Hi, I was thinking the other day, where would we be, in our busy lives, without Pasta? Since there are so many dishes you can make using Pasta. And so today I have this Chicken Pasta Pesto Salad to share with you.
This dish takes no more than 30 minutes to make from start to finish! It’s packed full of lean chicken and crammed with crunchy veggies. Also, if you left the chicken out you could easily make this as a vegetarian dish.
Everything about this dish makes it perfect for a quick, easy, mid-week meal, or you can make it ahead, keep it in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to three days. Also it has to be one of the easiest meals ever, prepare in advance when you have a bit of time, or cook from scratch and have it on the table in 30 minutes!
Recipe : Chicken Pasta Pesto Salad serves 4-6 adults
500g/1lb Packet Dried Pasta – I used fusilli
500g/1lb Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Jar ready made Pesto Sauce – I use 190g jar Classic Pesto from Filippo Berio
150g/5oz Sugar Snap Peas
1 Small Red Onion
1 Yellow Bell Pepper
225g/8oz Cherry Tomatoes
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Optional – Fresh Basil Leaves
Method : Making the Chicken Pasta Pesto Salad
First of all, fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt, the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
In a separate pan place the chicken breasts – if very large cut in half first. Add cold water to just cover the chicken. Bring to a gentle simmer and poach for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. I take the largest piece out, cut through the thickest part with a knife and if the chicken is white – not pink, I know it is cooked.
As soon as the pasta is cooked, drain and tip into a large bowl.
Remove the poached chicken breasts, once cooked and place on a plate to cool slightly.
Into a pan of boiling water add the sugar snap peas and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under a cold tap to halt the cooking process.
Chop the cherry tomatoes in half, dice the red onion and yellow pepper.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle chop into bite sized pieces.
Finally, scatter over fresh Basil leaves and then serve warm as is, or refrigerate for a delicious cool Summer salad on a hot day!
Place any leftovers in an airtight container, refrigerate and eat within 3 days.
Since this salad is very versatile, you can add whatever veggies you have on hand. While I like to use the best seasonal produce available, omit the chicken for a great vegetarian meal.
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I love the versatility of pasta and how it can be used is so many quick and easy dishes. Especially as a busy mum, having meals that can be prepared in advance is a huge bonus. While the weather continues to be extremely hot, here in the South East of England, making dinner first thing in the morning and stashing it away in the fridge seems to take the pressure off when it comes to mealtimes.
Finally, whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.
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