Spinach & Tomato Chicken Pasta Salad
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This Spinach & Tomato Chicken Pasta Salad is a family favorite! It’s so easy to make, filled with veggies and protein, and is so flavorful and refreshing.
Everyone needs easy healthy meals like Chicken Kale Soup, Shrimp Curry, and this Chicken Pasta Salad is just that! It takes just a few simple ingredients to make and you can even it prep it in advance. My family loves to eat it for dinner or meal prep it for lunches for the week.
Spinach & Tomato Chicken Pasta Salad
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I love that this Chicken Pasta Salad is a complete balanced meal. It has a protein, grain, dairy, vegetables and good fat. You can make this salad even more nutrient dense by adding in more veggies or using a whole grain pasta.
How to Make Chicken Pasta Salad:
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to the package. Once cooked al dente, drain and prevent further cooking by covering with ice water. Drain again and set aside in a large bowl.
- While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the chicken using a grill or a pan. Another option is to use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or buy pre cooked grilled chicken. Cut the chicken into thin slices.
- To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, dijon mustard, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and salt & pepper.
- Place the pasta, chicken, tomatoes, and spinach together in a large bowl and then pour the dressing over the top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, toss, and serve.
How to Meal Prep Chicken Pasta Salad:
If you are not planning to eat right away, you can prep the salad by mixing everything together EXCEPT the spinach or the dressing. Spinach wilts quite fast once dressing is added so keep either the spinach or the dressing in a separate container until right before eating. If you are meal prepping this salad for a lunch, put the salad (minus the spinach) in your container and then place a handful of spinach in a zippered bag and mix it into the pasta just before eating.
What substitutions can I make?
- You can use any type of short pasta you’d like. I love the fun shape of Gemelli pasta but penne, fusilli, farfalle… If you want to add more fiber to the meal, choose a whole grain version.
- A different oil can also be used. If you like a strong oil you can forgo the “extra light” tasting olive oil. If you only have canola or vegetable oil on hand, that works too.
- Feel free to switch up the vegetables. Don’t like tomatoes? Use bell peppers. Don’t like spinach? Use romaine or kale.
- If you really like cheese, mozzarella pearls taste really good in pasta salads. Feta and goat cheese are also delicious.
More simple and delicious pasta salads:
Rainbow Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad – Pretty & Delicious!
BLT Pasta Salad – a favorite!
This Spinach & Tomato Chicken Pasta Salad is a family favorite! It's so easy to make, filled with veggies and protein, and is so flavorful and refreshing
- 1 pound chicken breast*
- salt & pepper to taste
- 8 ounces dry pasta
- 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
- 4 ounces baby spinach
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup extra light extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon fine table salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Boiling salted water and cook pasta al dente according to the package. Once done, drain, and then pour into a bowl of ice water to cool it down quickly. Drain off the water and place in a large mixing bowl.
While the pasta boils, cook the chicken. Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium-high grill or skillet on both sides until center is 165˚F. (About 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.) Let cool and then slice.
Assemble by placing pasta, chicken, tomatoes, and spinach** together in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, toss and serve.
In a jar or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
*You can substitute with leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or buy precooked grilled chicken.
**If you do not plan to eat the pasta right away, add everything to the bowl EXCEPT the dressing or the spinach. Once the spinach gets wet it will wilt quickly so either keep the dressing in a jar or the spinach in a bag.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)