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Personalized Pasta Salad

Bowl of spiral pasta, chicken and vegetables.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 cups
Nutrition Facts: View label

Ingredients

2 cups uncooked pasta, such as macaroni or rotini
½ cup salad dressing 
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium bell pepper (any color), cut in 1-inch pieces
½ medium red onion, diced
1 can (4 ounces) sliced black olives

Directions

  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Rinse or scrub fresh vegetables under running water before preparing.
  3. Measure 6 cups of water into a large sauce pan.
  4. Bring water to a boil over high heat and add pasta. Cook until tender (about 8 to 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse with cold water to cool quickly. Drain well.
  5. Add dressing to pasta and toss lightly.
  6. Add meat and vegetables and toss again.
  7. Chill until ready to serve.
  8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes

  • Substitute cooked beef, pork, tuna, salmon, turkey, shrimp, or hard-boiled egg for the chicken.
  • Try Food Hero's Red Wine Vinaigrette for your salad dressing.

Comments

I thought this would be a great summer lunch recipe. I personalized it a little more and added canned artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, and green onions. I used a balsamic vinegarette dressing and topped it with a little more balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper for added flavor. I used store-bought rotisserie chicken, which made this a quick and easy recipe. So flavorful, simple, and quick!

I used this recipe at an after school program and I had the kids choose their own add ins to the pasta so it was truly personalized. They loved it!

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