Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

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Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad has layers of amazing Italian flavors. This pasta salad is crazy delicious and so quick to make! It is my go-to dish for barbecues and picnics. 

Pasta salad with chicken and pesto

Summer is coming to a close and that makes me a little sad. My kids already started school, so in ways I feel like we’ve waved goodbye to summer, but on the other hand, the temperatures are still hanging in the 100’s here (ouch) so it makes me realize summer’s not quite gone yet.

Most people would say that swimming, going to the beach or lakes is what they love most about summer. For me, it is definitely the backyard barbecues and picnics with friends.

When I think of summer food, I think of pasta salads. Always! They’re delicious, served cold (usually) and will always satisfy in the hot summer heat.

Pasta salad with chicken and pesto

This Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad is one I made over the summer for a barbecue we hosted, and it was the first dish to go! Obviously, that meant it was a huge hit, and that I should have doubled the recipe. 🙂

I’ve now made it multiple times and we still can’t get enough. It has layers of amazing Italian flavors, is crazy delicious, and so quick to make! It is my new go-to dish for barbecues and picnics.

We have served this warm right after I’ve made it, and we’ve eaten it cold. You can’t go wrong no matter how you eat it. Just make it soon and you’ll see what I am talking about! 😉

Love pasta salad? Try these other delicious pasta salad recipes:

California Pasta Salad

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

Strawberry Chicken and Spinach Pasta Salad

Mandarin Orange and Spinach Pasta Salad

Pasta salad with chicken and pesto
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5 from 1 vote

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

Course Chicken, Pasta, Pasta Salad, Side Dish
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Author Holly


  • 1 box (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 3/4 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  • Cook pasta in a large pot of water until al dente; according to package directions. Drain water then rinse pasta under cold water to cool. Completely drain all water, then place pasta in a large bowl.
  • Pour basil pesto and Italian dressing over the cooled pasta in bowl. Gently toss to combine.
  • Add chicken, spinach leaves, tomatoes and Parmesan cheese to pasta. Gently toss to combine everything.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate tightly covered up to 8 hours before serving. Toss pasta salad before serving and add a sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese and pepper to each serving. Enjoy!



Pasta Salad with Chicken and Pesto
Recipe adapted from: Creme de la Crumb
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Recipe Rating

3 thoughts on “Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

  1. 5 stars
    My mom made thiS last night and it was so yummy! I ate two bowls of the pasta salad. Way better than anything you could get at the deli counter. Thank you for sharing!

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