Chicken Pasta Salad — Someone brought this flavorful and addicting pasta salad to a potluck and everyone raved over it. I was lucky enough to get the recipe – and then promptly tweaked it.
They used dried cranberries which I switched out for fresh fruit to reduce the carb count somewhat. Halved grapes, sliced strawberries and mandarin oranges work nicely. This was the first time I used blueberries and we liked those as well. I prefer Brianna’s poppyseed dressing and look for it when I start yearning for this dish. You can poach the chicken by bringing water to boil in a shallow pan and slipping in a couple of thawed chicken breasts and cooking until done. Better is the flavor from a deli roasted chicken, perfect for using leftovers. Or use the tabletop grill. I laid thawed two chicken breasts on the grill which had preheated a couple of minutes. About five minutes and they were done. Grilling the chicken also adds new dimension to the flavor of the salad. I prefer to use the mini farafelle (bowtie) pasta, cooked al dente (almost not quite fully cooked).
This makes 6-8 servings. This recipe can be halved easily. Use half the Brianna poppyseed dressing, or one cup. Add more if salad seems dry.
- 16 oz package of pasta
- 4 green onions, sliced thin (about ¼ cup)
- 2 stalks celery, sliced (about ½ cup)
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (approximately two large chicken breasts)
- 1 bottle poppyseed dressing (I use Brianna’s)
- ½ - ¾ cup of your choice of fruit
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Rigatoni, farafelle or penne work well.
- Cook chicken until done – microwave, poach or grill -- cool slightly and cut into small pieces.
- Slice onions and celery.
- Drain and rinse pasta when finished cooking. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process.
- Mix cooled chicken, pasta, vegetables and poppyseed dressing together.
- Gently fold in fruit of your choice. Grapes, blueberries, strawberries, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges are suitable choices.
- Chill two hours before serving. Will keep in refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Makes six to eight servings.
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