Bistro Chicken Pasta Salad

I love it when I cook something new and instantly know it will be a favorite. This is one of those recipes. I received it from my dear friend Heather at one of my bridal showers. Each guest was asked to bring a recipe (great shower idea, btw!) and I have made this one so many times.  It makes a great main dish or side dish if you omit the chicken. It makes an easy meal at home, and a crowd-pleaser at potluck picnics. If you’re still not convinced, J asks me to make it once a week. And I’m not even exaggerating—Once. A. Week. Enjoy!

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Bistro Chicken Pasta Salad

4 c. cooked penne pasta
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 cup prepared Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix*
1/3 cup lightly packed fresh basil, cut in strips
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
2 grilled chicken breasts, cut in 1/4 inch slices

Toss all ingredients except chicken.
Top pasta mixture with chicken.
Serve warm or chilled.

*To make the Good Seasons dressing:
Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 3 TBSP water and contents of Good Seasons dressing packet. Mix vigorously until well blended. Add 1/2 cup oil and mix again.

Whenever I cook anything new, I always follow the recipe exactly, and then alter the next time I make it. The recipe by itself is fabulous, but usually I omit the chicken and add cherry tomatoes instead of sundried tomatoes, since it’s cheaper. I serve it chilled.

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