Looking for a simple and delicious lunch recipe? This Pesto Pasta Salad is perfect! It has a little of everything – pasta, chicken, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, pine nuts and of course, basil pesto! It’s delicious and filling.
I am part of a weekly salad group with two of my friends – this means we each take one day a week and make salads for each other. It’s a great way to connect with friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. while also having lunch made for you! We enjoy it and we all do a great job of consistently making enjoyable lunches for each other.
Last week I made this Pesto Pasta Salad for them – I decided to switch it up a little instead of making a green salad. I love pasta salads…I love pasta.
To this recipe, I decided to go with creamy mozzarella pearls, sweet and tart sun dried tomatoes, toasty pine nuts and some sautéed chicken breasts for protein. Of course everything was tossed with basil pesto.
It was wonderful! The perfect lunch – easy to snack on throughout the day. You could warm this up and serve it with a side salad for dinner, too!
I sent this to work with my husband and I enjoyed it throughout the week with the Raya and Nora.
Meal planning can seem daunting, but when you consistently prepare meals for the week, it actually saves a ton of time and money. You simply have to put the work in ahead of time and then it pays off. This is the perfect recipe for meal planning – I enjoyed this for 3 days throughout the week. It’s good cold and warm and the kiddos like it, too!
- 2 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons olive for cooking chicken
- 16 ounces pasta of your choice (I used whole wheat penne)
- 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
- 7 ounces sun dried tomatoes, julienne cut
- 7 ounces store bought basil pesto
- 2-3 ounces pine nuts, toasted
- Prepare chicken - season it on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drizzle olive oil in a skillet and place over medium heat. Cook chicken on both sides for 5-8 minutes or until cooked through. Or you can sear it on both sides for 2-3 minutes and finish cooking it in a 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. Set aside to cool then cut into chunks.
- Cook pasta al dente in salted water according to package direction.
- Toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until slightly browned, set aside.
- Prepare the salad by tossing all the ingredients (pasta, chicken, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella balls, pine nuts and pesto) together. Garnish with fresh basil.
Store in refrigerator in a sealed container for 3 days.