Well, friends…it’s June! That means that summer is definitely here, and potluck picnic season is upon us. If you’re looking for a healthy and flavorful recipe that’s perfect for a casual get-together, then you have come to the right place.
This Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad also happens to be a delicious weeknight meal. I can make it in advance and serve it when my hungry boys are ready. Since we all tend to be on slightly different schedules these days, that works out really nicely! If you have any left-over, it also keeps well in the fridge for lunch the next day.
I’ve mentioned on here before that pesto is one of my boys’ favorite foods. I can put it on anything from fish to chicken to vegetables or pasta and they’ll eat it right up. Since I always have a jar on hand, it’s fun to try to come up with different ways to use the stuff. Today’s recipe is fast and easy, but it tastes pretty special. I have combined some oven-roasted chicken, grape tomatoes (Casey’s favorite!), miniature balls of fresh mozzarella (which I found in the deli section at Walmart), and some crunchy, toasted pine nuts together with the pesto pasta. If you can boil water, you can make this meal! And if you have some fresh basil growing in your garden, feel free to use it as a garnish. A little fresh herb makes everything better!
- 1 lb. chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
- 1 (10.5 ounce) container grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls (or regular fresh mozzarella cheese cut into cubes)
- 2 cups uncooked small pasta (such as mini wagon wheels, mini shells, or mini penne)
- ¼ cup – ½ cup basil pesto
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, gently toss together cooked chicken, tomatoes, and mozzarella.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside until pasta is completely cool.
- Add cool pasta to bowl and stir to combine with chicken and other ingredients. Stir in ¼ cup pesto. Add additional pesto until all ingredients are well coated. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, stir in pine nuts.
Looking for some more great salad recipes? Try these: