Spinach & Tomato Chicken Pasta Salad
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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.
Spinach & Tomato Chicken Pasta Salad
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Ingredients & Variations
I love that this Chicken Pasta Salad is a complete balanced meal. It has protein, grain, dairy, vegetables, and good fat.
CHICKEN Cook up a fresh chicken breast, use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or toss one on the grill! No matter how you cook up chicken for this recipe it is sure to be delicious!
PASTA Use your favorite pasta noodles, leftover noodles or whatever you have on hand for this base of this delicious recipe. You can even swap it out for quinoa or couscous for a fun change!
VEGGIES This recipe calls for spinach and tomatoes. Not a fan of spinach? Replace it with kale or romaine lettuce! Try adding cucumbers, bell peppers, or red onions.
CHEESE No salad is complete without a good dose of cheese! Top with parmesan cheese, mozzarella pearls, feta cheese, or goat cheese!
DRESSING A homemade dressing completes this meal! Out of olive oil? Swap it for vegetable or canola oil. Low on dijon mustard? Try adding in some yellow or brown mustard.
While these substitutions will change the flavor the dressing will still be so delicious!
How to Make Chicken Pasta Salad
This recipe is so easy to prepare and can even be made in advance.
- Boil pasta until al dente. Then rinse with ice water and set aside.
- Cut the chicken into thin slices and cook.
- Combine dressing ingredients.
- Toss all ingredients together, sprinkle with cheese, and serve!
How to Prep in Advance
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 the 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 a container and then place a handful of spinach in a zippered bag and mix it into the pasta just before eating.
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This Spinach & Tomato Chicken Pasta Salad is so easy to make, filled with veggies and protein!
- 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.)