Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

Hello, hello! Happy Monday! How is the start of your week so far?

I am actually pre writing this blog a few days before and scheduling it for Monday; scandalous! Why, you might ask? Because I am flying back to Boston from San Diego for a long weekend. And I am sooo excited.

I haven’t been back home since Christmas, which really isn’t that long considering the time before that was a full year. This basically means the last two times I have gone back to New England was in December, AKA very cold. It won’t be very warm now at the end of March/beginning of April, but it will be significantly warmer than December.

I was looking at the weather forecast for Boston while I’m back, and it is going to be in the upper 60s. Nothing special compared to San Diego, but for New England? It’s the warmest it’s been since September.

Basically, I’m bringing the “warm” weather.

And what does warm weather mean? Pasta salad.

You know, barbecues with hot dogs and hamburgers and grilled chicken and potato salad and pasta salad, yum yum yum! Of course, having the pasta obsession that I do, I much prefer pasta salad to potato.

So, here is a little recipe that will give you the taste of summer a bit early. Or, if pasta salad isn’t your thing, just eat this hot instead of letting it chill in the fridge.

If you are a vegetarian like myself, simply skip the chicken and use vegetable broth for boiling instead of chicken. Trust me, it adds way more flavor than just using water.

For the Pesto:
¼ cup pine nuts
4½ cups fresh basil, packed
¾ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parmesan cheese

For the Pasta Salad:
2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper, to taste
12 ounces farfalle pasta
8 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup pesto (either fresh from above or store bought)
10.5 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
parmesan cheese, to garnish

6-8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

1. Set the Grillet™ to 375℉. Place the lid on and let it heat.
2. While the Grillet™ is heating, put all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until all chopped and combined. Set aside.
3. Season both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper. Grill for about 7 minutes per side. When it is done, set aside.
4. While the chicken is cooking, boil the water and chicken broth and water either in a large pot or using the Aroma Pasta Cooker.
5. Once boiling, add the farfalle and cook about 2 minutes less than the package suggested time so that the pasta still has some texture.
6. Drain the pasta and pour into a large bowl.
7. Slice the chicken and add it to the bowl with the pasta. Mix in the pesto and tomatoes until well combined.
8. Either serve immediately with parmesan cheese, or refrigerate until chilled for pasta salad.

Recipe inspiration from Spiced

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