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Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

A delicious warm-weather salad that's great for outdoor dining.

I make this all the time in the spring and summer.  I've made it for my in-laws, parents, friends, and children.  Everyone likes it.  It's great to stick in a cooler and have for a picnic, and it can easily be doubled to feed a crowd.  In the time it takes you to cook the pasta, you can chop up the rest of the ingredients, so it's really quick.  It's pretty too, with the red tomatoes, yellow peppers and green pesto sauce.

 

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 4

2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced into bite-size pieces

2C uncooked penne pasta (I use Barilla Multigrain)

1/8lb-1/4lb pepperoni slices

1 pint grape tomatoes

1 yellow pepper

1 ball fresh mozzarella

1 7 oz. tub prepared pesto (reduced fat works great here)

 

1.  In a large pot, bring water to a boil.  Generously salt the water and cook the penne according the box's instructions.  When cooked, drain the pasta and cool it by running cold water over it in the strainer.

2.  Meanwhile, slice the pepperoni slices and grape tomatoes in half.  Dice the pepper and mozzarella into bite-size pieces.

3.  Place the pasta, chicken, pepperoni, vegetables and mozzarella in a big salad bowl.  Mix in the entire tub of pesto.  Serve with nice loaf of bread.

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Beth Fies June 07, 2011 at 12:18 AM
That sounds delicious. I'm definately including this in my July 4 plans!
Juli Mahoney June 07, 2011 at 07:46 PM
This sounds delicious! What's better than chicken and pesto? I love this combination and it was just yesterday that I enjoyed a chicken, pesto, and mozzarella sandwich. Unfortunately, I was rushing around on my lunch hour and was forced to eat while driving. I don't recommend doing this but it was either eat and drive or don't eat at all. And as it turned out, it was a case of multi-tasking at its worst. The sandwich was really great but definitely not something you want to eat while steering your car. Thank goodness I was wearing black pants. Clearly, not one of my classier moments. :|
Eve Siegel October 23, 2011 at 02:06 PM
This IS delicious, Susie! Your Uncle Lew loves it hot. It's one of his favorite dishes, and an easy one for me to make mid-week, when mounds of work keep me from spending more time cooking.

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