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This salad is a full meal by itself and bursting with summer flavor.
Make and share this Lemony Pesto Pasta Salad With Chicken recipe from Food.com.
- 1⁄2 lb short-cut pasta, cooked al dente (such as penne or rotini)
- 1 lb chicken breasts or 1 lb chicken tenders
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 2 ounces baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 anchovy fillets (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄3 cup prepared pesto sauce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1⁄2 tablespoon Cavenders All Purpose Greek Seasoning or 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp oregano
- Cut chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a quart-size zip-top bag, add the chicken pieces, press out as much air as possible and seal. Set aside to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating:.
- Put the cooked pasta in a large salad bowl.
- Core and dice the tomato and add it to the salad bowl.
- Roughly chop the arugula and add it to the salad bowl.
- Finely mince the anchovies, if using, and stir them into the pesto.
- Pour the marinated chicken into a colander set in the sink and allow the marinade to drain off for a couple minutes.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Put the chicken pieces in the skillet without crowding them. Cook in two batches if necessary. Cook, stirring infrequently, until the pieces are browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to the salad bowl and toss. (You don't want the hot chicken sitting right on top of the arugula or it will wilt. Tossing will cool the chicken enough to prevent this.).
- Turn the heat off and add the fresh lemon juice, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan until all the browned bits have been scraped up and the liquid is starting to thicken.
- Stir the pan sauce in to the pesto.
- Add the pesto to the salad bowl and toss thoroughly.
- For best flavor, allow the salad to rest for 30 minutes and serve at room temperature.