It is so helpful to have a great tasting salad in your repertoire for those times you need a potluck food, tasty lunch entrée, cookout side dish or a tasty dinner. Chicken Pasta Salad is a hearty and complete meal in itself packing a lot of flavor in every bite.
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Chunks of chicken, bow tie pasta, Parmesan cheese, grapes and veggies are tossed together and then refrigerated a few hours for all of the flavors to blend and meld. With a hint of lemon for brightness and, my personal favorite – basil, it is a bowlful of creamy deliciousness.
Preparing chicken pasta salad
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the bow tie pasta following package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, wash the grapes.
Cut the grapes in half.
Cut the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces. Leftover or rotisserie chicken is a great time saver.
When the pasta is tender, drain and rinse with cold water.
Zest the lemon and measure 1 teaspoon.
Then juice the lemon to measure 1 tablespoon.
Thinly slice 1/4-cup red onion.
Grate 4-ounces of Parmesan cheese. Half will be stirred into the pasta salad and the other half will be used for sprinkling on top.
Add the mayo and sour cream to a large bowl. Measure and add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
Stir to combine.
Add the chicken, grapes, 1/2 of the parmesan cheese, red onions, peas and basil.
Add the drained bow tie pasta.
Toss gently but thoroughly.
The pasta may seem a little dry. If you prefer a creamier pasta salad, stir in chicken broth, orange juice or milk. I like to add about 1/4 of a cup. Use additional salt and/or pepper if needed; cover and chill for a few hours.
When ready to serve, top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and additional fresh basil.
Chicken Pasta Salad
- 8 oz bow tie pasta (1/2 pound) or pasta of choice
- 1 Cup Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/4 cup milk, chicken broth or orange juice
- 2-3 cups cooked chicken, sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 1/2 cups seedless purple grapes, cut in half
- 4 oz of parmesan Cheese, grated and divided
- 1/4 cup red onions, thinly sliced in rings or chopped
- 1/2 to 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (or blanched asparagus or green beans)
- fresh basil (1/8-1/4 cup to your liking)
- Ground pepper to taste
Cook bow ties according to package directions; drain thoroughly and cool by running cold water over pasta.
In a bowl, combine the Miracle Whip/mayo, sour cream, salt, lemon pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice, lemon zest and milk (or orange juice).
Add the pasta, chicken, grapes, 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese, red onions, peas and basil; toss gently but thoroughly.
Add additional salt and/or pepper, if needed.
Chill for a couple of hours; and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese when ready to serve.
NOTE: if my pasta salad isn’t as creamy as I’d like, I add some chicken broth (reserved from cooking the chicken breasts) or even a little milk. Begin with a splash and add more, until desired consistency.
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