Today’s Warm Lemon Pesto Pasta Salad (that’s a mouthful!) combines some of my favorite flavors in the best way. It’s quick and easy to throw together and you’ll have dinner, lunch, or a party dish ready in under 25 minutes!
Who loves pasta salad? Raise your hand. *raises hand* Hi. Me. I love pasta salad! Well, I love pasta because carbs. And pasta salad is just, yes, please and thank you. It puts me in a good mood.
And this warm lemon pesto pasta salad is a belly-warming and good-for-your-soul kind of salad. It’s the kind of salad that makes you do a happy dance in your seat. You know, that silly shimmy-and-smile while you take your first bites dance. That one.
The lemony flavor and green punch from the asparagus brightens up even the darkest of days. And believe me, my days lately have been dark. Depressing. Cold. We are in the doldrums of winter here but this warm lemon pesto pasta salad makes things a bit easier. (Along with supplementing with vitamin d, of course. And planning vacations.)
This salad has me feelin’ like Giada. Only I don’t fake an Italian accent. (I’m pretty good at faking a brogue, though.)
Lemon Pesto Pasta Salad
- 1-lb chicken breast
- 1/2 box rotini pasta
- 6 tbsp pesto sauce
- 2 lemons
- 15-20 asparagus stalks
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- Parmesan cheese - optional
Heat a pan over medium heat and once the pan is hot, coat the bottom of the pan with 2 tbsp olive oil. While the pan is heating up, season your chicken breasts with salt and pepper all over. If your chicken breasts are different sizes or large, cut them up into bite size pieces before cooking. Add chicken to hot pan and cook through, about 5 minutes per side or until the insides are no longer pink. Remove from heat and let sit.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta for 8-10 minutes depending on desired doneness. Drain and add to a large bowl.
In the chicken pan over medium heat, add remaining olive oil along with chopped asparagus stalks. Season with salt and pepper and juice from one lemon. Make sure to mix occasionally. Asparagus should be done in about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, cut-up chicken, asparagus, and pesto sauce. MIX WELL. Top with parmesan and additional lemon garnish or lemon juice if desired.
For a vegetarian dish, omit the chicken. Duh. 😉