susan's tomato basil chicken pasta salad

★★★★★ 3 Reviews
spatdi avatar
By Susan Din
from Houston, TX

My family loves this yummy salad. It's similar to La Madeleine's Tomato Basil Pesto Pasta Salad, with the added protein of chicken. Served with a green salad, it's a complete meal.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Most pasta salads are a side dish but this salad is hearty enough for a meal thanks to the chopped chicken. It's filled with Mediterranean flavors like olives, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. There's no mayonnaise in this pasta salad recipe. It's dressed with fresh pesto a zesty Caesar dressing. Serve with an extra sprinkle of fresh chopped basil and grated Romano cheese. A great salad for summer cookouts.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
★★★★★ 3 Reviews
serves 6-8
prep time 30 Min
cook time 30 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For susan's tomato basil chicken pasta salad

  • 12-16 oz
    cooked chicken cut into chunks
  • 12-16 oz
    rotini or bowtie pasta
  • 2 Tbsp
    Kosher salt (for pasta cooking water)
  • 1-2 c
    Brianna's Asiago Caesar dressing
  • 4 oz
    sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1 can
    artichoke hearts, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 c
    basil pesto (store-bought or homemade; recipe below
  • 1 can
    large black olives, sliced, drained
  • 1/2 c
    Romano cheese, grated
  • 3 Tbsp
    red onion, finely minced
  • 8-10 lg
    basil leaves, fresh-sliced chiffonade
  • 3 md
    Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • HOMEMADE BASIL PESTO
  • 2 c
    packed basil leaves, fresh
  • 1/4-1/2 c
    olive oil
  • 1/3 c
    pine nuts
  • 1/2 c
    Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 clove
    garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp
    Kosher salt

How To Make susan's tomato basil chicken pasta salad

  • Adding salt to boiling water.
    1
    COOK PASTA: Add 2 Tbsp salt to the boiling water.
  • Draining cooked pasta.
    2
    Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Strain in a colander, and rinse briefly with cold water to cool the pasta. Allow to drain thoroughly.
  • Pesto ingredients added to a food processor.
    3
    PREPARE BASIL PESTO: Place basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and salt into a food processor. With the processor running, add the oil and process until smooth.
  • Cut basil leaves.
    4
    CHIFFONADE THE BASIL LEAVES: Stack the leaves, then roll up tightly. With a SHARP knife-cut across in 1/8" slices to form "ribbons."
  • Red onion, tomatos, and chicken chopped.
    5
    Seed and chop tomatoes and red onion. Cut chicken into small chunks.
  • Stirring ingredients together.
    6
    Place pasta into a LARGE bowl and add all remaining ingredients (START WITH 1c DRESSING).
  • Pasta salad ingredients mixed together.
    7
    Mix gently to combine. Add more dressing as desired.
  • Bowl covered in plastic wrap.
    8
    Refrigerate until chilled. After it sits overnight I add a little more dressing before serving to perk up the flavors.
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