in fresh tomatoes and cheese.
  3. Serve warm or cover and cool until ready to serve.
italian flavors with pesto chicken and pasta.

What is the best way to store Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad?

The best way to store salad is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 3 days.

Can you make this salad ahead of time?

Yes. To make this pasta recipe ahead of time, follow recipe card below and then refrigerate for up to 3 days. Pasta may need additional creamy dressing to liven up any settling.

white dish with potluck salad.

Best pasta types for pasta salad:

  • Tubed pasta: Tubed pasta shapes like penne and macaroni hold a lot of sauce and are great for pasta salads where you want loads of flavor.
  • Rotini pasta: Rotini pasta is a spiral-shaped pasta similar to fusilli pasta. It is also a good choice for pasta salad because it holds the dressing and other ingredients well.
  • Farfalle pasta: Farfalle pasta is a bow tie-shaped pasta perfect for pasta salad because it holds the dressing and other ingredients well. (you can see our pesto bowtie pasta recipe here)

Of course if you are looking for a side dish salad without the pasta, you cannot go wrong with five-star pea salad recipe!

5 from 1 votes

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad


Prep Time 20 minutes
Get the party started with this simple and tasty Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad. Perfect for any occasion, this pasta salad is sure to be a hit with its flavorful combination of ingredients.

Equipment

  • Very large mixing bowl

Ingredients
 

  • 16 oz. Rotini Pasta
  • salt
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup jarred Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 cups chicken breast cooked and cubed
  • ½ cup bacon cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes quartered
  • 8 oz. mozzarella pearls or sliced and quartered mozzarella

Instructions

  • Before starting, please note that this dish relies on already cooked and cubed chicken and cooked and chopped bacon.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water. Be generous with the salt. One pasta is al dente, drain but do not rinse. Set cooked pasta aside. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and jarred pesto sauce. Mix well.
  • Stir in warm rotini pasta. The pasta will make the mix ooey gooey and help the flavors meld.
  • Stir in fresh spinach leaves until it is wilted, about 2 minutes or so.
  • Add cooked and cubed chicken and crumbled or chopped bacon and mix well.
  • Fold in quartered tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Serve warm or cover and cool until ready to serve. 

Notes

This pasta salad can be served warm or cooled and served. Due to the addition of pesto chicken, it makes a great dinner OR a hearty side dish. 
Mix up the ingredients by adding favorite vegetables or switching out pasta types. See full article for pasta suggestions. 

Nutrition

Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 565IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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5 from 1 votes

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