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4.6 from 5 votes

Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

Packed with sautéed rotisserie chicken, pasta, basil pesto, cherry tomatoes, toasted pecans, this summer pasta salad is easy, flavorful and great for prepping ahead. Creamy Chicken pesto pasta salad for all your summer barbecues or just in your lunch box. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time13 mins
Total Time18 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Maria Doss



Cook pasta

  • Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente — soft with just a bit of chew — 7-8 minutes or according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
    Quickly cool the pasta. Drain the pasta in a colander and run under cold water. Dunk the colander in the ice bath and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Drain the pasta very well. 

Cook Chicken

  • Toss rotisserie chicken with olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper in a non-stick or cast iron skillet. Place pan over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is slightly crisped and gets golden brown bits. 
    Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely. 

Make creamy chicken pesto pasta salad

  • Add cooked pasta, sautéed chicken, halved cherry tomatoes, toasted pecans, basil pesto, mayo, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Toss well. 
    Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time or pack into meal prep containers and store in the refrigerator. 


Toast pecans - Place pecans in sheet pan and bake for 5-10 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven, until toasted. Cool and chop.