Rooster Pesto Pasta Salad with Entire Meals Substances

Nothing says contemporary fairly like the colourful flavors on this straightforward pasta salad.It’s my go-to meal prep possibility when the climate will get heat. I like that it’s stuffed with rooster, pasta, contemporary veggies, cheese, and pesto, so I’m getting each taste and diet. And I particularly like to deliver it to summer season BBQs and potlucks and for my selfmade packed lunches.

Overhead view stone bowl filled with chicken pesto pasta salad topped with fresh Parmesan cheese shreds

I Wish to serve it as a primary dish more often than not

Not solely is that this protein and veggie-packed salad flavorful, however it’s additionally straightforward to make. True, it might be served as a facet salad, however it’s really a primary dish, with sufficient protein, carbs, wholesome fat, and fiber to gas you thru the day. It additionally works nicely as a facet dish.

For that reason, I like to make an enormous batch to maintain readily available for fast, straightforward meals that my complete household will eat. It’s really a game-changer when life will get busy and I like that my youngsters clear their plates after I make it regardless that they don’t love greens.

Close up view plate full of chicken pesto pasta salad

Recipe Highlights

This rooster pesto pasta salad is a recipe I make on repeat when the climate will get heat. Listed here are a couple of the explanation why:

  • With minimal prep time and simply 12 minutes of cooking time, all the dish comes collectively in nearly half-hour, which means I can get out and in of the kitchen quick. 
  • It calls for easy substances, together with store-bought pesto sauce
  • It tastes nice served heat or chilly, so it is useful on my busiest of days. 
  • I can simply combine and match the substances to fulfill totally different preferences and deplete any further protein or veggies I’ve readily available. 
  • Leftovers retailer nicely so I can put together an enormous batch as soon as and luxuriate in it for days. 
  • It options seasonal substances, making it budget-friendly and nutritious.
All ingredients for chicken pesto pasta salad in separate bowls arranged together in a cluster

What You’ll Want

  • Diced cooked rooster – use leftover grilled rooster, shredded rooster, rooster breasts, precooked rooster breasts strips, or  rotisserie rooster. 
  • Cavatappi pasta – any small to medium-sized pasta shapes resembling penne, rotini, or bow-tie pasta will work. Use gluten-free pasta, if wanted. 
  • Recent mozzarella – I take advantage of ciliengine or mozzarella pearls. Nevertheless, you too can use a big ball of contemporary mozzarella and minimize it into bite-sized items
  • Persian or mini cucumbers – could sub English cucumbers
  • Grape or heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • Crimson onion
  • Pesto – I take advantage of this selfmade basil pesto, however any store-bought pesto will style nice
  • Parmesan cheese – for the very best style and texture, purchase a block of parmesan and grate it your self.
All ingredients for pesto pasta salad in a stone mixing bowl, two spoons tossing ingredients together

Ingredient Spotlight: Home made Pesto

Whereas you should utilize store-bought pesto sauce for this recipe, I a lot desire utilizing our selfmade pesto. In contrast to many pre-made choices, our pesto recipe is:

  • Gentle, flavorful, and simple to customise
  • Filled with wholesome fat
  • Makes use of walnuts as an alternative of pine nuts
  • Dairy-free, Paleo, and Whole30-friendly
  • Nice to arrange forward of time and simple to make use of with quite a lot of recipes like basil pesto rooster.

Home made Pesto Recipe

How To Make It

  1. Mix the cooked rooster and pasta in a big bowl. 
  2. Add the remaining substances, and blend gently to mix. 
  3. Garnish with contemporary basil leaves and extra parmesan, if desired. 
  4. Serve instantly, or switch the rooster pesto pasta salad to the fridge to chill. 


For the Greatest Texture

Watch out to cook dinner the pasta simply to al dente in keeping with the package deal directions. Then, instantly rinse it with chilly water to cease the cooking course of. In any other case, the pasta is more likely to turn into mushy.

Close up view pesto pasta salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh basil and Parmesan cheese

Change It Up

Listed here are some methods I prefer to customise this recipe:

  • Swap the rooster with tuna or shrimp 
  • Add in spinach or child arugula for further greens 
  • Mix the pesto sauce with heavy cream or cream cheese to create a creamy rooster pesto pasta salad recipe  
  • Embrace sun-dried tomatoes
  • Exchange the mozzarella and Parmesan with crumbled feta

Make It Dairy-Free

Omit the cheese and use dairy-free pesto to maintain this pasta salad dairy-free.

Make It Gluten-Free

Use your favourite gluten-free pasta, cooking it simply till al dente. A few of our favorites that we’ve examined on this salad are garbanzo-based cavatappi, gluten-free rotini, and the brown rice and quinoa fusilli from Dealer Joe’s. 

Overhead view glass meal prep container filled with a serving of pesto pasta salad

How To Retailer

Retailer any leftover pasta salad in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 4 days. Give the combination stir to redistribute the substances earlier than serving. The pesto could darken a bit however it’s nonetheless suitable for eating and lots scrumptious.

The Good Facet Or Major Dish

This pasta salad pairs nicely with quite a lot of primary dishes resembling grilled flank steak, grilled salmon kabobs, and grilled bacon burgers if you wish to add a bit extra protein to the meal.
Nevertheless, it’s additionally nice to function an entire meal by itself. In case you’re on the lookout for methods to bulk up the meal, attempt pairing it with sides like cornbread muffins and fruit salad.

Overhead view stone bowl filled with chicken pesto pasta salad


Rooster Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

A lightweight, brilliant and flavorful twist on pasta salad. Studded with tender bites of rooster and a bunch of contemporary veggies, this salad is nice for make-ahead lunches or a lightweight dinner.

Prep: 20 minutesCook dinner: 12 minutesComplete: 32 minutes

Servings: 11 cups – 8 (1 ¾ cup) servings 1x


  1. Mix cooked and cooled pasta and rooster in a big mixing bowl. 
  2. Add mozzarella cheese pearls, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, pesto, and Parmesan cheese. Combine gently to mix. 
  3. Garnish with contemporary basil leaves and extra Parmesan, if desired.
  4. Retailer any leftovers in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 4 days.

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For gluten-free, we’ve examined and like these manufacturers of pasta when served chilly: Banza, Barilla Gluten-Free, and Dealer Joe’s Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli.

Vitamin Info

  • Serving Dimension: 1 3/4 cup
  • Energy: 340
  • Fats: 17 g
  • (Sat Fats: 6 g)
  • Sodium: 350 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 22 g
  • (Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 2 g)
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Ldl cholesterol: 65 mg


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