5 Ingredient Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad – Frugal Novice

5 Ingredient Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad


The recipe I’m sharing with you today has been a favorite in our family for years now. It’s delicious, and it is one of the absolute easiest recipes ever! This chicken pesto pasta salad has always been a hit at parties, so I knew it’d be perfect to make as part of our Easter brunch – and it’s a perfect recipe for little ones to help with, too!

As the title indicates, there are just five ingredients in this recipe. You can make your own pesto, and we have in the past, but there are lots of great pre-made pestos available that are perfect to use in this pasta salad.


Boil your pasta per instructions. While the pasta is boiling, drain your chicken and pour it into a small sauté pan; cook it on medium low heat for about 5 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces while it cooks. You’re basically just cooking out some of the moisture. If you are weirded out by using canned chicken, you can use a cup of shredded white chicken instead. The canned chicken really works great in this recipe, though, and saves you a ton of time.

Pour your pasta into a big bowl, and then have your chicken and pesto ready.


Pour in the chicken:


And be prepared for lots of taste testing along the way – my daughter kept snacking as we assembled the salad!


Pour in the pesto:


Stir everything together:


At this point you can either serve it warm, or stick it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it cold. We made our pasta salad on Saturday to be ready Sunday for Easter brunch, and then added the container of crumbled feta right before serving. Walnuts are the fifth ingredient, but I always set these out in a small bowl for people to add as they prefer, since not everyone likes nuts.

You can see our big bowl of pasta salad out on our table for brunch yesterday!


This is a beautiful, delicious, and oh-so-easy dish that you can be proud to take to any gathering!


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  1. Strawberry Lemonade Ice Pops // Courtney’s Sweets
  2. Outback Copycat Coconut Shrimp Recipe // Momma Lew
  3. Strawberry Banana Smoothie Bowl // Baby Loving Mama
  4. Coconut Cashew Strawberry Banana Smoothie // We’re Parents
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  7. Yummy Orange Apple Cider // Step Stool Chef
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  • Diana Johnson @ Eating Richly Even When You're Broke March 28, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I taste test the whole time I make something too! Always fills me up before it’s actually time to eat :) This sounds really delicious. Great job Mini Chef! Love your Easter table and your awesome chalk board.

  • Step Stool Chef March 29, 2016 at 9:08 am

    I’ve gotta try this! And your chalkboard is so cute…

  • Courtney March 31, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Yum! We love this – especially the pasta shape. Love how involved your mini chef is :D

  • Julie Durfee April 1, 2016 at 1:21 am

    Ooh, yummy flavor combo! I adore pesto. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try this out with my family.