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Pesto Penne Chicken Salad

Updated on October 30, 2012

Pesto Penne Chicken Pasta Salad

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Zesty Pasta Salad with Chicken

Pesto originated in Genoa in the Northern Italy (pesto genevese). It traditionally includes the following ingredients:crushed garlic, basil, European pine nuts, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and cheese made from sheep's milk. This delicious and zesty combination of flavors makes a bland pasta dish become incredible. This recipe incorporates penne pasta, shredded chicken, grape tomatoes, black olives, mozzerella cheese, pine nuts, and Italian dressing to make a delicious chicken and pasta salad with a classic Mediterranean flair. It is great as a meal or as a side item or party food.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Several Servings


  • 1 lb penne pasta, cooked to package directions, drained
  • 2 cups shredded chicken, cooked
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 4 oz cans black olives, sliced or chopped, drained
  • 1 8 oz bag mozzerella or Italian cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 8 oz jar/container prepared pesto sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing


  1. Place penne pasta, chicken, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl.
  2. Combine pesto sauce and Italian dressing in a medium bowl. Add the cheese shreds and pine nuts and mix well.
  3. Pour the pesto sauce mixture over the pasta mixture. Stir together until everything is completely coated.
  4. Chill until ready to eat. I suggest chilling for at least an hour to give the flavors time to mix well.


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