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.
- 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!