I've been making this salad for the last 15 years. It's one of those go to recipes I always make when going to a party or when having a girlfriend over for lunch. It's simple, it's pretty and it's delicious. I love the versatility of it, you can really put whatever you want into it. Add any vegetables you have on hand or change up the cheese. I love to throw fresh mushrooms in this, but didn't have any on hand this time. Use whatever macaroni pasta you have. And in a pinch, you can always use a rotisserie chicken instead of grilled chicken.
The first time I had this was at a family friends house on vacation in California. I thought it was brilliant to have pasta in with salad greens. Literally a pasta salad. Since I'm not a fan of mayonnaise based salads, this has become my all time favorite pasta salad. You can toss it with whatever salad dressing you like, although its great naked. I've also used honey mustard, green goddess and champagne vinaigrette in the past.
If you pack it undressed in the fridge, its a great salad to make on Sunday to bring into work for lunch during the week.
Chicken & Pasta Salad
- 2 grilled chicken breasts (I seasoned mine with salt and pepper and tossed them on the George Foreman), diced
- 1/2 box cooked penne pasta, cooled
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 head Romaine, Boston bib, or red leaf lettuce; torn
Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and serve with your favorite dressing.