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.
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.