This BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad is loaded with fresh summer vegetables, chicken and tossed in a light dressing with a hint of barbecue flavour for an easy, delicious meal perfect for picnics!
So we are in our first full week of June here, friends, and I can honestly say I have little desire to turn on my oven.
We got a beautiful, shiny new barbecue this year and all I want to do is stock the fridge with cold salads (like this Creamy Italian Potato Salad, this BBQ Bacon Potato Salad or maybe this Creamy Fruit Salad for dessert!) and pickles and just fill in the gaps with grilled meats and veggies and — who knows — maybe we’ll even grill some fruit!
Spring and summer are perfect for going light and easy and celebrating all the fresh fruits and veggies that your garden or the farmer’s markets have to offer. In this salad, I used some of our favourites: corn on the cob (off the cob), cherry tomatoes (the girls’ favourite!), and zucchini, and I paired it with Catelli’s Ancient Grains Fusilli and grilled chicken for a simple but hearty meal in one.
We love the Ancient Grains varieties from Catelli because they are loaded with whole grains (quinoa, amaranth, teff, sorghum and millet) and one serving has a whopping 12 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber and 25% of your daily iron needs. They are great for filling kids up to keep them going through all the summer craziness!
You guys. There is just not much better than summer entertaining, right?? (You can bet we’ll be putting that shiny new barbecue to good use this year!)
I think with us living in Manitoba, we really don’t take our few short months of warm weather for granted. We love having friends and family over for bonfires or barbecues, because we’ve got lots of space for the kids to run around, there’s no mess inside, and you can have an amazing meal with very little stress or hassle.
You can prep a couple of cold salads (like this pasta salad!) the day before, grill up some meat with a simple marinade, or have a hot dog roast (the kids always love this!), and serve up fresh fruit (give me all the watermelon and berries!) or a simple ice cream sundae bar for dessert. So easy and so delicious!
Tips and Tricks for Making this BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad:
- This pasta salad is great at room temperature or chilled, so you can whip it up just before guests arrive or make it the day before and let it hang out in the fridge.
- This salad is naturally dairy-free. You can easily make this pasta salad gluten-free by using Catelli’s gluten-free pasta or vegetarian by omitting the chicken.
- If you love cheese as much as we do, you may want to throw some in for good measure! It’s just as good with or without 🙂
*This post is sponsored by Catelli — thank you for supporting the brands that put food in our bellies!
For more recipes inspired by the company’s 150th anniversary (a birthday they also share this year with Canada!), take a peek here!
BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini and Corn
- 1 340g box Catelli Ancient Grains Fusilli pasta
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and sliced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 cobs of corn cooked and corn removed from cob
- 2 small zucchini quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh chives
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons liquid honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pinch of pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with oil to prevent sticking. Cool.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, chives and parsley.
- Whisk together oil, barbecue sauce, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper and drizzle over salad. Add more or less herbs, salt or pepper to taste if desired.
- Serve room temperature or refrigerate until ready to eat (up to 24 hours in advance).
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