Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken, Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe -
Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken, Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes Recipe

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken, Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

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"A tangy buttermilk dressing ties together this pasta salad studded with asparagus, chicken, artichokes, and cherry tomatoes!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings


  1. Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl; keep chilled until ready to toss with salad. (Store in clean jar with lid.)
  2. Bring 1 gallon of water and 2 Tbs. of salt to boil in a large soup kettle. Add pasta and, using package times as a guide, boil, stirring frequently and adding asparagus the last 1 minute, until just tender. Drain thoroughly (do not rinse) and dump onto a large, lipped cookie sheet. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining salad ingredients.
  3. Place all salad ingredients (except buttermilk dressing) in a large bowl or transfer to a gallon-size zippered bag. (Can be covered and refrigerated several hours at this point.) When ready to serve, add dressing; toss to coat and serve.
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  • Copyright 2005 USA WEEKEND and columnist Pam Anderson. All rights reserved.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 17, 2006

I was surprised by the overpowering smell of the vinegar in the sauce. I put the sauce on and refrigerated it for about 20 minutes in hopes it would lose some of the strong smell. It did and this dish was absolutely delicious! I added a fresh mixture of romano, parmesan and asiago and will definitely make this again! P.S. Warmed up some leftovers for dinner tonight and served hot with fresh cheeses and it was definitely 5 stars!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Sep 08, 2010

I never give a bad review but I just did not care for this. I should have gone with my instinct which told me the buttermilk dressing would not be good. I ended up probably about doubling the pesto and only using about half the buttermilk dressing. I think this would have been better with no buttermilk dressing and just pesto. It was edible but that's b/c of my alterations.

Aug 09, 2006

This is my new favorite pasta salad. I even left out the chicken because I was serving to a crowd with some vegetarians. My only suggestion is to use a 12oz box of pasta rather than 16oz. There was too much pasta and I ended up adding more of the other ingredients. The pine nuts are a must. Don't leave them out. Don't leave any of the ingredients out! This dish is excellent the way it is. Thanks for sharing!

Jul 03, 2006

I found the need to add more dressing and pesto after it had had time to marinate. I would add more asparagus and artichokes next time. Very tasty!

Jul 21, 2009

Wonderful pasta salad! I made a batch and a half of dressing. I mixed the full recipe of dressing into the salad and let it chill for several hours. From other reviews I knew it would be dry so I saved the extra dressing to stir into the salad right before serving. It's even better on days two and three.

Jun 22, 2008

This is a fabulous salad! I made this for a girls weekend. I kept the pasta seperate from the other salad ingredients. I mixed the dressing in a mason jar and put it all together when I got to the cabin. It was gone in the first sitting. I swear it's the's nice to have this over a regular lettuce salad also.

Jun 11, 2009

Really yummy flavors. I did roast the asparagus instead of boiling. Keeping the dressing seperate allows you to toss together just enough and save the rest for later. Very good.

Jun 15, 2009

Fantastic! Don't change a thing!! (although the chicken is not important in this one--I too left it out) I do have to admit to adding a little extra pesto too, because it brought such a wonderful flavor to the salad, Also remember to clip some fresh basil and sprinkle just a little on top for garnish--it's prettier, fresher looking, and tastes great! This is one of my new favorites.


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  • Calories
  • 547 kcal
  • 27%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 50.4 g
  • 16%
  • Cholesterol
  • 61 mg
  • 20%
  • Fat
  • 26.4 g
  • 41%
  • Fiber
  • 4.6 g
  • 19%
  • Protein
  • 29.3 g
  • 59%
  • Sodium
  • 2108 mg
  • 84%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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