Chicken pesto pasta salad is always a perfect and delicious combination of flavors. Now add some pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, a tasty basil pesto and what you have is a bowl of amazing!

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe in bowl

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

Each bite is a meal in itself and perfect for lunch, picnics or potlucks. When you bring a bowl of this to any party or gathering, we guarantee it’ll be a hit with everyone. The flavors are rich, cheesy and bright with all the basil marinade. The tang of the chopped sun-dried tomatoes add a wonderful balance of flavors.

Video: Watch how to make this amazing dish!


Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe in bowl

Tips on How to Make Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

It’s easy peasy to make this potluck dish. It’s so good you might need to make a double batch.

  • Basil pesto: Buy a bottle of quality basil pesto and you’re half way there. But you can also make a fresh basil pesto too especially if Summer brings you lots of fresh basil leaves. Here’s a great homemade basil pesto recipe for that here.
  • Roast chicken: Next, if you use roast chicken that you buy at the market the flavors are even better! Or you can use any leftover chicken. That’s how quick, simple and delicious this recipe can be. Of course, adding the task of making homemade pesto and roasting your own chicken will be much longer but the flavor benefits are huge.
  • Types of pasta: Use any pasta that you want but we prefer smaller pastas like macaroni, farrell (bowtie) so you can taste more of chicken and dressing.
  • If you pre-make the salad, it’s green to add all the components together except for the dressing. Add the dressing right before serving so the pasta doesn’t soak up all the dressing before eating.
  • More chicken pesto pasta salad recipe details and step by step photos are in the recipe box below.
Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe in bowl

Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

Be generous with the salt and easonings so the pasta salad can have flavor. Customize this pasta to your personal flavors. Add more of less of any ingredient to make it perfect to your personal taste! You can use leftover roast chicken for this, the flavor is even better.
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  • 12-16 ounces (340-454 g) dried pasta , cooked to package instructions
  • 2-3 cups (480-720 ml) cooked shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 cup (25 g) chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) pesto (about 14oz./425g)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 1 cup (110 g) sun-dried tomatoes , packed in oil & chopped
  • 1 cup (100 g) grated parmesan cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • salt , to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper , to taste
  • toasted pine nuts , optional
  • extra grated parmesan cheese , optional
  • red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)


  • Cook the pasta to package instructions. Drain the pasta and immediately rinse with cold water. Drain the pasta, transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Allow the pasta to cool completely.
  • In a medium sized bowl toss together all the ingredients until evenly combined (pasta, chicken, basil, pesto, olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, & pepper).
  • Add optional toppings (pine nuts, extra parmesan, red pepper flakes). Chill before serving.


YouTube video

Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 547kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 689mg, Potassium: 675mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 1339IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 247mg, Iron: 3mg

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