Where I live, (the DESERT! Near Palm Springs- where it gets hotter than anywhere should ever get) something like this summer salad with arugula, basil, pasta, and crispy chicken is pretty much the right dinner for at least six months out of the year.  And seeing as we’re creeping into our triple digit days, it’s TIME!

Arugula Pasta Summer Salad with Panko Crusted Chicken

It almost happens over night for me– where the idea of roasting any veggies or spooning out anything hot and brothy makes my palms sweat.  That’s a lie, and just a more appropriate phrase. The truth is it makes my knee pits and the creases in my belly sweat– I’ll be honest. It’s not pretty. But this is why we “summer salad”.

Arugula Pasta Summer Salad with Panko Crusted Chicken

I’ve said it before but big huge dinner salads died a little when I started macro-counting, since it seemed too hard to track and measure and too uncertain that the items would be evenly dispersed for accurate logging.  BUT we’ve become masters of the salad line up. I’ll line up all of the chopped components and dressings and everyone builds there own. It really makes more sense with our kids anyway… because it’s INSANE TO ME BUT none of them are dying for a mound of pickled onions on theirs.

I’m working on it.

Arugula Pasta Summer Salad with Panko Crusted Chicken

Ok but this mixture— I can’t get enough! There is just something about sweet summer corn, fresh basil, and avocado that’s especially RIGHT together.  Add to it– these pickled onions that I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF AND YOU SHOULD KEEP IN YOUR FRIDGE AT ALL TIMES, the cool pop of cherry tomatoes and red peppers… and obviously the chewiest cavatappi pasta (my all time favorite shape right now) and crispy panko crusted EASY chicken for JUST ENOUGH indulgence.  And you can stretch the carbs as far as you need with plenty of greens or bulk it up with pasta and corn….. I’ll support you either way.

If you track your food with My Fitness Pal, and you make this salad just as described, you can search and log it by “Lillie Eats and Tells”… and it’s name!  Chances are you’ll want to do your own portions…. but I’m here for you in case we’re perfect salad twins. xo


Arugula Pasta Summer Salad with Panko Crusted Chicken www.lillieeatsandtells.com #healthy #skinny #macrofriendly #summersalad #pastasalad #arugulasalad

Summer Salad with Arugula, Basil, Pasta and Crispy Chicken

Just a simple, quick and healthy bowl made so surprisingly delicious with a little pasta and crispy chicken splurge!
Author Lillie
Course salads
Cuisine Healthy
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 418 kcal


  • 85 g Tyson Panko coated crispy chicken I get mine at Costco
  • 50 g arugula
  • large pinch of fresh chopped basil
  • 30 g super quick pickled red onion from this Cuban Sandwich recipe
  • 30 g corn off the cobb I just microwave mine in the husk or wrapped in paper towel for like 4 minutes.
  • 70 g cooked pasta- I’m loving this Cavatappi right now!
  • 40 g diced bell pepper
  • 25 g avocado
  • 50 g cherry tomatoes halved
  • 15 grams Bolthouse honey mustard* or whatever you love! and lots of fresh lemon



  • If you log your food: Log 35 g raw pasta, or half of whatever you take in cooked pastas. It almost always doubles in weight while cooking for me so that’s a logging short-cut for ya.
  • *I was low on dressing options, this would have been great with a champaign, or balsamic vinaigrette… even a ceasar or ranch…  really whatever you’re into. AND LEMON.


Serving: 1salad as describedCalories: 418kcalCarbohydrates: 56.5gProtein: 23.1gFat: 12.5gSaturated Fat: 1.9g

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About the Author

Hello. My name is Lillie. I’m not a registered dietitian, or a macro coach, or a public figure or culinary genius. I’m a mommy of four who FOUND macro-counting and fell in love with this balanced approach to food...

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