Every time the weather warms up I crave cooler food: salads, cold sandwiches, pasta salad, veggie trays, the list goes on!
This is the pasta salad I make the most, the pasta salad I bring to the beach.
The longer it sits in the refrigerator the better it gets.
It’s loaded with raw veggies, I add my favorite of course. But you can add whatever veggies tickle your fancy.
Here is how I make it…
Make a marinade for the chicken breasts. It’s 2 parts Italian dressing, 1 part soy sauce. (I used 1/2 cup dressing, 1/4 cup soy for 4 breasts).
Season the chicken with Tony’s, let marinade for a few hours or sit in the fridge overnight. Then you place them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. (flipping half way thru)
While the chicken is cooking, chop up your veggies and put them in a large bowl. I used 2 Granny Smih Apples, 1 large cucumber (seeds and skin removed), 2 small heads of broccoli.
You can add different veggies to your liking. Carrots would be wonderful, so would an orange bell pepper.
In a separate bowl, mix up the dressing. It’s 2 packs of Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch dressing mixed according to the package but I add 1 tsp. garlic powder. Set aside.
In the large bowl with the veggies, add 2 12oz packs cooked tri colored pasta and cubed chicken. I drizzle in a little of the chicken drippings. Why the hell not!? It’s packed with flavor.
Toss in the dressing. Put it in the fridge for several hours, stirring well when you take it out to eat it. Some of the dressing settles at the bottom but it thickens in the refrigerator and coats the pasta better when you stir it.
I find the longer this sits in the fridge the better it gets. If you were going to serve it at a BBQ, make it the night before!
It’s so delicious!
Chicken Apple Ranch Pasta Salad
4 boneless chicken breasts, seasoned with Tony’s
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/4 soy sauce
2 12oz packs tri colored pasta
2 Granny Smith apples, cubed
2 heads broccoli, chopped
1 large cucumber, seeds and skin removed
2 packs Hidden Valley Buttermilk ranch, mixed according to package
1 tsp garlic powder
Whisk together the Italian dressing and soy sauce. Pour over seasoned chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken on a sheet pan and bake for about 40 minutes, flipping about half way thru.
While the chicken is cooking boil the pasta according to directions.
Place the chopped veggies in a large bowl, adding the cooked pasta and cubed chicken.
Mix the dressing in a separate bowl, adding garlic powder.
Pour the dressing over the pasta and stir well. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight or for several hours.
Stir before you serve so the dressing that settled on the bottom of the bowl can coat all of the pasta.