This chicken pesto pasta salad is quick, easy, and a great way to use up leftover chicken. The perfect make-ahead salad for summer BBQs, potlucks, or easy entertaining.
To make this pesto pasta salad really simple, I used rotisserie chicken. You can use any pre-cooked chicken and just toss it in there. Hot weather dictates easy recipes, right?
I did make my pesto from scratch (here's my basil pesto recipe), because to me it just tastes so much better than the store-bought variety, but you can definitely sub your favorite jarred pesto for homemade in this chicken pesto pasta salad if you're in a rush.
This basil pesto pasta salad was definitely a BIG hit at our house.
This makes a large batch, and my husband ate ALL OF IT over a few days. I always knew he had a big appetite, but even I was impressed.
Love pesto? Try my Salmon Pesto Pasta or this Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta.
This cold pesto pasta salad can be served in any number of ways. As a main course for sure, but it's also one of those recipes that's ideal to serve with other dishes.
That's why I put in the recipe card that it serves 6-8 - it's a really great thing to bring to any kind of summer gathering. I think you and your guests will enjoy this chicken and pesto pasta recipe!
Other pasta salad recipes to try:
- Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad
- BLT Bowtie Pasta Salad
- Easy Greek Pasta Salad
- Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad
- Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad
Will you make this easy pesto pasta salad? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope you're getting out there and taking advantage of the nice weather and summery foods (and drinks!). 🙂
Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
- 4 cups uncooked penne
- 2 cups cooked chicken (or more to taste)
- 5 ounces little tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup red onions chopped
- 1 cup pesto (click for my recipe or use store-bought)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Once cooked, rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.
- Prep other ingredients (use my homemade pesto recipe if you wish).
- Toss everything together in a large salad bowl and generously season pasta salad with salt & pepper.
- Serve pasta salad immediately or chill first. Keeps in the fridge for a few days (assuming the cooked chicken you used is fresh).
- If you want to add cheese to this salad, I suggest mozzarella. Shredded mozza or those mini bocconcini balls would work well.
- Serves 6-8 depending how much people eat. You can definitely halve the recipe if needed.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Delicious! I added about 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes/oil. Used bow tie pasta as I had no penne. Served as a side to burgers! Was a hit! Thankyou
Awesome!! So happy it was a hit, Susan! Thanks for your comment.
I forgot to rate this amazing symple recipe. Thanking you as well for sharing 🍁
You're very welcome!
Excellent recipes I added whole red pepper and 2 baby cucumbers and extra pesto. Very good : )) it’s a keeper😉
This was amazing and simple!!! I marinated chicken breast in lemon juice and evoo and added a little cayenne for a kick at the end! Definitely recommend!
Awesome!! So glad you liked it, Celeste. Thanks for leaving me a comment!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
Jennifer Farley says
That pesto looks SO GOOD!
Thank you! 🙂
naomi robinson says
Pesto makes everything better, especially easy pasta dishes like this.
Leigh Ann says
Such a great addition to any BBQ! I love pesto so much!
Matt Robinson says
Love good leftover ideas like this!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I make something similar and it's always a hit Natasha! Can't wait to try your version. Looks delicious, like all your pastas!
Aw thanks, Mary Ann!! Hope you enjoy it.
Sarah Fennel says
Mmm I just love pesto pasta and this one looks delicious!s
Thanks so much, Sarah!