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Easy, Quick, & Healthy Pasta Salad with Chicken

This healthy pasta salad with chicken is quick, simple, and packed with so much flavor, you’ll be loving it all season long. There’s something about a light, crisp summer cuisine that’s just so refreshing. It’s definitely equal parts healthy and delicious.

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Ingredient notes:

Bell peppers – The bell peppers in this recipe add a delicious crispness and contrast to the pasta in this recipe. Alternatively, cucumbers, tomatoes, or even some kalamata olives would be a nice swap depending on what you have available to you in your kitchen.

Feta – Not a big fan of feta? Try using small cubed chunks of sharp cheddar cheese or omit it altogether.

Green Goddess Dressing – A recent introduction to Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Dressing inspired this recipe. We love it because it’s made with whole ingredients and is low in fat. But if I don’t have a bottle handy I’ve also reached for Berstein’s “light” Italian dressing which is a nice compliment as well.

What you need for this healthy pasta salad with chicken:

  • 2 thinly sliced chicken breast
  • Trader Joe’s green goddess salad dressing
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 2 oz feta cheese
  • Barilla protein rotini pasta (1/2 box)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper of color of choice
  • S&P to taste
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Step-by-step instruction:

  1. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to box instructions, when done cooking, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a saute pan to medium heat, spray the pan with olive oil then add chicken. Season to your liking and cook for about 6 minutes on each side. Time will depend on how thin your chicken is. When the chicken is cooked all the way through, remove it from the pan and let it sit for 5 minutes before cubbing.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, dice bell peppers and onion into small pieces.
  4. Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, add salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy.

Frequently asked questions

What is barilla protein pasta made of?

Barilla pasta is an amazing source of plant-based protein with the classic pasta taste and texture we all love. There’s no compromising with this wheat, lentil, chickpea, and pea protein combo.

Is pasta salad best made the day before?

If you choose to make this salad the day or two before it’s eaten, I would recommend not dressing it until it’s about to be served. In my experience, the flavors of the dressing soak into the pasta and fade out. The salad itself keeps well but there’s no reason to waste the dressing and not enjoy the full effect of the completed salad.

What goes well with a pasta salad?

Because this pasta salad is made with chicken and optional protein pasta, I would eat this as a complete meal on its own, however, if you choose to sub the Barilla protein pasta for regular pasta and or omit the chicken breast, this salad is a great addition to any cheeseburger, kabob, or bbq ribs dish.

What makes a good pasta salad?

In my humble opinion, it’s all about the sauce. This recipe is made with the Trader Joe’s Green Goddess dressing which can be found in the refrigerated section at your local TJ’s. It’s made with just a handful of ingredients we all know and love so you can feel good about what you’re eating.

What are some great vegan pasta salad recipes?

Although this recipe has chicken in it, you can absolutely make it without any meat whatsoever. Especially if you’re using the Barilla protein pasta as recommended. If you want to make this a vegan dish I would suggest swapping the chicken for other veggies such as artichokes or olives and omitting the feta cheese.

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Healthy Pasta Salad with Chicken

The perfect beach day picnic meal. It's hearty without being too heavy, packed with protein and is giving serious summer vibes. Oh yeah, and the Trader Joe's green goddess dressing 🤤
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 559 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 Sauce pot
  • 1 Strainer
  • 1 Saute pan

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Thinly sliced chicken breast
  • 1/4 Red onion
  • 1 Green Bell pepper
  • 1 Orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 Box Barilla protein pasta
  • 1/2 Bottle Trader Joe's Green Goddess dressing
  • 2 oz Feta cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to box instructions, when done cooking, drain and set aside.
  • Heat a saute pan to medium heat, spray pan with olive oil then add chicken. Season to your liking and cook for about 6 minutes on each side. Time will depend on how thin your chicken is. When the chicken is cooked all the way through, remove it from the pan and let it sit for 5 minutes before cubbing.
  • While the chicken is cooking, dice bell peppers and onion into small pieces.
  • Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, add salt and pepper to taste and, enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 4gCalories: 559kcalCarbohydrates: 77.6gProtein: 43.7gFat: 10g
Keyword Healthy Pasta Salad with Chicken, Lunch, salad, Trader Joe’s Meals
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