Pesto Salad w/ chicken, feta & tomatoes


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pesto salad

Okay so have you ever tried a recipe and then just had to have it as soon as you got home? Me, me, me!

A few weeks ago I met up with a few girlfriends for a lunch play date and one of my friends brought the most delicious pesto salad. We all raved over it’s yumminess! The next time I went to the store I picked up some pesto so I could re create that amazing pesto salad. I ended up just guessing what was in the recipe and it turned out DELICIOUS! This salad is totally healthy and even the hubs loved it! We even ate it for leftovers and enjoyed every bite. It’s that good! This salad would be great for a party, shower or even as a side dish without the chicken.

Pesto Salad w/ chicken, feta & tomatoes


  • 1 pkg bow tie pasta whole wheat or plus
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 cup basil pesto jarred or homemade
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 cup chicken grilled, can, rotisserie
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese


1. Cook the bow-tie pasta according to package directions in a large pot of salted water. Drain the pasta and run it under water. Drizzle with olive oil and stir around.
2. Put the pasta in a large serving bowl and stir in the pesto and Italian dressing. Add the spinach, chicken, tomatoes and feta cheese. Toss to combine. Salt and Pepper to taste.
3. Cover the pasta and refrigerate. If the pasta seems dry before serving, you can stir in another tablespoon of olive oil.


P.S. You could also try a ranch packet mixed with sour cream or greek yogurt instead of the italian dressing. Come to find out, that’s what my friend used.

Thanks for reading. Come back soon!

more by Jamielyn »

Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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  1. Allyson posted on May 1, 2012 at 10:54 am (#

    This looks sooooo good! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Suzanne Rice posted on May 1, 2012 at 10:55 am (#

    Am I just a crazy old lady who can’t figure things out, or did you share the recipe and I cannot find it. It sound awesome and I would love to prepare it!…That is, if you wouldn’t mind…

    • Jamielyn posted on May 1, 2012 at 10:57 am (#

      Lol! Some how the recipe image disappeared. It’s back now and ready for print! :)

  3. Jenn@myfabulesslife posted on May 1, 2012 at 10:56 am (#

    I’m really jealous of your white Target dishes. Just wanted to let you know ; )

    • Jamielyn posted on May 1, 2012 at 11:01 am (#

      hehe you spotted them! Aren’t they so pretty? I only have this one set… but I’d LOVE the whole set!

  4. Julie A. posted on May 1, 2012 at 11:54 am (#

    This looks so yummy! I love pesto!

  5. kelli posted on May 1, 2012 at 2:59 pm (#

    This looks wonderful! I am going to make this over the weekend!

  6. Ashley posted on May 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm (#

    This looks yummy! What’s even better is that I have all of the ingredients for it!

  7. Kelly posted on May 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm (#

    What brand of Italian dressing did you use? When you say you could even use a ranch packet, is that in place of the pesto and Italian dressing or one or the other? Hehe sorry for all the questions.

    • Jamielyn posted on May 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm (#

      Hey Kelly! I just used what I had in my fridge-wishbone Italian. If you use the ranch packet, I wouldn’t use the Italian. It would be 1/2 TB ranch seasoning mixed with 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt. Hope that helps. :)

  8. Kristy (Sweet Treats & More) posted on May 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm (#

    Looks so good, can’t wait to try it!!

  9. Jana posted on May 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm (#

    Looks delightful!!

  10. Kristen posted on May 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm (#

    This is so great – I’ve been looking for recipes using basil. I have some about ready to use in my garden

  11. Nica posted on May 2, 2012 at 2:56 am (#

    This looks awesome and I guess a lot of people would want to give this a try.. I hope my husband would love this..

  12. Kim posted on May 2, 2012 at 3:46 am (#

    This sounds delicious. I am going to try it soon. Thanks for the recipe and all your great ideas.

  13. Bri posted on May 2, 2012 at 5:13 am (#

    It looks great, I’m going to make it today, thank you for sharing, but pasta healthy? I wish! I guess most people still think high carb/low fat is good for you…

    • Jamielyn posted on May 2, 2012 at 8:33 am (#

      haha! you could make it without the pasta and i’m sure it would be yummy! the salad’s healthy in my book. ;) ;)

  14. Jennifer posted on May 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm (#

    That looks so yummy. In fact, I wish I had the ingredients on hand to have it for lunch today!Thanks for sharing.

  15. Heather posted on May 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm (#

    This is fabulous!! I love pesto. Made it to go with hamburgers and to be able to eat the leftovers for lunch!! Thanks for sharing:)

  16. Kristen posted on May 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm (#

    I just made this for dinner for the Hubs and twin buggy boys. Everyone loved it! It was SUPER easy to put together, and it made a TON of food. We’re all looking forward to the leftovers. Thank you for a great, easy recipe.

  17. Molly posted on May 3, 2012 at 8:45 pm (#

    Looks amazing! Cant wait to make it!

  18. Meto Barnes posted on May 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm (#

    This one I must try by all means. It is such an awesome recipe.I love pesto so much.

  19. Kari-Ucreate posted on May 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm (#

    This looks delicious!! Can’t wait to try this out Jamielyn! {pinning}

  20. Kristen posted on May 4, 2012 at 7:44 am (#

    This was so good. I made it last night with goat cheese, reduced fat pesto and fat free Italian dressing. we ate it hot. It was so delicious!!! Thanks, Jamielyn for the recipe. Even my little ones enjoyed it and they are picky eaters!

  21. Hannah posted on May 5, 2012 at 7:12 pm (#

    This looks delicious!!

  22. Sandy posted on June 27, 2012 at 9:14 am (#

    I tried this recipe last night and it was sooooooo delicious! Hubby had 3 (yes 3!) bowlfuls of it, and took the rest in his lunch today!! Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe :)

  23. Abbie posted on July 30, 2012 at 7:29 am (#

    I finally got around to making this yesterday, and can I say, YUM! My red-meat-eating husband even got seconds and gave multiple compliments. I think it helps that a salad sounds so much better on a day where the temps are 109. Thanks!

  24. Beckyvindy posted on June 28, 2015 at 9:41 pm (#

    Look wonderful!  Time for some new challenges.  Thanks for posting them.