Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

What’s better than a really good pasta salad on a summer (maybe even a spring) day? I can’t think of much! So, when I saw this recipe featured on Studio 5, I had to try it! The original called for calamata olives and arugula. I haven’t acquired a taste for those olives yet, and didn’t want to buy a whole bag of arugula for like 3 tablespoons – so I made it my own. Which is why this recipe is really fun and rather versatile – if you don’t like something, leave it out and add a little something that you do like. Personally, what’s not to love? It’s full of yummy fresh veggies -cucumbers, peppers, grape tomatoes, olives, and artichokes. Pair that with a little feta and some dressing and YUMMO!

Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
1 container grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (slivers)
1 medium green bell pepper (slivers)
1 medium thinly sliced red bell pepper (slivers)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups uncooked whole grain pasta
1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1 (2.25-oz) can sliced black olives, sliced
2-3 grilled chicken breasts, shredded or diced
3/4 cup Creamy Italian Dressing
1 jar (7 1/2 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, optional
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crusty garlic toast

*Note – Baked chicken breast can be used instead of grilled (my grill isn’t quite ready for summer) and change the dressing to suite your taste. I used Zesty Italian because I wasn’t able to find Creamy Italian, but I think that I Creamy Caesar would be delish!!!

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water until cooled. Set aside.

While pasta is cooking, prepare cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, green and red peppers and put into a large ziploc bag (gallon sized). Add lemon juice and dressing, gently turn bag to mix.

Add chicken, cheese, artichokes, olives, and pasta. Carefully mix so the pasta doesn’t break apart.

Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Refrigerate 1-4 hours to blend flavors. When ready place in a large bowl and serve with crusty garlic toast.

Serves 6

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