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Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

this dish has got it all !!

comes together very quickly and serves 4 people !! yum!!



You'll need:

  • 2 small or 1 large chicken breast

  • 2 cups dry pasta (I like using a fun shape like radaitori, casarecce or bowties!)

  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto

  • 4 ish cups of chopped lettuce

  • 2 persian cucumbers, diced

  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)

  • 1/4 cup sliced spicy pepperoni

  • optional add ins: sun dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, artichoke hearts

Marinade (chicken)

  • 1 tablespoon basil pesto

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 tablespoon avocado / olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons avocado / olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon basil pesto

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 pinch sugar or a couple drops of honey

  • a dash of italian seasoning

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced


Instructions:

  1. Use a meat hammer to tenderize your chicken. Mix together a the marinade ingredients and marinate the chicken in a plastic bag or tupperware for at least 30 minutes.

  2. Preaheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Warm up a cast iron skillet on your stove over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add in the chicken and sear each side for 5 minutes then transfer the skillet to the oven and cook an additional 15-20 minutes to cook through. You can add 1/2 of a lemon to the skillet and let it roast/ caramelize while the chicken is cooking & use it later for the dressing.

  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add a drizzle of avocado oil and then add in your pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Drain and add in a tablespoon of basil pesto.

  4. Remove chicken from the oven when its done. Let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting it into slices. Chop your lettuce and other salad ingredients. Mix together your dressing. Add lettuce, dressing, cucumber, pasta, parmesan & pepperoni to a large salad bowl and toss. Split into shallow plates and top with chicken!




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