Meals and Courses

Chicken Pasta Salad with Pesto Dressing

cook 20 mins
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 150 g (5 oz) conchiglie pasta
  • 4 tablespoons walnut halves
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 225 g (7 1/2 oz) baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into chunks
  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) watercress
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese shavings, to serve
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ready-made pesto
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • To make the pesto dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Brush the chicken breasts with the oil, then cook in a preheated hot griddle pan for 12–15 minutes, turning once, until cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling water for 8–9 minutes, or according to the pack instructions, until 'al dente'. Drain, then refresh under cold running water and drain again.
  • Heat a nonstick frying pan over a medium-low heat and dry-fry the walnuts for 3–4 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly golden.
  • Thinly slice the chicken, then place in a large bowl with the pasta, toasted walnuts, onion, tomatoes, cucumber and watercress.
  • Toss with the pesto dressing and serve sprinkled with the Parmesan cheese shavings.
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