Before the fall really kicks in, I am trying to fit in all of my summer favorites one last time. One of those things is pasta salad. While my usual pasta salad recipes are more salad than pasta, sometimes I like to revert back to my old favorite – pesto pasta salad with grilled chicken. Between the homemade basil pesto, salty Kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, and roasted red peppers, it’s indulgent and even better after a night in the fridge. You could definitely up the veggie quotient in this salad by adding some spiralized zucchini, grilled or roasted cauliflower, fresh tomatoes, or zucchini.
Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken
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- 2 cups basil leaves, packed
- 6 tbsp. water
- 4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 U cloves garlic
- 1 U lemon, juice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 8 oz. high fiber pasta (I used penne)
- 3/4 lb. cooked boneless skinless chicken breast (I grilled mine)
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
Blend the basil, water, Parmesan, almonds, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor to create the pesto sauce.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and let cool.
Toss together all the ingredients with the pesto.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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