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Pesto chicken pasta salad

Pesto chicken pasta salad

Total Time
25 min
10 min
15 min
Everyone needs a good pasta salad recipe up their sleeve and this mayo-free version really shines. Served warm as a light and tasty dinner, or chilled in a lunchbox, it’s sure to satisfy.


Skinless chicken breast

500 g

Basil pesto

2 tbs

Risoni (orzo) pasta

130 g


300 g, cut into small florets

Cherry tomatoes

12 individual, halved

Fresh basil

½ cup(s), roughly torn

Fresh mint

½ cup(s), leaves, roughly torn

Shaved parmesan cheese

¼ cup(s), (20g)

Pine nuts

2 tbs, toasted

Oil spray

1 x 3 second spray(s)

Fresh lemon rind

1 tsp, finely grated

Lemon juice

2 tbs

Olive oil

2 tsp


  1. Place chicken between 2 pieces of baking paper and pound with a rolling pin or meat mallet to flatten slightly. Spread half the pesto over 1 side of chicken breasts.
  2. Lightly spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken, pesto-side down. Spread remaining pesto over the top of chicken breasts. Cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, until cooked through and golden. Remove from pan and set aside to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into thick strips.
  3. Meanwhile, cook risoni in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water for 6 minutes. Add broccoli and boil for a further 4 minutes. Drain well, then transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly. Add chicken, tomatoes and herbs and toss well.
  4. To make dressing, whisk all ingredients in a small jug. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss again. Serve topped with parmesan and pine nuts.