Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

By Vicki Little-Aurora, CO May 18, 2012

Summer and pasta salad go hand in hand in this house. I LOVE having the ease of having a chilled pasta salad waiting for us in the fridge when we get home from the pool or zoo or whatever we have done that day. Add the benefit that there is no cleaning dishes and I can’t think of a better quick meal! We eat so much pasta salad, however, that I have had to come up with variations so that we don’t get bored with our typical “family” pasta salad. This one is definitely a favorite of mine! Quick, light, and yummy!


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 box elbow or spiral macaroni
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Black Olives
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Pesto Sauce Packet (I use Knorr’s)


  1. Make pasta according to instructions. Drain pasta and cool with cold water.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ tablespoon garlic to frying pan and cook chicken to temp and no longer pink in the center. I actually cut my chicken into small cubes before cooking. Let chicken cool.
  3. Add ½ cup olive oil and package of Pesto sauce in a large bowl and whisk
  4. Drain can of olives and cut into thirds.
  5. Cut grape tomatoes in half
  6. Dice one cup of red onions
  7. Add pasta, chicken, olives, tomatoes, and onions to bowl with pesto sauce and toss all together. **For olives, onions, and tomatoes add for taste. Our family loves lots of tomatoes but the kids don’t like onions much so I add more tomatoes and fewer onions. **
  8. Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt.
  9. Chill in fridge for an hour and enjoy!