Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken, Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken, Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

USA WEEKEND columnist Pam Anderson 0

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

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings 547 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 8 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 547 kcal
  • 27%
  • Fat:
  • 26.4 g
  • 41%
  • Carbs:
  • 50.4g
  • 16%
  • Protein:
  • 29.3 g
  • 59%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 61 mg
  • 20%
  • Sodium:
  • 2108 mg
  • 84%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  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.
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Reviews 52

  1. 60 Ratings


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!

Donna E.

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!


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!