Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

I love salads! Healthy, not-so-healthy, meat-veggie-fruit- and pasta salads. You name it, I've made it and devoured it!

I really enjoy when two of my favorites get all blended together and my taste buds smile and beg for more. This happened when I ran across this recipe.

I initially saw it on DELISH. Then again on several other recipe sites, all assembled a bit differently which is the beauty of it.

You get the rich, tangy creaminess of the Caesar dressing, poured over chicken, and penne pasta and Parmesan cheese. You can add more pasta if you prefer it to be more of a pasta salad, or add more romaine lettuce if you want it to be more of a traditional Caesar. Some recipes call for the addition of cherry tomatoes and also croutons. Some call for making your own dressing, and some used rotisserie chicken. Fresh chicken or canned chicken can also be used.

Hey, this is YOUR salad. Make it like you want it. But be sure to make it. It's interesting and will pleasantly surprise your guests when you combine the pasta with this familiar salad.

I served this at a baby shower for my second granddaughter, Eliana. The bowl was returned empty.

It can be served as a side dish, or a main dish at lunch. It's perfect for luncheon and I think that adding the cherry tomatoes would work nicely around the holidays since the red and green would look even more festive. Summertime would be a great time to serve it too.

Give it a try!

This was my very simple "cheater" version that allowed me to get it on my table quickly.

2 cups cubed chicken (I used frozen)
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. Penne pasta, cooked (or use less if you don't want as much pasta)
1 bag of Romaine lettuce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Prepared Ceasar Salad dressing (The best brand you can afford)
*You can also add 1 cup halved grape tomatoes and a half cup garlic flavored croutons

Cook chicken in oil in skillet till cooked through, adding the seasonings. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to pkg. directions. When done, drain and rinse with cold water.  Set in fridge to cool.

When ready to serve, mix together the romaine leaves with pasta ( whatever ratio you prefer of each). Toss with Parmesan and dressing (and tomato, if added).
Top with more Parmesan (and croutons if using).

Serve immediately.


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