Taking a moment out of this busy day to share this fresh and healthy Whole Wheat Pasta Salad With Honey Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette. It’s bursting with summertime flavors and freshness, and it serves a mighty big crowd! A perfect idea for a poolside party or potluck.
Hello, tomatoes! Yes, I know you are perfectly in season and happy to join the party. Jump on in, the water’s fine!
I feel like this salad has quite a bit of heft to it, for being in the salad genre. With the whole wheat pasta and roasted chicken, it can pass as either a side or a main. And I’m really happy to report that we’ve found a whole wheat pasta the WHOLE FAMILY loves. We eat a lot of pasta, and try to go for whole wheat, but sometimes there is a textural difference that can be hard to ignore. I found all different varieties of our new favorite DeLallo Whole Wheat Pasta at Sprouts! Thanks to my favorite MIL for the recommendation :0)
The Honey Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette is so good for this salad! And if you like your salads to be dressed on the heavier side, go ahead and make a double recipe. It’s always nice to have a little extra for the leftovers (if you have any) as the pasta kind of soaks up the dressing as it sits.
Instead of hazelnuts, you could use pine nuts, or peptitas. I almost always have hazelnuts on hand because they are my favorite.
Lots to love about this salad for sure! Make it with your favorites or whatever you have on hand. It’s very customizable, and I think you’ll love it!
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #lovelylittlekitchen
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Honey Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
For the Salad
- 1 lb. whole wheat fusilli pasta (DeLallo is my favorite)
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
- 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1 roasted chicken, meat removed and sliced
For the Honey Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette*
- Place basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey into a blender or small food processor and pulse until smooth.
For the Salad
- Cook pasta according to directions. Rinse with cold water, and then drain well. In a large bowl mix pasta, onion, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, hazelnuts, feta, and artichoke hearts. Arrange sliced chicken on top, and drizzle dressing over the salad just before serving, tossing lightly to coat.
*Double if you like your salads with plenty or dressing, or to have on hand for leftovers
This recipe is adapted from Fitnessista’s Best Pasta Salad