Italian Chicken Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is probably one of the most popular summertime dinners we make! A cold but heart pasta salad is the perfect ending to a hot summer day and it usually produces enough salad for leftovers the next day. It's one of those dishes the family never tires of and is always a favorite at summer barbecues and picnics. The Basil Vinaigrette adds a wonderful depth of flavor to this salad. Even the kids just can't get enough.
Since we eat Italian Chicken Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette at least once a week when the weather is hot I figured it was long overdue for new photos and a few updates to the recipe.
*Original Photo and Post 07/23/2011*
Pasta Salad is one of those summer time foods I love on a nice hot day. I usually cook the pasta late at night and assemble the day before to allow the flavors to meld. This salad is best after marinating in the fridge for at least 6 hours and is all the better the next day.
In a blender or food processor add 2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar, 1 clove Garlic, 2 1/2 teaspoons Fresh Rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, and 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Add 1/3 cup Fresh Basil Leaves.
Puree until well combined.
Marinate chicken breast in 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette.
Cook over medium high turning once browned until cooked through.
Or use salami, precooked chicken, or cook on the BBQ. Chop Chicken.
Toss 12 ounces Dried Pasta cooked according to package instruction with 1/2 cup of the Basil Vinaigrette. I usually will use spiral or bow tie pasta.
Add 16 ounces Sliced Cucumber (I prefer Persian Cucumbers when available), 1 whole Diced Red Bell Pepper, 1/2 cup Diced Red Onion, 14 ounces Quartered Artichoke Hearts In Water, 6 ounces Black Olives, 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons Capers, if desired. Stir in remaining Basil Vinaigrette and Chopped Chicken. Refrigerate for 6 hours.
Before serving stir in 8 ounces Fresh Baby Spinach and 8 ounces Feta Cheese or Cubed Mozzarella.
Toss until well combined and enjoy!
Italian Chicken Pasta Salad With Basil Vinaigrette
Easy to make Italian Chicken Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette. The perfect supper on a warm summers day.Prep time: PT10M
Cook time: PT20M
Total time: PT30M
Yield: 8-10 Servings
- 2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
- 1 clove Garlic
- 2 1/2 teaspoons Fresh Rosemary, De-stemmed
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/3 cup Fresh Basil
- 2 whole Chicken Breast, Boneless and Skinless
- 12 ounces Dried Pasta, Cooked According To Package Instruction
- 16 ounces Cucumbers, Sliced (I prefer Persian when available)
- 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Diced
- 14 ounces Artichoke Hearts In Water, Quartered
- 6 ounces Black Olives, Drained
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Capers (Optional)
- 8 ounces Fresh Baby Spinach
- 8 ounces Feta Cheese Or Cubed Mozzarella
- In a blender or food processor add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add Basil and puree until well combined.
- If using chicken breast, marinate breast in 1/4 cup of vinaigrette. Cook chicken breast until brown on both sides and no longer pink in the middle over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes per side. Chop and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a large bowl toss cooked pasta with 1/2 cup Basil Vinaigrette until combined. Add cooked chicken breast, cucumbers, bell pepper, artichokes, black olives, cherry tomatoes, and capers. Toss with remaining basil vinaigrette and refrigerate until cold.
- Before serving add spinach and cheese. Toss until well combined.