Elevate your meals with our Herb-Infused Chicken Pasta! This dish combines succulent pieces of tender chicken with perfectly cooked pasta, all brought together by a luscious and aromatic fresh herb sauce. Immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors of basil, parsley, and other hand-selected herbs, expertly blended to create a symphony of tastes that dance on your palate.
It's a marriage of textures and tastes that leaves you feeling satisfied and refreshed. This recipes is not only easy and tastes amazzzingg it's also packed with fresh herbs and green is good right?
Each bite of this herb-infused chicken pasta is a fusion of savory, herb-infused goodness. The balance of the herbaceous sauce complements the juicy chicken and al dente pasta, creating a dish that's not only delicious but also a feast for the senses.
If you have not yet made my Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta then I would suggest you make it right after this herb-infused chicken pasta. Both these recipes make easy great meals but the difference is that the cajun chicken pasta is more child/family friendly than the herb pasta salad. However, it's important to elevate the palate at times.
Whether enjoyed as a light lunch or a satisfying dinner, this herb-infused chicken pasta is a testament to the joys of fresh, wholesome ingredients and the magic they create when brought together A celebration of both flavor and presentation so taste the freshness, savor the herbs, and relish in every mouthful!
Especially popular during the spring and summer when fresh herbs are at their peak, but its deliciousness knows no bounds. This salad is a fantastic addition to picnics, potlucks, braai's (barbecues) and holiday gatherings, offering a burst of color and flavor to your table. I swear that even if you don't eat veggies and care less for greens, this salad, side dish or main meal will surely change your mind.
Herb-Infused Chicken Pasta Ingredients
Each ingredient in this recipe serves a unique purpose. The herbs infuse the dish with a burst of freshness and flavor. The chicken adds protein and a satisfying heartiness, while the pasta serves as the perfect canvas to soak up the aromatic herb flavors. A harmonious blend of textures and tastes.
4 Key Ingredients: Pasta, green sauce, seared and seasoned chicken and parmesan cheese. Pasta water helps create a sauce and is also great for 'reviving' the meal if needed.
How To Make Herb-Infused Chicken Pasta
You can find the full recipe card below, for now here is an easy summary:
In a food processor, combine the fresh herbs, seasoning, nuts, garlic& herb spice, lemon juice, salt and pepper to make the herb pesto. See the full recipe for Green Sauce With Fresh Herbs.
Cook the pasta until just past al dente, reserve 2 cups of pasta water, drain and set it aside with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Grill or pan-fry the cubed and well seasoned spiced chicken until cooked through.
Combine: Add all the ingredient parts together, pasta, herb sauce, chicken and parmesan cheese. Mix it well together. Depending on the quantity, my suggestion is always to add part at a time for everything to properly absorb all the flavors. Dumping all the ingredients together is not the best idea. Layer by layer, fold, taste and season as you go.
Serve: Serve this herb pesto pasta chicken salad as a satisfying main meal or with a light salad, vegetables or toasted ciabatta bread.
Why Overcook The Pasta For Pasta Salad?
Because while the pasta cools, it will become harder which will then become your typical 'al dente' texture. You get a hard pasta salad because you cooked the pasta according to packet instructions when you should infact be over cooking it. Over cooking pasta doesnt mean cooking it until it's mushy. It means cook the pasta about 2 to 3 minutes over the required time, so over the al dente requirement. If you look at the color and texture of pasta before it cooks and during the cooking process, you will notice an evident change in color and texture which will help in you identifying the level of doneness. Take note each time you cook pasta and eventually you'll know by looking at it.
Cooking the chicken: I have these two recipes for you as a frame of reference as to how you should cook the chicken. This Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta and this Spicy Chicken Bites will give you all a full method on how to cook well seasoned chicken bites.
Green sauce: My green (herb) sauce recipe was used in this pasta salad. Please note that you 100% can leave the nuts out of the recipe and just use fresh herbs, salt and fresh lemon juice.
Cheese: Parmesan cheese is perfect here and adds a nutty, slightly salty taste to the overall taste. At times I have used pecorino romano but found it too salty. However, you can use less salt.
Lemon: Do not leave the fresh lemon out! Lemon and salt ultimatley pull the flavor together.
Substitutions for Herb-Infused Chicken Pasta
- Customization: Feel free to personalize this dish by using your choice of pasta, swapping chicken for another protein, or adjusting the types of herbs used in the sauce.
- Variations: To make it vegetarian, you can omit the chicken and add roasted vegetables or chickpeas for protein. For a creamier twist, mix in some Greek yogurt or mayonnaise for a more indulgent feel.
- Equipment: You'll need a food processor or mortar and pestle to prepare the green sauce, a grill or pan for cooking the chicken, and a large mixing bowl for tossing the salad.
- Storage: This herb-infused pasta can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two. Keep the greens separate until you're ready to serve to prevent wilting.
- Top Tip: To enhance the herb sauce flavor, lightly toast the nuts before blending them. It adds a subtle nuttiness that elevates the dish.
FAQ's: Herb-Infused Chicken Pasta
Should I rinse the pasta for pasta salad?
If you google this question, you will undoubetely find that there are many websites who tell you to rinse the pasta. For our family, this is simple no to rinsing the pasta. There should never be a need to rinse pasta, ever. Keep it moist with a drizzle of olive oil and a small dash of pasta water. This is also the perfect time to taste it for seasoning. Seasoning should be included into the layers when cooking, not just once.
How long should pasta be cooked for pasta salad?
The pasta needs to be a little more than the regular 'al dente for a pasta salad so that it remains soft while it cools (with a drizzle of good olilve oil)
Can I use a different protein instead of chicken?
Absolutely! Shrimp, salmon, or even tofu are excellent options.
Can I make the sauce/dressing in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate it.
How can I adjust the sauce consistency?
You can add more lemon juice, olive oil or a little water for a thinner sauce or reduce the ingredients for a thicker texture. Just remember that it will solidify and absorb the liquid as it sits.
Looking For Relatesd Recipes?
- Pesto Pasta and Chicken Cold Salad
- Pasta Pesto
- Creamy Bacon Pasta
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad With Pesto
- Mediterranean Farfalle Salad
- Italian Caprese Salad (Insalata Caprese)
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Herb-Infused Chicken Pasta
For the pasta
- 2 cups pasta
- salt for cooking the pasta
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup parmesan
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to packet instructions and add another 1 to 2 minutes for the pasta to be just over al dente. Check and taste, it should be softer than having a 'bite to it' Reserve 1 to 2 cups of the pasta water towards the end of cooking to make sure you get the startchy water. Drain into a colander and toss into a bowl. Add half a tablespoon of olive oil, and ½ and teaspoon of garlic & herb, mix and set the pasta aside in a flat bowl type dish so it's not clumped together. If you do this step you don't need to rinse the pasta!2 cups pasta, salt for cooking the pasta, ½ tablespoon olive oil
- Prep, season & sear the chicken: Dry the chicken cubes with a clean towel or kitchen tissue paper. In a plate add all the chicken ingredients and use 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Use your clean hands to combine, it's the best way for the spices and seasoning to mix with the chicken.3 to 4 chicken breasts, pounded and roughly cubed, 1 tablespoon cajun spice, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, 1 ½ tsps garlic and herb spice, 3 tbsps olive oil, divided
- Cook the chicken: Heat a non stick pan or skillet, add the the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add the chicken pieces on medium heat and don't touch for the first 2 minutes. Turn the chicken over, increase the heat to high and cook for another 2 to 3 mintues. Remove from the heat but not from the pan! This is what will give the salad flavor!3 tbsps olive oil, divided
- Combine: Add all the ingredient parts together, pasta, herb sauce, chicken and parmesan cheese. Mix it well together. Depending on the quantity, my suggestion is always to add part at a time for everything to properly absorb all the flavors. Dumping all the ingredients together is not the best idea. Layer by layer, fold, taste and season as you go.1 cup herb sauce recipe, add more if needed, 1 cup parmesan
- Serve: Garnish not necessary but feel free to add any of the herbs you used for the herb sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until needed. Pour the remaining pasta water into a jar and keep in the fridge. When needed, remove the herb pasta from the fridge and use the pasta water to recreate the soft consistency. Enjoy.