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Spinach pesto and chicken pasta salad
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Spinach pesto and chicken pasta salad

6 minutes (15 minutes)
Serves 4
  • 1 ½ cups (120g) wholemeal small pasta spirals 
  • 450g broccoli, cut into small florets 
  • 200g (1 1/3 cups) shredded, skinless cooked chicken breast  
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved 
Spinach pesto 
  • 100g baby spinach leaves 
  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves  
  • ¼ cup olive oil 
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted 
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese 
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon water 
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  1. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water for 6 minutes or until just tender, adding broccoli in the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain again.  
  2. Meanwhile, to make pesto, process all ingredients in a large food processor to form a paste.  
  3. Transfer pesto to a large bowl. Add pasta and broccoli, chicken and tomatoes. Toss well.  
  4. To serve, divide salad into 4 serving bowls or containers.

TIPS: This recipe can be made 1 day ahead and is ideal for work or school lunches. Divide into 4 containers, cover with lids and keep refrigerated. Pack with a small ice-brick to keep fresh. Pasta cooking time may vary depending on brand used. Refer to packet. Shredded, skinless, cooked chicken breast is available from the deli counter in supermarkets. Alternatively, substitute leftover skinless, roast chicken. Replace walnuts with almonds, macadamias or pine nuts, if preferred. 

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