Morsel-ized Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad

Serves 4 as a main salad. I love when lunch or dinner turns into a salad and it seems to scream a simple summer meal.  This one is adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
  • 4 ears grilled corn
  • 3 C. Butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. pasta (small shells, bow tie, or other bite size shape)
  • 6-8 strips of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1-2 Avocados, diced
  • 2 C. Margot’s Morsels Primo Parmesan or Killer Garlic
  • ½ C., plus 2 T. basil pesto (either homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ C. Tahini or Avocado oil mayonnaise
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 2 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 C. grated parmesan
  • 1 C. jack or gouda cheese cut into a small cube
  • red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and black pepper

In a bowl, combine the chicken, 1/2 cup pesto, red pepper flakes, and a large pinch of salt. Set your grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken until lightly charred and cooked through, turning halfway through cooking, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a large salad bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, Dijon, Worcestershire, parmesan, and a pinch each of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain. Add the hot pasta, cheddar, and 2 tablespoons pesto and toss  to combine. Add the chicken, morsels, lettuce, corn, bacon and combine. Top the pasta with avocado. Season with freshly cracked pepper and salt. Serve warm or cold.

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