Pesto Bean, Rotini & Chicken Toss

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Serves: 6

Use a can of mixed bean salad as a time saver to create this fresh tasting chicken toss. The marinated mixed beans, containing chickpeas, kidney beans and Romano beans, are in a zippy marinade complete with vinaigrette, garlic and onion. Serve as a light lunch or as a supper side salad. Any leftovers pack well the next day for your lunch and are delicious in wraps.


1 lb (0.5 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
10 oz (285 g) whole wheat rotini
1/4 cup (60 mL) pesto, prepared
1 tbsp (15 mL) pesto, prepared
3 tbsp (45 mL) Romano cheese, grated
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, fresh
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) black pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) hot red chili pepper, fresh, minced (optional)
19 fl oz (565 mL) marinated mix bean salad, ready-to-serve, canned
4 cups (1 L) baby spinach
1 yellow pepper(s), medium, sliced
4 plum tomatoes, medium, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) green onion(s), sliced


1 Bring 4 quarts (4 L) of water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Add the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Cover, reduce heat to medium and poach for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir pasta into the same pot. Do not remove the chicken. Cook rotini according to package directions until al dente. Remove chicken from pot, set aside and allow to cool. Drain pasta. Cut cooled chicken into bite-size pieces or strips and set aside.
2 Toss hot pasta and chicken with the pesto, Romano cheese, lemon juice, black pepper and minced hot pepper in a large salad bowl.
3 Add the mixed bean salad with liquid, baby spinach, yellow pepper, tomato and green onions to the salad bowl, toss again and serve.