Looking for more easy, healthy lunch ideas? You must try my Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad. Not only is it light and refreshing, but it’s also gluten free, dairy free, and high in protein.
It’s the perfect healthy recipe to work into your healthy meal prep routine because it can be batch prepped and stored in the fridge for days or in the freezer for months (more on storage instructions below).
It’s super delicious and full of fresh, nutrient dense ingredients. The whole family will love this recipe!
Why This Mediterranean Pasta Salad Is So Healthy
- The Noodles: I opted to use chickpeas noodles to keep this pasta salad recipe gluten free and chickpea noodles are also high in protein. You can also use cassava flour noodles, brown rice noodles, or even regular pasta noodles.
- Fresh ingredients: It’s so easy to sneak in fresh vegetables with your pasta salad, and it’s an easy way to increase your fiber intake. I added cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, artichokes, onion, arugula, etc. But, feel free to substitute any of these vegetables with any of your favorites.
- High Protein: Traditional Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad recipes don’t contain chicken. However, to turn this dish into a high protein meal, I added shredded chicken to the mix.
- Homemade Dressing: Instead of using store-bought dressing, I whipped up a fresh vinaigrette. High quality extra virgin olive oil has so many health benefits and a great way to sneak in extra healthy, brain-boosting fats.
Ingredients to Make Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad
It’s all about fresh ingredients when it comes to this pasta salad recipe. This recipe is flexible, but here’s what I like to add…
- Chickpea Pasta – I like using either rotini noodles or fusilli noodles for this pasta salad recipe.
- Fresh Ingredients – Add lots of fresh ingredients, including cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, arugula, etc.
- Olives – To keep it Mediterranean style, of course, you must add olives. I added a mix of kalamata & green olives
- Feta Cheese – I used crumbled goat cheese because I find it much easier to digest, but feel free to use traditional feta cheese or a dairy free cheese.
- Shredded Chicken – To increase my protein intake and turn this pasta salad into a full meal, I added chicken.
How to Make Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad
This Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad is super easy to make, which is another reason why it makes for the perfect healthy lunch meal prep.
- Boil Noodles: cook noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water and let cool.
- Cook Chicken: bake or pressure cook the chicken breasts and then shred it.
- Chop Everything Up: while the noodles & chicken are cooking, take this time to chop everything up.
- Make Dressing: combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Assemble the Pasta Salad: Add all ingredients to a large bowl, pour dressing over top, and mix until everything is combined. Let marinate for at least one hour before serving.
How to Store & Batch Prep Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad
This Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad is the perfect recipe to work into your healthy meal prep routine. It’s especially good for lunch because it can be eaten cold, warm, or at room temperature. Here’s how to prep it…
- Weekly Fridge Prep: will last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezer Batch Prep: will last in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Storage: If you’re using this recipe for your weekly/monthly meal prep, then I would suggest storing each serving in individual containers so you can defrost them one at a time and grab-and-go whenever you’re ready to serve it or pack it for lunch.
Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad | Healthy Lunch Meal Prep RecipeCourse: Lunch, Dinner, SidesDifficulty: Easy
This healthy mediterranean chicken pasta salad is gluten free, dairy free, and high in protein. Healthy lunch meal prep.
- For the Pasta Salad:
8 oz Chickpea Rotini Noodles (or any type of rotini or fusilli noodles)
12 oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 C. Pitted Olives (I used a mix of kalamata and green olives)
1 C. Cucumber, diced
1 C. Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1/4 C. Red Onion, diced
1 C. Artichoke Hearts, drained & chopped
1/2 C. Feta Cheese (I used crumbled goat cheese)
1/4 C. Fresh Parsley, finely diced
Juice from 1/2-1 Lemon
1 Handful of Arugula or Spinach (optional)
- For the Dressing:
1/4 C. + 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Raw Honey
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp EACH of Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Lightly season chicken with sea salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning (to taste). For pressure cooker: add 1 C. of water or chicken broth to the pot & pressure cook on high for 10-12 minutes. For baking: Add chicken breast to a pan with a splash of water or chicken broth and bake at 375 F. until fully cooked through (usually about 20-30 minutes). Once chicken is done, shred it with a fork.
- Boil noodles according to package instructions. Once done, drain the noodles and rinse with cool water.
- In a small mixing bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the noodles (once they’ve fully cooled off), shredded chicken, and all remaining pasta salad ingredients.
- Pour the dressing over top and toss to combine. Continue tossing until all salad ingredients are coated with the dressing. Cover the bowl and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- For storage: Store in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Nutritional Info for This Pasta Salad
Below, I’ve calculated the macros for 1 serving of the pasta salad.
More Pasta Salad & Healthy Salad Recipes
Below, I’ve listed some of my favorite healthy pasta salad and regular salad recipes for you to work into your lunch meal prep routine. All of these healthy salad recipes are gluten free and dairy free.
- Chicken Fajita Pasta Salad
- Turkey Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Chicken Pasta Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing
- Mango Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Creamy Avocado Egg Salad