Photo of Pesto chicken pasta salad by WW

Pesto chicken pasta salad

Points® value
Total Time
20 min
5 min
15 min
Everyone needs a good pasta salad recipe up their sleeve and this mayo-free version really shines. Served warm or cold, in a lunchbox or as part of a buffet, it’s sure to win you over.


Chicken breast, skinless, raw

4 medium

Reduced fat green pesto

2 tablespoon(s), level

Calorie controlled cooking spray

4 spray(s)

Orzo, dry

160 g

Broccoli, raw

200 g, purple sprouting, trimmed & larger florets cut into small pieces

Cherry Tomatoes

12 individual, halved

Basil, fresh

1 tablespoon(s), roughly torn

Mint, Fresh

1 tablespoon(s), roughly torn

Parmesan Cheese

20 g, shaved, to serve

Pine nuts

25 g, to serve


1 zest(s) of 1

Lemon Juice, Fresh

2 tablespoon(s)

Olive Oil

1 tablespoon(s)


  1. Put the chicken between 2 pieces of clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin to flatten slightly. Brush half the pesto over one side of each chicken fillet.
  2. Mist a large nonstick pan with cooking spray, heat to medium-high and add the chicken, pesto-side down. Brush the remaining pesto over the top of each fillet and cook, turning once, for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and golden, then remove from the pan and set aside to rest for 5 minutes, before cutting into thick strips. You may need to do this in batches.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the orzo and cook to pack instructions. When the pasta has 4-5 minutes of cooking time to go, add the broccoli to the pan. Drain well and set the orzo and the broccoli aside in a large bowl.
  4. Add the pesto chicken, tomatoes and herbs to the bowl and toss until well combined. Just before serving, make the dressing. Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice and oil, then season to taste. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve topped with the Parmesan and pine nuts.