Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken

Pasta salad is one of my favorite summer foods. It can be just as healthy as downing an actual salad but fills you up a bit more if you’re tired of eating leaves every day for lunch.

Thanks as always to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday.

I’m giving myself an A for effort on the get-out-of-my-food-rut challenge.

It’s funny because I actually get the Real Simple magazine, but I must have missed this recipe – and instead found it while browsing Pinterest.

Another win for Pinterest!

Typ me, I switched around the ingredients a bit in true CNG style.


  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pasta (it’s how much I had left in my pantry, ha)
  • pre-grilled strips of  frozen chicken breast 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup whole kalamata olives (didn’t have pitted, my bad)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup pesto


First, make your pasta. After it’s boiled drain it and pour it back into your pot. Let it cool while you get the rest of your ingredients together.

This is time where you would make your chicken if you weren’t ridiculously lazy like me.

I bought pre-made chicken from Whole Foods – slices of already cooked and frozen grilled chicken breast that I defrosted by heating on a skillet at medium heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil for five minutes.

I was going to cut up the chicken into little cubes but decided it looked kind of gross that way, so  I threw ’em as is into my big pasta salad bowl.

Cut up anything else you want to add you to your pesto pasta salad. I added the olives but nixed the bocconcini in the recipe because I didn’t feel like going to the store to buy cheese. I added some shredded carrots – but you could probably do anything – tomatoes, croutons, etc.

Toss everything in your big mixing bowl with the salt, pepper, and pesto.


I’ve never been a giant fan of pesto, but I do like the taste a little bit so I thought I’d give it another try with this recipe.

I picked up a little container of pesto at the store and was looking at the ingredients just in case I wanted to make my own pesto in the future.

The third thing on the list of ingredients was parmesan cheese. Ew! I don’t like parmesan! But I like pesto….so maybe I do like parmesan cheese at least a little? Who knew.

The best part of this dish? Leftovers!

What’s one of your favorite summer foods?

Did you try a new recipe this week?

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