Something that we have started getting back into lately is pasta salads. Pasta salads are so easy to take with you to bring a plate style gatherings. And even if you’re not going anywhere, most of them make well in advance and keep (a caution about avocado and tomatoes though). This week, when I was making a batch for an easy weeknight dinner, I thought it was time to put this simple chicken and pesto pasta salad on the blog. I mean, simple is a mainstay of pasta salads, right? But this one, with the help of a store-bought chicken, is THE easiest.
I made a variation of this one for Christmas Day, with a range of heirloom tomatoes and an Italian style dressing. It was good, but it certainly needed that creaminess that the pesto brings to this one. But it was hot, and I wanted something light, so there’s that. Probably one of my favourite things about pasta salads is that you can start with one idea and it becomes another. Make it once and adapt it from there. Especially when it comes to just using what you have on hand. So, easy.
- Roast Chicken, both breasts, sliced
- Pesto (get a good one, this matters for flavour), 3 – 4 tablespoons
- Grape and/or cherry tomatoes, 1 punnet, halved or quartered depending on size
- Baby spinach, 2 cups
- Rocket, 1 cup
- Red onion, half, diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Basil, to serve
- Olive oil, to serve
(Quantities reflect serving four as a meal)
- Cook pasta until it’s cooked, but just undercooked (not too much crunch though)
- Rinse under cold water when done
- Add pesto, salt, pepper, and red onion to pasta in a large bowl, stir to combine
- Set aside in fridge to cool
- Chop other ingredients
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (Don’t add the tomatoes if storing overnight, keep them separate until you serve, spinach can also be stored separately until needed)
- Add more pesto or some olive oil if pasta is not coated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Transfer to serving bowl, top with basil and additional olive oil and cracked pepper to taste
You could also add a bunch of other flavour combinations to this, additional cheese and things like avocado if you want a little more fat. I’d love to use olives and a creamy fetta, but Mr Suger continues on his mission to hate them forever, so for now, I’ll have to wait until I make it just for me. Oh, and hot tip, add a squeeze of lemon to take everything to the next level if your pesto is a little meh.
There you go, team! The easiest pasta salad EVER. You cut a few tomatoes and dice half a red onion and you’re good to go. If you’re into it, Pin some of the images in this post (it really helps!) and I’d love to see your pics if you make it.
Hi! I’m Suger and I’m the Chief Blogger here. I make stuff for the internet. Which means I take photos, build websites, write copy and create social media plans for people. This is my blog where I share my life and the things that interest me. It’s been living its best life on the interwebs since 2009.