Tara Gidus

Chicken & Veggie Pasta Salad

As runners, it's important to combine training with good quality, substantial meals in order to keep energy up, properly recover, and see improvements in performance. In the midst of a busy schedule, coming up with healthy, runner-friendly lunch options to bring to the office, or wherever the day takes you, can be quite a challenge.

This pasta salad is easy, satisfying, balanced with nutrition and makes for easy transport for on-the-go eating. I love the fact that I can prepare a batch of this in advance and eat from it all week! Because it's typically served cold, all you need to do is put it in a container and take it with you. There's no need for a microwave, but it is also delicious warmed up too!

With pasta salad, it's easy to get in your carbs, protein, veggies, and healthy fat all in one. Just throw the ingredients together and voilà—a perfectly balanced meal! The carbohydrates from the pasta will provide energy for your post-work run, the chicken sausage will deliver muscle-building protein, the veggies will give antioxidants for recovery, and the olive oil will provide healthy fat to promote hormone regulation and absorption of nutrients.

Go grab a spoon and dig into this Chicken & Veggie Pasta Salad—you guys are going to love it! Or layer it into a Mason jar and take it for lunch.

Chicken & Veggie Pasta Salad
Serves 6


  • 1 box (13.5 oz) whole grain pasta
  • 4 links pre-cooked chicken sausage
  • 1¼ cups grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup chopped bell peppers
  • 1¼ cups chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup (3.8 oz) canned sliced black olives
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In the last minute of cooking noodles, add broccoli to pasta water to soften a bit. The broccoli will turn bright green in color.
  3. Drain the noodles and broccoli.
  4. In a large bowl add noodles, broccoli, and remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.

Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.