Garden Pasta Salad with Bocconcini

Pasta and fresh vegetables with a little chicken thrown in:  a perfect side dish for a cookout, or even an entire meal!

This is a quick dish to be served warm; or chilled, and then brought to room temperature before serving.  The salad has a light, refreshing flavor for summer with bocconcini (bite-size, Italian mozzarella cheese balls), cherry tomatoes, slices of zucchini, and chicken, enveloped in a zesty dressing.

This recipe is adapted from a Food Network Magazine recipe.  Mix and match ingredients to your taste ~ add freshly chopped basil, toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds, chicken or not.  It’s a mouth-watering dish, whether served hot or room temperature!  It’s a keeper!

Garden Pasta Salad with Bocconcini


For the dressing:

3 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ cup cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

8 ounces cavatappi pasta, or a similar one
1 small zucchini
1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup halved bocconcini 
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste


Make the dressing:

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil; add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Remove the garlic and place in a blender with the cherry tomatoes, vinegar and basil; puree until smooth.
With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream and blend until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.

Make the salad:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the pasta and cook until just almost al dente.
Drain and rinse under cool water; shake off the excess.
Transfer the pasta to a bowl and toss with the dressing.
Shave the zucchini into strips with a vegetable peeler, halve the strips crosswise and add to the pasta.
Add the chicken, tomatoes and bocconcini and toss.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to 6 hours. (Bring to room temperature before serving.)

It’s scrumdiddilyumpshus!!!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind Of Cooking.  She has unique tips on Tuesdays and yummy recipes every Friday!


  1. This does look good, will hand it on to Nigel he is the pasta cook in this house. I love pasta it gives me a night off :-) Take care Diane

  2. "Scrumdid...." oh, whatever! It looks and sounds delicious and I'm going to put it on our table--picnic or otherwise.


  3. Pam, Looks good to me! A nice change of pace... Thanks for the recipe! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. This looks so tasty.. I can definitely see me make this sometime this week. YUM!

  5. Diane, this would be a great dish for your night off! Have a good one!

    Bonnie, lol! I hope you like it!

    Dave, thank you! It's something a little different.

    Ellen, it's a good recipe and it's easy!

  6. What a great salad to take to a picnic.


  7. Glenda, it is! Thanks for the visit!

  8. I love pasta salads and it is always fun to try a new version!

  9. This looks wonderful! I love pasta salads, though... I have never met one I did not like!!

  10. Linda, me too!

    Jenn, ditto! They're all good!

  11. Linda, me too!

    Jenn, ditto! They're all good!

  12. Triple yum! I would absolutely love this for lunch.

  13. Dearest Pam. This looks wonderful cold or warm. A perfect summer salad. Blessings, Catherine xo

  14. Grubarazzi, thanks! Wish I could serve it to you for lunch!

    Catherine, thanks! Dishes like this are great for summer. Blessings to you, my friend!

    Curt, thanks! And have a good day!

  15. Love your garden pasta salad, Pam! My girls love bocconcini! Thank you for sharing!

  16. Wow! I really think I should try this. I surely looks tasty. Love it!

  17. I've never tasted bocconcini and need to, Pam. This would make a great meal.

  18. I'm always on the lookout for dishes to take to parties that can be served at room temperature. This is perfect for all of the zucchini that seems to abound around this time. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

  19. Perfect for lunch or dinner all summer long! I always love the combo of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella :)


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