Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad with Pesto Dressing
This chicken caprese pasta salad with pesto dressing is bursting with fresh summer flavors. It’s ready to go in just 25 minutes!
Summer is almost over guys! That means it’s time to use up all of those goodies from the garden, like cherry tomatoes and basil. This pasta salad (literally) is the perfect dish for them. Lots of greens, cheese, carbs and SO MUCH FLAVOR >>> all thanks to the balsamic chicken and pesto “dressing.”
If you didn’t do a garden this year, don’t worry, we didn’t either. You can grab some basil and tomatoes at the store along with the rest of the ingredients. To make the pasta salad, you’ll need to cook the pasta (the shape is up to you), cook the chicken, then chop the tomatoes and blend up some pesto. If you don’t want to make fresh pesto, use about 1/2 cup of the store-bought kind. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to loosen it up so it’s more like a dressing.
Toss everything together in the same pot that you cooked the pasta in… they fewer dishes the better, right? You can transfer it to a clean serving bowl if you’re taking this to a party or serving it for a special occasion, but we’re pretty low-key around here and we serve it right out of the pot.
Garnish it with a sprinkle of julienned basil and parmesan cheese, then dig in! Our family always goes crazy for anything involving pesto, so of course this was a big hit. It’s a dish we’ll be making over & over again until summer is officially over. Enjoy!
- 12 oz. pasta (preferably a shorter kind)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. chicken breasts
- ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 c. mozzarella balls (marinated or plain)
- 3 c. mixed greens
- 1 batch pesto (recipe HERE)
- Optional garnishes:
- Fresh basil leaves
- Parmesan cheese
- Place a large stockpot filled ⅔ of the way with water over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the package's directions.
- Meanwhile, set a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Place the chicken in a dish or plastic bag and coat the chicken with the vinegar, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Transfer to the hot pan and cook on both sides until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Transfer to cutting board and allow to rest.
- Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water, drain and set aside.
- Cut the warm chicken into slices and toss with the pasta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and mixed greens. Toss with the pesto and serve immediately or allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with julienned basil and grated parmesan, if desired.
Recipe source: Life Made Simple