This Balsamic Strawberry Pasta Salad is a whole meal in itself, with tender chicken and pasta, sweet strawberries, and a tangy Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette.
At any time in my life, if you asked me what my favorite fruit was, it would be strawberries. To this day they are my “clean eating” of choice. However if you’d asked me if I like strawberries with balsamic vinegar I would have looked at you like you were nuts. Strawberries and vinegar?? What kind of alternate universe is that??
As it turns out, that combination is an amazing one! Like, slap your grandma amazing. The sweet and tart go together like peanut butter and jelly – it’s a perfect flavor combination.
And it’s perfect in this pasta salad as well! I threw a lot of other goodies in there to help amp up this salad, like chicken (Rotisserie chicken is perfect for this), spinach, pasta, basil and my favorite Feta cheese. Add a few walnuts for crunch and this is one delicious meal!
Everyone knows the secret to a really good pasta salad is the dressing. Pasta salad dressings are usually one of two things – creamy (think mayo, sour cream, etc.) or the oil and vinegar type. This Balsamic Strawberry Pasta Salad falls under the latter. The dressing super simple, with just strawberries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a touch of honey for sweetness.
It’s perfectly fresh and light and perfect for welcoming spring in a few weeks. I can definitely see us making this Balsamic Strawberry Pasta Salad over and over again for lunch, for dinner or even breakfast! It’s hearty, it’s healthy and it tastes amazing. The chicken is totally optional, and I love it with and without.
It’s the Mary Poppins of pasta salads – perfect in every way!
Balsamic Strawberry Pasta Salad
Yield 6 servings
Balsamic Strawberry Pasta Salad Prep time: 15 mins Total time: 15 mins Serves: 6 servings
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces small pasta, cooked to package instructions
- 1 cup diced chicken
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts
- 4 ounces crumbled Feta cheese
- Salt & Pepper
- Balsamic glaze (bottled, optional)
- Fresh basil (for garnish; optional)
Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- ½ pint strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- To make the dressing, pulse the strawberries, balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and add honey, salt and pepper as desired. Refrigerated in a tightly sealed container until ready to use.
- Toss strawberries, spinach, pasta, Feta cheese, chicken, walnuts and sunflower seeds together in a large bowl.
- Pour on Strawberry Vinaigrette and toss to coat.
- Garnish salad with fresh basil and drizzle with Balsamic glaze.
For more delicious pasta salads, try these: