Balsamic Chicken Pasta Salad

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This yummy, light pasta has a lot of deep flavors from the smoky bacon to the fresh basil and the fruity balsamic vinegar. You can prepare it ahead of time, just don't pour on the dressing until right before serving. As a side note: It makes much more dressing than the pasta actually needs but to divide it you would have to get down to a 1/16 of a tsp which just felt silly so I left it where it was and I am warning you now not to just dump it all on the pasta.

Serves: 4
Start-to-Finish: 45 minutes
Recipe By: Terry McCarty


3 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken breast
1 cup chopped tomatoes (about 1 tomato)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/8 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper


1. Start a pot of water boiling for the pasta.
2. I don't know about you, but I rarely have precooked chopped chicken or crumbled bacon strips in my fridge, so your next step is to cook the chicken and bacon.
3. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes, red onion, and basil.
4. When your pot of water boils, cook pasta according to package directions.
5. Drain and rinse pasta in cold water; transfer to a large bowl.
6. Combine the pasta, chicken, bacon, tomatoes, red onion, and basil.
7. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper.
8. Drizzle dressing (to taste) over pasta salad and toss to coat.
9. Sprinkle with Feta cheese and serve.