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Caprese Pasta Salad
This Caprese Pasta Salad is fresh yet satisfyingly delicious loaded with balsamic chicken, juicy tomatoes, buttery mozzarella, fresh basil and creamy Avocado Pesto Dressing! This salad boasts layers of flavor that elevates it to a MUST MAKE Pasta Salad!  It makes a fabulous light lunch or dinner that is healthy yet tastes luxuriously delicious. 
    Servings Prep Time
    8servings 15minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    8servings 15minutes
    top view showing how to make caprese pasta salad with balsamic chicken, spinach tomatoes mozzarella
    Ingredients
    Pasta Salad
    • 16oz. rigatoni pasta
    • 3cups packed baby spinach
    • 1pint cherry tomatoeshalved
    • 8oz. mozzarella pearls
    • 2tablespoons chopped basil
    • 1/4cup pine nutsoptional
    Balsamic Chicken
    • 2cups cookedshredded chicken
    • 3tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/4teaspoon salt
    Avocado Pesto Dressing
    • 2 small avocadospeeled and pitted (not large Haas)
    • 1/2cup basil pesto
    • 1/4cup plain Greek yogurt
    • 1/2cup milk plus more as needed
    • 2tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1tablespoon lime juice
    • 1teaspoon salt
    • 1/2teaspoon pepper
    Instructions
    1. Cook pasta in generously salted water just until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
    2. Meanwhile, add chicken to a large serving bowl (whatever you are going to make salad in). Add 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
    3. Add All of the Avocado Pesto ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Add additional milk if needed to thin to pourable consistency.
    4. Add pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and pine nuts to a bowl and toss to combine. Stir in desired amount of dressing (you may not use all of the dressing). Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. Chill any remaining dressing separately. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and additional dressing if needed. Best if served within one hour.
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