Inspiring Mums® Where Mums Smile & Shine®

Motherhood & Lifestyle Blog with Heather James & Family

Melbourne Australia


Inspiring Mums®
Motherhood, Lifestyle & Travel Blog
"Where Mums Smile & Shine®"


{ Recipe } Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad


Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

Time: Prep 5 mins | Cook 20 mins | Total 25 mins | Side Serves: 8 (or more!)


  • 1 packet of Vetta Penne pasta
  • 2 Medium diced Chicken Fillets 
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • Cardinis Caesar Salad Dressing
  • 1 small packet of Pine Nuts
  • Grated Bega Vintage Light Cheese
  • 1 small punnet of Semi Sundried Tomatoes
  • Couple of leaves Fresh Basil
  • McCormicks Basil Tube
  • A few ends of Parsley for arnish
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic


  • Bring a saucepan of water to the bowl
  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Add 1 packet of Vetta Penne pasta
  • Cook til al dente
  • Once cooked take off the boil and drain well
  • Place in the bowl ready to mix chicken and other contents

Pine Nuts

  • Before you grill the chicken grill the pine nuts
  • Empty the packet of pine nuts on the flat tray and cook until they are golden brown
  • Be careful as they cook fast within 1-2 minutes, give them a shake to get the other side cooked
  • It’s ok to have some not cooked like the rest

The Chicken

  • Dice chicken, put in a bowl
  • Cover chicken with olive oil about 2 tablespoons
  • Crush 2 cloves of garlic over the chicken
  • Squirt some basil from the tube over the chicken about 1-2 tablespoons worth
  • Mix until all of the chicken is covered with oil, basil and garlic
  • Put some foil on a flat baking tray and lay the chicken out on a single layer and place under the grill on high (under standard grill or even better on a George Forman grill!)
  • Make sure you pour any excess from the bowl over the chicken it keeps it moist
  • Leave for about 5 minutes and check, when the chicken goes slightly brown on the edges turn the chicken over once then leave it for another 2 minutes
  • Keep checking leave it for another 5 minutes just make sure you don’t overcook it. It’s ok to let the basil etc go black on the edges it gives it flavour, but don’t leave it for too long. Once the chicken is cooked through take it out of the grill and put to one side.


  • While the chicken and pasta are cooking slice up the semi sundried tomatoes put aside
  • Grate the cheese about an inch of cheese from the end of the block put aside
  • Tear off some fresh basil leaves and put aside

Mixing all ingredients

  • Get the bowl of drained pasta
  • Squirt the rest of the basil tube over the pasta
  • Crush 2 more cloves of garlic over the pasta
  • Add the semi sundried tomatoes
  • Add grilled pine nuts
  • Add grilled chicken
  • Add fresh basil leaves
  • Now mix the lot with love
  • Now add the Cardini’s salad dressing and mix again with more love
  • Now add some of the cheese and mix a little then add the rest on top for garnish
  • Add some more basil leaves on top for garnish
  • Add some parsley for garnish

You are now done it is best served fresh and warm (not hot) but can be put I the fridge and reheated for later.

I hope you like it, this may not like it but at least YOU will! Make sure you let me know how you like it by commenting below I love hearing from you!