“Tomato Basil Pasta salad with Cajun Chicken made with easy fresh ingredients. Perfect summer pasta salad recipe topped with fresh parmesan cheese!”
My family and I came back from a much needed beach vacay last week for my birthday! We had a blast!
Whenever we go on week long vacations I always make a fresh pasta salad for the fridge. It’s just nice to have something homemade and refreshing to snack on between all of that restaurant hopping and bad eating.
It was the perfect time for me to try this recipe for tomato basil pasta salad. I added in some cajun chicken as well just to make it a bit more filling. I had a very similar recipe at a restaurant last time I went to the beach and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
I believed it was called bruschetta pasta salad. Personally I love anything with that tomato-basil-parmesan trinity so I knew I’d be in love.
The recipe was pretty easy to recreate and it’s one of those beauties where you really can’t go wrong. Simple add in or take away whatever ingredients tickles your fancy the most. I think that’s why I like pasta salads so much. They don’t really require a recipe, mainly just your taste buds, ya know.
I use fresh vine tomatoes and they were bursting with flavor and of course, I threw in extra cajun chicken! The spiciness was a nice contrast up against the cool, fresh tomato and basil flavors. And the fresh parmesan just ties everything all together so ADD LOTS OF CHEESE!
This is such an elegant looking pasta salad don’t you think? Leave out the chicken and I could totally see this being served as a wedding side dish. I have this thing about refreshing pasta salads and chilled dessert wine. Sounds like a crazy pairing but it just work for me!
Give me a some chilled dessert wine, tomato basil pasta salad with cajun chicken & a beach view and I am one happy hamster!
Watch me make this Tomato Basil w/ Cajun Chicken Pasta Salad from start to finish!
Tomato Basil w/ Cajun Chicken Pasta Salad
By Divas Can Cook
- 2½ cups mini penne pasta, cooked al dente and drained
- 1 lb chicken breast, dice into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning ( I used Old Bay Blackening season)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 medium vine ripened tomatoes, diced
- Fresh basil leaves, chopped ( I used about 5-6 leaves)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (Can cook garlic prior if desired)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (more or less according to preferrence)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
- Mix together sea salt, cajun seasoning and garlic powder. (double if you like super seasoned and spicy chicken)
- Sprinkle seasonings over the cubed chicken and toss to distribute seasoning.
- Coat nonstick skillet in olive oil over medium heat.
- Cook chicken until done, being careful not to overcook. Set aside.
- In a large bowl toss together diced tomatoes, chopped basil and minced garlic.
- Stir in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Stir in cooked pasta and chicken.
- Season lightly with salt and pepper (do not over salt, flavors will intensify as it chills)
- Refrigerate for 3 hours.
- When ready to serve, plate and top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.