This chicken pesto pasta salad is light, healthy and packed with the perfect basil pesto flavor! Great for BBQs, brunches, baby showers & more!
Bow tie pasta salad with pesto
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 it, the pasta salad turned out DELICIOUS! It’s so light and healthy and even husband-approved! It is the absolute perfect recipe to bring to a BBQ or any get-together for that matter.
The combination of flavors 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 pasta salad recipes and I have no doubt it will become of yours as well!
Modifications for pesto pasta salad
- Cheese. Can sub the feta with cubes of mozzarella if preferred.
- Pasta. I typically use bow tie pasta, but penne or rotini would work great too. Feel free to use gluten-free pasta if needed.
- Chicken. Shredded chicken, rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken all work great in this recipe.
- Pesto. Store bought pesto works great, but I love to use my easy homemade basil pesto or vegan pesto.
- Dressing. Instead of Italian dressing, you can use 1/2 Tablespoon ranch seasoning mixed with 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt.
- Extras. Feel free to add in extras, like sundried tomatoes, diced avocado or pine nuts for a little crunch.
Make ahead and storing
Making in advance: You can absolutely prepare this dish ahead of time if preferred. Storing it in the fridge for a few hours beforehand actually gives the flavors time to marinate together a little more. If you’re worried about the spinach and tomatoes getting soggy, feel free to just toss them in right before serving. If the pasta dries out a little while chilling, simply add another Tablespoon of olive oil (or Italian dressing) prior to serving.
Storing: Store this salad covered in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Always make sure to give it a stir before serving so that you get the perfect amount of flavor in every bite!
More pasta salad recipes:
- Easy pasta salad with Italian dressing
- Chicken Caesar pasta salad
- Easy tortellini Italian pasta salad
- Buffalo chicken pasta salad
- Caprese pasta salad
Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
- 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. Then serve and enjoy!
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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