This hearty Pasta Salad with Chicken and Roasted Vegetables eats like a meal or a side dish. It makes a great dish for potluck or lunch.
It’s Easy to Make a Healthy Pasta Salad!
Have you ever had a pasta salad? They might be more common in some areas rather than others. A classic pasta salad will usually start with pasta base, meat, and veggies, but you can add as little ingredients or as many as you like. Although most pasta salads include some kind of cheese (usually feta cheese), this recipe is dairy-free and can even be easily made with gluten-free pasta for anyone who is gluten intolerant.
Getting your daily balance of carbs, fats, and protein is easy with a pasta salad. It’s an all-in-one meal and when you add veggies, it fills your body with the nutrients it needs, too.
Chicken pasta salad is quick to put together once you’ve prepped your veggies and cooked the chicken. It’s nice to have a colorful, veggie-filled, and nutrient dense salad that’s so simple to put together! You will need to:
- Cook the pasta according to the package.
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients and mix in with the salad.
- Refrigerate the salad.
What Goes Into a Pasta Salad with Chicken & Roasted Vegetables?
Red onion contains quercetin, which fights inflammation.
Carrots fill you with vitamin A and beta-carotene.
Red bell pepper gives you vitamin C and potassium.
Zucchini (or yellow summer squash) are filled with antioxidants and help reduce blood sugar levels.
Cherry tomatoes are rich in lycopene which supports skin health.
Kalamata olives are filled with vitamin E and protect the heart.
Chicken gives your body protein. For a simple chicken recipe, see below!
Along with those ingredients, you will need pasta, water, olive oil, salt, dried thyme, fresh basil, and chicken (for the protein).
Chicken Pasta Salad Dressing
Unlike many calorie-packed salad dressings, this pasta dressing is flavorful and diet-friendly. It’s sugar-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. It’s made with pantry ingredients you most likely already have on hand.
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- balsamic vinegar
- maple syrup
- black pepper
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Dairy Free Pasta Salad with Chicken and Roasted Vegetables
- ½ large red onion, cut into half-moons
- 2 medium carrots, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into 2 inch slices
- 2 medium zucchini, or yellow summer squash, cut into quarters
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 oz penne, packaged, or fusili pasta
- 15 kalamata olives
- 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 oven roasted chicken breasts, bone-in, cut into bite-sized cubes
- fresh basil, chopped, for garnish
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp tamari
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 dash ground black pepper
- Chicken: You will need cooked chicken or roasted chicken breast. See below for a simple chicken recipe!
- Roast Veggies: on a lined baking sheet with parchment paper, add carrots, zucchini, and red onion, then drizzle with three tablespoons of olive oil, 1 Tablespoon dried thyme, and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
- Place the pan in a preheated oven (425 F) and roast for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. When vegetables are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
- Cook pasta according to directions while vegetables are roasting, then drain and toss with a dash of olive oil to avoid sticking. Set aside.
- Dressing: Whisk dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
- Putting the pasta salad together: Add all vegetables, pasta, and chicken to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, and dressing to the bowl and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, or add extra olives or fresh chopped herbs like oregano or basil if desired.
- Just like most cold pasta salads, this one keeps in the refrigerator for about three days at the most. Plan accordingly if you need it in advance.