Summery Pasta Salad

July 4, 2014


Happy 4th!! If you need a last minute picnic dish, this one is a good one. Pasta salads are my go-to picnic food. They are easy to assemble, pack up and eat on the go. They’re also very easy to customize!


This one features fresh garden veggies and herbs, prepared pesto we froze last year, pasta and grilled chicken. You could sub in eggplant or squash and swap the chicken for shrimp or tofu if you fancy!


Start by preheating your grill and chopping your veggies.


Get your pasta boiling…


And pick some basil from the garden!


We used two large bone-in chicken breasts, but you could also use boneless. Season them with olive oil, salt and pepper before grilling until they are done in the thickest part, about 25 minutes on our grill.


Charred zucchini is one of my summer favorites! Chop it up and add to your pot.


Chop and toss in! Coat everything with pesto.



We took this salad on a picnic and had more for lunch the next day.


Summery Pasta Salad

by Kath Younger

Ingredients (4-6)

  • 12 ounces fusilli pasta
  • 1.5 lbs bone-in chicken breast (or 2 large boneless breasts)
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 small bunch basil
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 6-8 ounces feta cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning


  1. Preheat your grill.
  2. Bring a big pot of salty water to boil and cook pasta according to directions.
  3. Slice tomatoes and zucchini.
  4. Season chicken and zucchini with salt, pepper and olive oil and grill until done. For zucchini about 5-7 minutes per side and for chicken, about 20-25 minutes split between hot and warm racks.
  5. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and garnish with chopped basil.

The goat feta is the best! But regular feta will be juuuuust fine. Add some olives for a punch too!


Where will you be picnicking this summer?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh July 4, 2014 at 8:30 am

Looks sooo good! Enjoy the holiday!


2 Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out July 4, 2014 at 9:00 am

I love pesto on pasta salads! The perfect summery salad!


3 Laura @ She Eats Well July 4, 2014 at 9:08 am

In my eyes, you can never go wrong with pesto! Love this simple recipe. Happy Fourth!


4 Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy July 4, 2014 at 9:19 am

Pesto and feta go so well together. This looks really good.


5 Chelsea @ TableForOne July 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

This recipe looks so simple and delicious. What a great twist on traditional pasta salad!


6 Melissa Moore Johnson July 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Girl, you always know what I need exactly when I need it. Thank you!


7 Cashmiere July 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Thanks kath! Curious….where do you buy your chicken? Is it organic? What are your thoughts on organic vs conventional meats? Curious to hear your response! Thanks :) happy 4th!!


8 [email protected] July 4, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Yum! Pesto and chicken…roasted veggie basil heaven! :) Would also be amazing with shrimp! Mighty fine chicken breasts. I only buy Organic Chicken here and it’s the end of the yield so their huge as well.


9 Emily @ Life on Food July 5, 2014 at 5:38 am

Yes, yes and yes! No mayo pasta salad for me. This is everything I want and more.


10 Jeanine July 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

Wow that looks amazing!!!! I will be making this soon!!! Thanks for sharing!!


11 Liz @ Tip Top Shape July 5, 2014 at 11:11 am

This looks delicious!!!


12 Lisa @bitesforbabies July 6, 2014 at 8:06 am
13 Kristina July 7, 2014 at 3:37 am

We just had this exact same pasta salad for dinner the other night! It’s so easy and delicious and convenient to have for leftovers : )


14 Kelly July 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

That looks delish, and no mayo so perfect for summer!


15 Samantha (whole new start) July 10, 2014 at 12:46 am

I just made a pesto chicken pasta tonight. It really is the perfect summer dinner! I’m jealous you have a garden :) That zucchini looks yummy!


16 KathEats July 10, 2014 at 6:44 am



17 AshleyL July 11, 2014 at 10:20 pm

We just made this. It was fantastic! We’ve had a lot of chicken lately so I just mixed in some chickpeas. I will definitely make this again and again!


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