After a spate of entries about indulgent desserts, it was high time I wrote about a healthy recipe. I whipped up this garden pasta salad with chicken from Family Fun yesterday, and it was a hit with the whole family. This is easy to put together and makes plenty of leftovers for lunches or an easy side dish later in the week. It’s also great for summer — colorful, full of fresh veggies, and can be served cold. The chicken makes it filling enough to be a complete meal.
Makes eight 1.5-cup servings
- 4 (8-ounce) bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin (if you’re pressed for time, you can use a rotisserie chicken instead)
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 cups whole wheat rotini
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard*
- 1 cup frozen edamame, thawed**
- 1 cup matchstick carrots (or baby carrots cut into thin slices lengthwise)
- 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
*I realized too late that I didn’t have Dijon mustard, so instead I substituted one tablespoon of Catalina dressing, and it was delicious! Next time I’ll try the mustard.
- **I also forgot that I had eaten the last of the edamame over the weekend, so I substituted some chopped celery instead.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the meantime, line a baking sheet with foil and place the chicken breasts on it. The recipe called for four, but the chicken breasts I bought were so big that I only used two. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then drizzle with the oil and lemon juice.
Then, cook the rotini (I used tri-color rotini instead of whole wheat), adding broccoli to the pot for the last two minutes of boiling time. Drain the pasta and broccoli, reserving 1/4 cup of the water. Transfer the rotini and broccoli to a large bowl. Add the reserved pasta water and cooking juices from the chicken (if you’re using a store-bought rotisserie chicken, add a little more reserved pasta water). Toss to coat the ingredients.
Remove the skin from the chicken, then pull the meat from the bone and tear it into bite-size pieces.
Spoon portions into individual serving bowls or plates. Enjoy!