Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is another thing we were introduced to in the states. I actually remember having the first ever pasta salad in grade school, thinking, "why in the world is this cold?" In time I had it more and more and started to like it. I remember putting heaps of it on my plate at pot luck dinners to taste other people's twists on the classic. It's simple, pasta, carrots, celery and black olives...oh, and grilled chicken.
Keto version Click here .
This is Vlad's favorite pasta salad. Each time I make it, it's been slightly different, so he's been after me to write the recipe down. I did a few years back and now it's stuck.
- 1 bag of uncooked multicolored pasta (I get mine at Trader Joe's)
- 1-2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into strips (I always cook an extra chicken breast for dinner the day before for this salad, you want this completely cooled)
- 1 large carrot shredded, or a small pre-shredded bag of carrots from the store
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 cans of black olives (the small cans, it's 2.5 ounce cans, I got the one pictured, it's 3.8 ounce can, but I like a little more, so I get the 2 smaller ones.
- 3-4 green onions
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (I like a lot of cheese, so you can do less here is you want)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar (the pink one)
- 1/2 cup pesto (I get mine at Trader Joe's or New Season's or you can make your own and freeze the rest in icecube tray, pop them out and keep frozen in bags)
- 1-2 Tbsp. mayo
- a bunch of cilantro (I like a whole lot, so I do half of the bunch from the store)
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta. as soon as it drains mix in the olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. let completely cool. If I'm having a lazy day, I just put two Tbsp. of Italian dressing instead of the olive oil/vinegar.
In a large mixing bowl, mix pasta, chicken cut into strips, shredded carrots, celery, olives, green onions, parmesan cheese, and cilantro. Fold in pesto and mayo, salt and pepper to taste, until combined.
I always taste at the end, if needed add a little more pesto or a dash of Italian dressing to your taste.
Here's what I don't like about pasta salads - when they're completely drenched in Italian dressing, and when there's no parmesan! So, to me, mine is perfect. :)
I'm doing the Keto diet, so I'll post the Keto friendly one in the next few days, it was so good!