Creamy chicken pesto pasta salad
Pasta, Salads

Easy creamy chicken pesto pasta salad

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Delicious creamy pesto pasta salad, full of flavour and packed with loads of chicken for a perfect balanced dinner

As am beginning to build my pasta recipes portfolio, I couldn’t resist making this healthy pasta salad. It is very tasty and creamy and loaded with chicken making it a wholesome salad idea. The good thing about this salad is that the ingredients are easy to get, or you might already have them in your pantry and its easy to make in just 30mins.

Ingredients in chicken pesto pasta salad                                     

I used boneless chicken breast to add required proteins which means the salad is complete needing no side dish with it. The chicken also adds a lot of flavour and makes it more filling. Other ingredients I used are; fusilli pasta (you can use similar pastas or gluten-free pasta), Italian salad dressing, fat-free Greek yogurt, homemade pesto sauce, fresh basil leaves, cherry tomatoes, avocado (optional) and shredded parmesan cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Chicken can be subbed for tofu or removed entirely for vegetarian creamy pesto pasta salad.   

You can use readymade pesto, or you can make your fresh. See how to make green pesto here

How to make creamy chicken pesto pasta salad

  1. Pasta: Pour 500mls of water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Add pasta, turn down heat and let it simmer uncovered for about 7-10mins. 100g of pasta serves will make about 3 serves of pesto pasta salad; this produces about 250g after cooking. While the pasta is cooking stir occasionally; drain excess water and set aside. (Follow the cooking instructions on the type of pasta you intend using)
  2. Salad dressing: Add Italian salad dressing, pesto and Greek yogurt into a mixing bowl, mix together until it’s well mixed and blended.
  3. Chicken: Season chicken breast and with Italian seasoning; salt, pepper and olive oil. Place a non-stick skillet on the hub and set to medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 5mins, flip to the other side and cook for another 3-4mins or until the chicken is no longer pink inside. A thicker chicken breast might take a bit longer to cook. Once the chicken is cooked, let it cool down then cut into shreds and set aside.
  4. Veggies: Cut some cherry tomatoes into half and cut and dice one ripe avocado (optional).
  5. Salad: Using a big salad bowl (mixing bowl), add pasta, cherry tomatoes, avocado, shredded chicken and fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top and pour salad dressing on top. Mix gently with a spatula/salad spoon. You can garnish it with more parmesan cheese and crack pepper.
chicken pesto pasta salad

How do you preserve pasta salad?

Pour left over salad in a sealable plastic or cover the leftover pasta salad with a clingfilm and store in the coolest part of the fridge for 5-7 days.  Pasta salads can also be frozen as well for up to three months, but I’d advice serving it within 7 days.

Easy creamy chicken pesto pasta salad

4.9 from 8 votes
Recipe by Oluwaseyi O’shea Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

3

servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

5

minutes
Calories

401

kcal
Total time

30

minutes

Delicious creamy pesto pasta salad, full of flavour and packed with loads of chicken for a perfect balanced dinner. It is very easy to make in just 30mins.

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breast

  • 100 grams Pasta (Fusilli or others)

  • ¼ cup Fresh basil leaves

  • ½ cup Green pesto

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt

  • ½ cup Cherry tomatoes

  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

  • 2/3 cup Italian salad dressing (bought or homemade)

  • Chicken seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic granules/powder

  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • ¼ teaspoon each Salt and pepper

  • 2 teaspoon Olive oil

Directions

  • Cook pasta and set aside.
  • Add Italian salad dressing, pesto and Greek yogurt into a mixing bowl, mix together until ingredients are well mixed and blended.
  • Season chicken breast and with Italian seasoning; salt, pepper and olive oil. Place a non-stick skillet on the hub and set to medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 5mins, flip to the other side and cook for another 3-4mins or until the chicken is no longer pink inside and set aside.
  • Cut some cherry tomatoes into half and cut and dice one ripe avocado (optional).
  • Using a big salad bowl (mixing bowl), add pasta, cherry tomatoes, avocado, shredded chicken and fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top and pour salad dressing on top.
  • Mix gently with a spatula/salad spoon.
  • Garnish with parmesan cheese and crack pepper before serving.

Notes

  • Avocado is optional but it goes well with this recipes. However, I wouldn’t advise adding it if you don’t plan to serve the salad fresh.
  • PS: Nutrition information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator and based on ingredients used.

Frequently asked questions about pasta salad

How do you keep pasta salad moist?

If you don’t serve pasta salad fresh, sometime the dressing gets dry due to lack of moist. Fixing it depends on the type of pasta salad that you made. For instance, the dressing in this pasta salad is pesto and Italian dressing, all you have to do is add more dressing and a little bit of olive oil and stir together gently before serving.

Other salad recipes

Utensils and tools in this recipe

Mixing bowl/salad bowl, spatula/salad spoon, non-stick skillet, chopping board, knife and whisk (You can buy any of the items on Amazon by clicking the link. This opens a new tab on your browser so you will still remain on this page).

Let me know if your creamy chicken pesto pasta salad came out well in the comment box below. Connect with me on my social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest @Daddysnom

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