Cilantro Pesto Pasta Salad
Try making this delicious pasta salad for your next picnic or summer cook out! It’s bursting with flavor and features fresh tomatoes and zucchini. Whole wheat pasta adds a boost in fiber and shredded chicken completes the dish, making this the perfect summer dinner option.
Serves: 12 (Serving= 1 cup)
- 2 cups tightly packed cilantro leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¾ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
- 2 cups diced zucchini
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 3 cups shredded or diced chicken breast
- 3 cups cooked whole wheat elbow macaroni (choose gluten free for GF version)
- Add cilantro, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor.
- Pulse 4 to 5 times until ingredients are roughly chopped.
- Turn on the food processor, and slowly drizzle in the oil through the lid opening. Process until smooth.
- Add the yogurt to this mixture and process until well combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients with the pesto.
- Gently toss to combine.