Coming into the summer months meals need to be simple, yet tasty. This smoked chicken salad is such a delightful dinner as a main course for 4-6 people but is also a great dish to bring dinner parties and used as a shared plate.

My family thoroughly enjoys this dish and it has now become one of our top 5 go to meals. All up, it can be made and served in under 15 minutes.

It incorporates the fresh herbs available to us in Summer and the delightful smoked flavours of the chicken. When chicken is not available, I replace it with smoked fish (even smoked salmon/gravlax is a perfect protein).

I know that you will enjoy the simplicity of putting the salad together and may even place your very own twist on it. Bon Appetite

Smoked Chicken Pasta Pesto Summer Salad

Smoked Chicken Pasta Pesto Summer Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 smoked chicken
  • 1 small head broccoli florets
  • 1 tomato sliced into half moons
  • 1 green capsicum sliced
  • 1 red onion sliced into half rings, separated
  • 2 cups dried pasta shells
  • 12 stuffed olives, sliced leave out for fussy eaters
  • 1 small pot of Basil or Coriander pesto
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • fresh herbs roughly chopped
  • lemon juice
  • grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook the pasta shells, or pasta spirals as per directions

  2. Steam the broccoli florets in lightly salted water for 5 minutes

  3. Strip the skin off the smoked chicken and cut into bite sized pieces

  4. Place everything into a large salad bowl. Toss through the Pesto and Sunflower seeds to finish.

  5. Sprinkle over fresh herbs (basil, marjoram, coriander, etc) and grated parmesan cheese, a good crack of rock salt and black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice to freshen.


For hundreds more nutritious recipe ideas for busy parents check out our Lifestyle: Recipes section.

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Cassandra and her partner Rick live in the sunny Hawkes Bay, with their two beautiful girls. She has a passion for good food and has worked with many top chefs in a range of food roles. Cassandra loves creating great food for her family and friends and also loves to share this love with others.

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