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.
Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad is a great way to liven up any meal. 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!
Why you will love making Pesto Pasta Salad!
- It’s a delicious and healthy meal. Chicken pesto pasta is a great way to get your daily dose of protein and fiber. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and iron.
- It’s easy to make. Chicken pesto pasta is a quick, complete meal to prepare. You only need pasta, pesto, chicken, and vegetables.
- It’s versatile. Chicken pesto pasta can be made with a variety of different fresh ingredients. You can use any pasta, protein, or vegetables you have on hand. One of our favorites is this Shrimp Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe – a unique seafood version and bite after bite delicious!
- rotini pasta
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir in spinach until it is wilted, about 2 minutes or so.
- Transfer chicken and bacon and mix well. Fold in fresh tomatoes and cheese.
- Serve warm or cover and cool until ready to serve.
Tip To make it Quicker
Use pre-made Rotisserie chicken!
Can I freeze Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad?
Yes, you can freeze Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad. To do this, place the salad in an airtight container and freeze it for up to 2 months.
What is the best way to store Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad?
The best way to store creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 3 days.
How to make Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad ahead of time?
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.
How to make Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad without pesto?
If you don’t have pesto, you can use any other sauce. Some popular combination of flavors includes Italian dressing, ranch dressing, and mayonnaise.
Best pasta types for pasta salad:
- Short pasta: Short pasta shapes like penne, fusilli, rotini, and farfalle hold up well to the dressing and other ingredients and are easier to eat.
- 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.
- Fusilli pasta: Fusilli pasta is a spiral-shaped pasta perfect for pasta salad because it holds the dressing and other ingredients well.
- 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)
Here are some tips for choosing the right pasta for pasta salad:
- Consider the other ingredients in your chicken pasta salad. If you are using a lot of vegetables, you should use smaller pasta that will hold up well to the vegetables.
- Consider the flavor of your pasta dish. If you are using a light dressing, consider using more absorbent pasta.
Looking for a side dish salad without the pasta? You cannot go wrong with five-star pea salad recipe! This salad doesn’t need any pasta for heavy lifting and is perfect for holiday meals.
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