I am always on the lookout for easy recipes that I can throw together quickly, but they have to be good. This recipe for chicken fits the bill. Fast and Yummy!
This pasta salad is a great solution to the “What Am I Going to Make For Dinner” blues.
I sing them often, do you?
This Chicken Pasta Salad and the What's for Dinner Blues
You know how it goes –it's 4:30, or even 5:00–YIKES! And you find yourself in front of the fridge or partially empty cabinets, wondering what on earth you are going to have for dinner.
You're hoping and hoping for inspiration and for a meal of some kind to leap into your arms, but alas, it just doesn't.
I know–I know–the answer is in meal planning or making sure you thaw something out the night before, but if you're like me, meal planning isn't my forte.
Basically I have a problem with meal planning. It's called super frugalitis. Sounds like something out of a Mary Poppins movie, but it's not.
Anyhow, my meals lean on whatever I can buy inexpensively and what I have plenty of. So I buy things that are on sale and that's what I like to use for the week. So planning ahead when I don't know what is going to be on sale or what is coming out of my garden doesn't work that well for me.
Maybe I'm just being stubborn? Probably the case.
Well, here is your answer. Following is a simply great combination of some of my favorite flavors – sun-dried tomatoes, feta, and chicken. If you are lacking any of these ingredients in this chicken pasta salad, you can easily make substitutes.
You could sub in another meat (or even beans) for the chicken, olives or another savory addition for the sun-dried tomatoes, and another veggie for the green beans.
Either way, you've got a family-pleasing, easy dinner solution.
My whole family loved this version so much that they begged for it again right when it was done. Kitchen work – cooking, cleaning, and doing it all over and over again gets tedious. So when I make something healthy and my family loves it, it really helps me to have satisfaction knowing that they've been blessed by my efforts :-).
- 1 lb pasta (I used brown rice fusilli from Trader Joe's. Tinkyada is also a great gluten-free choice)
- 1 - 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (Nutiva is a great brand)
- Seasoning of choice (I used my All-Purpose Seasoning) (to taste)
- 2 - 3 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled (for my dairy-allergic son I make Almond Feta or try other toppings*)
- 3 cups green beans
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (here's my post on Easiest Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes)
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup Moroccan Vinaigrette (use your favorite dressing or seasoning. However, if I do say so myself, my Moroccan Vinaigrette is not to be missed!)
1. Cook pasta according to directions -- and make sure you read my tip to Save Time and Money Cooking Pasta.
2. While pasta is cooking, cut chicken up into small chunks. Cook in 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or other healthy fat). When the chicken is almost done, season with your seasoning of choice. I used my All-Purpose Seasoning Blend.
3. Cook green beans lightly.
4. Add beans and remaining ingredients and toss gently, but thoroughly.
*Toasted pumpkin seeds, (remember to soak them first, if possible) or another savory topping like black olives or artichoke hearts are a great substitute for those looking for a dairy-free option.
The combination of the seasoning on the chicken, the “punch” of flavor from the sun-dried tomatoes and the feta, with the freshness of the beans is really something. We love almost all things pasta, but this chicken pasta salad recipe is something special.
And for sure, the ease of preparation makes it taste even better!
While there is a decent amount of vegetables in this dish, between the green beans and the tomatoes, I would add more veggies to our plates and serve this with a side of a salad or veggies like my Moroccan Carrots.
You could easily also double the veggies in the salad and just add more dressing and feta to taste.
How about you?
Do you have a favorite pasta dish or pasta topping to share?