Susan's Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta Salad

11
Susan Din

By
@spatdi

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. Test Kitchen Avatar The Test Kitchen


Rating:

★★★★★ 3 votes

Comments:
Serves:
6-8
Prep:
30 Min
Cook:
30 Min
Method:
Stove Top

Ingredients

  • 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(s)
    artichoke hearts, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 c
    basil pesto (store-bought or homemade; recipe below
  • 1 can(s)
    large black olives, sliced, drained
  • 1/2 c
    Romano cheese, grated
  • 3 Tbsp
    red onion, finely minced
  • 8-10 large
    basil leaves, fresh-sliced chiffonade
  • 3 medium
    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

Step-by-Step

  1. COOK PASTA: Add 2 Tbsp salt to the boiling water.
  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.
  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.
  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."
  5. Seed and chop tomatoes and red onion. Cut chicken into small chunks.
  6. Place pasta into a LARGE bowl and add all remaining ingredients (START WITH 1c DRESSING).
  7. Mix gently to combine. Add more dressing as desired.
  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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About Susan's Tomato Basil Chicken Pasta Salad




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