This chicken pesto pasta salad is light, healthy and packed with the perfect pesto flavor! Great for BBQs, brunches, baby showers & more!
Whenever I need an easy side dish to bring to a BBQ, this pesto salad is always one of my first picks. It has the best flavor and is seriously so delicious. Everyone always asks for the recipe! I also love to make a big cucumber tomato salad, Greek pasta salad or caprese salad. So fresh and tasty!
Have you ever tried a recipe at a get-together and knew you had to make it as SOON as you got home? This was me after I tried a delicious pesto pasta salad that one of my friends brought to a lunch play date awhile ago. All of my girlfriends at the play date were raving over how tasty it was and I couldn’t wait to recreate this yummy recipe! After taking my first stab at the pesto salad, it turned out DELICIOUS! It’s so light and healthy and even husband-approved! It is the absolute perfect dish to bring to any get-together!
The combination of flavors in this pesto chicken salad is seriously to-die-for! It’s so easy to throw together and can be eaten as both a main or side dish. It also is equally as great eaten as leftovers…believe me, you won’t leave a bite behind! This has become one of my favorite go-to summer salad recipes and I have no doubt it will become of yours as well!
How to make pesto pasta salad
- Cook pasta. Cook the pasta according to directions, then drain and run under water. Add a drizzle of olive oil and stir.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. Add pasta in a large bowl and stir in pesto and Italian dressing until well coated. Mix in the spinach, chicken, tomatoes and feta and then toss to combine.
- Chill in fridge. Cover the bowl and store in fridge until serving.
Tips + modifications
- Can sub the feta with cubes of mozzarella if preferred.
- Feel free to use gluten-free pasta if needed.
- I typically use bow tie pasta, but penne or rotini would work great too.
- Store bought pesto works great, but I love to use my easy homemade basil pesto.
- Instead of Italian dressing, you can use 1/2 Tablespoon ranch seasoning mixed with 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt.
- If the pasta dries out a little while chilling, simply add another Tablespoon of olive oil prior to serving.
You’ll love these other pasta salad recipes too:
- Easy pasta salad with Italian dressing
- Chicken Caesar pasta salad
- Easy tortellini Italian pasta salad
- BLT pasta salad
- Buffalo chicken pasta salad
Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
- 1 package bow tie pasta (whole wheat or plus)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup basil pesto (jarred or homemade)
- 1/4 cup Italian dressing
- 1 cup chicken (grilled, canned or rotisserie)
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover and refrigerate. If the pasta seems dry before serving, you can stir in another tablespoon of olive oil.