Home ยป Grilled Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Arugula and Pine Nuts

Grilled Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Arugula and Pine Nuts

Grilled Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad 1

Our dog, Lily, has seriously offensive breath. She’s got this massive head, crazy under-bite, crooked teeth…and terrible, terrible breath. At least in the summer when she’s going to the beach all the time, she gets frequent baths. It helps to lessen her overall stink.

On Sunday, Mr. Prevention had taken Lily to the beach and then bathed her…for the second time that weekend. Meanwhile, Shea and I had gotten busy making a TON of pesto (how cute is my little pesto helper?) and after her bath, Lily joined us in the kitchen…as usual, willing food to hop off the counter tops and into her mouth.

Grilled Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad 2

After we’d made a LOT of pesto, I went to remove the blade of the food processor…and it was jammed in there pretty good. I got to tugging and after a few good tugs, the blade came flying out of the stand mixer…and pesto went flying everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

It was on the ceiling, all over the floor, all over the counter tops…and yes, all over the dog. The freshly bathed Lily was now covered in BRIGHT green, garlicky pesto. She felt the big’ol glop land right on the back of her neck and she just froze, standing there. She didn’t know whether she should try to eat the pesto or what. It was a bit of a fiasco for a bit, trying to get everything and everyone all cleaned up.

Grilled Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad 3

Thing is, Mr. Prevention easily forgave my food processor mishap the second he laid eyes on this dinner meal (one of the many recipes that will be made with that pesto!). “It’s so…pretty” he said. “Just wait until you try it!” I replied.

You guyssssssss…this is, hands down, the yummiest meal I’ve made in quite some time. It’s got everything to make it a meal in the one dish and while a bit higher in calories than entrees I usually post and eat, 1. It’s worth it and 2. The bump in calories come from healthy fats – the pesto, the pine nuts. Yep. Worth the bit of a splurge.

Grilled Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad 4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Grilled Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Arugula and Pine Nuts
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7 servings (about 2 cups each)
Pesto Chicken:
  • 1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut length-wise to thin
  • ⅓ cup prepared pesto (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 lb dry rigatoni
  • 5 oz baby arugula
  • 2 oz sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), julienne
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) pine nuts, toasted
  • ⅔ cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 cup prepared pesto (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  1. Preheat grill to high heat (400-450 degrees F). Using a cooking brush, coat each side of the chicken with the pesto. Grill for 5-6 minutes; turn over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. Remove chicken from grill and allow to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil; stir in rigatoni and cook 8-9 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta and rinse with room temperature water; drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
  3. To prepare the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, pesto, lemon zest and juice in a medium bowl; whisk well.
  4. Pour two-thirds of the dressing over the cooked rigatoni and mix well. Add the arugula, sliced chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and pine nuts; mix well and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from Delallo
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ~2 cups Calories: 631 Fat: 28.3 Carbohydrates: 59.9 Sugar: 5.6 Sodium: 683 Fiber: 5.3 Protein: 33.1 Cholesterol: 58
Be well,


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  1. Megan B
    July 27, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    This looks delicious!!

  2. Jenna
    September 23, 2016 / 8:01 am

    I made this last night and it was delicious. The dressing was amazing. My husband went back for seconds, which he never does with salads. Usually his salads are 85% cheese and he didn’t even notice that there wasn’t cheese in this one. Definitely will make this again.

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