Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
This recipe takes regular pasta chicken salad and adds some zing by combining it with pesto. These are just the basic ingredients...make it YOUR OWN recipe by adding in some of your favorites (black olives, artichokes, pimentoes, etc) and sharing your technique and comments with others!
- 2 lbs chicken tenders
- 1 lb spiral shaped pasta (can use tri colored)
- 2 cups fresh basil, packed
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped, seeds and juice removed
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts (for peston sauce)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 lemon, zest of
- 1 lemon, juice of
- Process the garlic and 2 tbsp of pine nuts in food processor for 30 seconds.
- Add basil and parmesan, process while drizzeling in 1/3 cup olive oil until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Should be paste like consistency.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium-mediumhigh.
- Season chicken strips with salt and pepper and place in heated skillet.
- Cook strips 8 minutes turning once, or until golden and cooked through. Remove and let stand a couple of minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, cook pasta according to package details.
- Save 1 cup pasta water and drain remainder.
- Transfer noodles to large bowl to cool to room temperature.
- Once chicken has had time to cool, chop strips into chuncks or can leave whole.
- Add chicken, tomatoes, remaining pine nuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, dash of salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup pesto sauce to pasta.
- Add a couple tbsp of pasta liquid to thin sauce as you toss all ingredients together. Depending on your sauce preference, more liquid can be added and tossed.
- When desired consistency, toss and serve as is with grated parmesan cheese or over a bed of chopped romaine.