You will love the fresh flavors in this Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad!  This recipe is light and flavorful from the fresh basil to the roasted bell peppers and red onion!  This dish is perfect for serving at a picnic or backyard BBQ or for meal prepping for your lunch.

This is a great way to enjoy pasta by adding a light, flavorful vinaigrette instead of a marinara or creamy sauce.  And you can enjoy this cold or immediately after it is done.  It tastes great both ways!

Keep reading to learn how to make Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad!  And if you are interested in finding more healthy foods, here are 15 Simple Clean Eating Snacks to Add to Your Day!


Ingredients for Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad

  • Chicken breast – or you can use chicken thighs or rotisserie chicken!
  • Bell peppers – using both red and green bell peppers add more color to this pasta salad. You can even use orange or yellow bell peppers.
  • Basil – the smell of fresh basil is amazing, and I love it in salads and pasta dishes.
  • Pasta – Penne pasta works well in this pasta salad because it holds onto the flavors well.  You can also use rotini or bowtie pasta.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – Vinegar provides great flavor and is low in calories.

How to Make Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Then while the oven is preheating, boil the water to cook the pasta. 

Second, slice red and green bell peppers and then toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.  Add peppers to the baking sheet, spreading evenly.  Then add salt and pepper to the chicken breast.  Cut chicken breast in half or into quarters if it is a large piece so that the chicken cooks through quicker.  Add to the same baking sheet next to peppers or a separate sheet if you are using smaller baking sheets.

sliced green and red bell pepper on a green cutting board
Sliced green and red bell peppers
sliced bell peppers and chicken breast on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil
chicken and bell peppers are seasoned and ready to go in the oven

When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain into a colander, and then rinse with cold water.

Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and the bell peppers are tender.  Shred the chicken after 2 minutes once it has cooled off. 

baked chicken breast and bell peppers on baking sheet
Chicken and peppers are cooked. Time to shred the chicken!

Next, combine pasta, chicken, red onion, basil, parsley, and bell pepper in a large bowl.  Toss gently.  In a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of cold water, salt, black pepper, and bottled or fresh minced garlic.  Stir with a whisk until mixed thoroughly.  Drizzle over the pasta mixture.  Toss gently to coat.  

Serve immediately.  Or keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Save dressing in a separate container and add to pasta mixture right before serving.

Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad in a bowl with fork on a grey, cloth napkin
Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad

Nutritional Benefits of Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad

Chicken breast                                

Chicken breast has been a popular choice for a healthy diet for a long time.  Why? Well, it is a great source of protein with 24 grams of protein in a 3-ounce cooked portion.  The high protein content helps to maintain or build muscle.  It also helps to keep you full longer, which can promote weight loss. 

Chicken breast is also low in fat with only 3 grams of fat in 3-ounces.  And it has a variety of vitamins and minerals including niacin, vitamin B6, B12, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium! These are some of the reasons why chicken breast makes a great option as part of a healthy diet.

Bell peppers

This recipe uses both green and red bell peppers, but you can use any combination of red, green, yellow, or orange!  Red bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A and C, providing 47% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin A and 159% of vitamin C.

Orange, red, yellow, and green bell peppers

Basil

Fresh basil smells and tastes delicious!  It is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine but is also used in Indian, Asian, and African cuisines.  There are other varieties than only sweet basil such as lemon, cinnamon, and Thai basil. 

Fresh basil in a pot

And basil doesn’t just taste delicious, it has nutritional benefits as well! Basil has antioxidants and has antibacterial properties. It also has 27% of the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin K, which helps produce blood clots.  Basil also has vitamin A, manganese, and magnesium!

Red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar provides great flavor to any salad and especially goes well with this pasta salad.  It is also commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and has only 6 calories in 100 grams.  And red wine vinegar has health benefits! One study has shown that it helps lower blood sugar levels when consumed daily while other studies show it helps reduce blood sugar spikes and improves insulin sensitivity.

Tips

  • Time-saving tip: if you do not have time to cook, use rotisserie chicken and a jar of roasted red peppers!
  • Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil to make clean up easier!
  • You can use any shape of pasta, such as penne or rotini, which work well for this recipe.
  • If you are like me and love cheese, you can add some grated parmesan, fresh mozzarella, crumbled feta, or goat cheese.
  • Or you can add sun-dried tomatoes for an extra pop of flavor!

Be sure to take pictures of your Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad masterpiece and tag @noshnourishwander on Instagram if you make this recipe! Also, pin this recipe to Pinterest!

Be sure to leave a rating and/or comment!  And what are some of your favorite ingredients to add to pasta salad?  Leave your answers in the comments below!

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

More Recipe Ideas!


Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad

Simple Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta Salad

This dish is light and flavorful and perfect for serving at a picnic or backyard BBQ!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Baking sheet

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 green bell pepper sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 lb chicken breast, raw
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Then while the oven is preheating, boil the water to cook the pasta.
  • Slice the red and green bell peppers and then toss with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Add peppers to baking sheet, spreading evenly. Then add salt and pepper to the chicken breast. Cut chicken breast in half or into quarters if it is a large breast so that it cooks through quicker. Add to the same baking sheet next to the peppers or to a separate sheet if you are using smaller baking sheets.
  • When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain into a colander, and then rinse with cold water.
  • Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and the bell peppers are tender. Shred the chicken after 2 minutes once it has cooled off.
  • Combine the pasta, chicken, red onion, basil, parsley, and bell pepper in a large bowl. Toss gently. In a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp of cold water, salt, black peppers, and minced garlic. Stir with a whisk until mixed thoroughly. Drizzle dressing over the pasta mixture. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. Or keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Save dressing in a separate container and add to pasta mixture right before serving.

Notes

Nutrition Information: 324 kcal, 10.5 grams of fat, 83 grams of cholesterol, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 2.1 grams of fiber, 30.1 grams of protein
Tips: 
  • Time-saving tip: if you do not have time to cook, use rotisserie chicken and a jar of roasted red peppers!
  • Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil to make clean up easier!
  • You can use any shape of pasta such as penne or rotini. 
  • If you love cheese, you can add some grated or shredded parmesan, fresh mozzarella, crumbled feta, or goat cheese. 
  • Or you can add sun-dried tomatoes for an extra pop of flavor!
Keyword chicken, pasta
The following two tabs change content below.
Dietitian, food lover, and world traveler! Veronica has been a registered dietitian for over 18 years, specializing in clinical and community nutrition. She enjoys wellness, trying new foods, and exploring the globe to learn about different cultures.