Friday, March 13, 2009

Chicken pesto pasta salad

I'm so excited about this recipe!  The Engineer said it's the best pasta salad I've made, and Chickie asked for leftovers the next day.

I'm not including measurements because it's pasta salad--everything is "to taste!"

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Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
  • Basil pesto (I used jarred Classico brand)
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used tenderloins, which cook a bit faster)
  • Pasta (I used garden rotini)
  • Sliced almonds (Pine nuts would work too)
  • Raw spinach, cut into thin strips
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • Shredded parmesan cheese
  • Italian or vinaigrette salad dressing, chilled (I used Wish Bone Romano Basil Vinaigrette)
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put a wire rack in a foil-lined pan.
  • Put some basil pesto in a bowl.  Pat chicken pieces dry with a paper towel, and coat each piece of chicken well with pesto.  Make sure you don't use all the pesto for this step; you'll need some of it later.
  • Place pesto-coated chicken on wire rack in pan, and cook in oven until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees (about 45 minutes for tenderloins)
  • While chicken is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions.  When done, rinse pasta well with cold water, and set aside.  Refrigerate, covered, if necessary.
  • When chicken is done, let it cool, and slice it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Mix chicken, pasta, almonds, spinach, and tomatoes together.  Toss with a mixture of salad dressing and extra pesto.  (Pesto has a strong garlic flavor, so don't overdo it unless you want a very strongly-flavored salad.)
  • If you have any pasta salad left over, be sure to add a bit more salad dressing before eating it--it will dry out in the refrigerator, but the extra dressing makes it delicious again!

7 comments:

Sandra said...

Beth -- This looks delicious! We are going to have our two teenage grandchildren here next week, and I think I'll make this while they're here. It's fun to make new things when there are more than just the two of us to eat it! Nikki and Jay love chicken, so I bet they'll like it!

Call Me Cate said...

We're signing up for the farmer's co-op again this year and there are always a few weeks in a row when they send us massive amounts of basil. I make pesto with a lot of it and this recipe looks like such a winner! I'm definitely going to keep it around. I want some now, for breakfast!

Snarky A. said...

Thank you for this awesome recipe. It looks delicious! It also looks like something easy enough that maybe even I can pull this off.
I am going to go for it.

:D

Isdihara said...

Very tasty pasta salad recipe! I'll be making this one all summer long.

FYI--I just posted a status update on Facebook asking friends to regale me with tales of when their Parental Poker Face failed them. (Loved your post Adventures in Hair Washing. So you may well see some new traffic on your blog today.

C. Beth said...

Sandra--I hopey ou enjoy it as much as we did! Be sure to let me know!

Cal Me Cate--Mmm, I'd thought of doing a farmer's co-op. I don't think we're going to this year but I think it would be neat to do sometime.

Snarky A.--Yes, I should have pointed that out in the recipe--it is VERY easy!! Let me know how it turns out!

Isdihara--You are such an encouragement to me! Thank you!

Janice said...

Yum, Beth! I'll be trying this for sure! I love stopping by your blog and wanted to give you the Kreativ Blogger award- swing by my site to pick it up!
http://canitasteitnow.blogspot.com/2009/03/family-get-togethers.html

Mike Fan said...

Looks fantastic! I haven't eaten breakfast yet, so I really feel like eating something like that!