I need a quick and delicious pasta salad recipe for a get- together in 2 hours? Help!



nutcakes January 29, 2012
I've got one from my Mother--it is simple but one of those things where the sum is better than the parts. You will need cold cooked chicken so get some breast poached first thing, unless you want to buy a roasted chicken to tear up.

6 oz corkscrew pasta, cooked
3 cups cooked chicken, diced
2/3 cup Italian Dressing
1/2 cup mayonaise
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 small sweet or red onion, minced
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped ripe olives
1/2 to 1 tsp black pepper to taste

Cook the pasta and mix the hot pasta with the chicken and Italian dressing.Cool

Blend the mayo, lemon and mustard. Mix into pasta with remaining ingredients. Chill 2 or more hours. Serves 4 to 8 depending whether you have other dishes.You could add more pasta and dressing to stretch it.
nutcakes January 29, 2012
Oops! Corrections! It is 1/2 cup of Italian Dressing and 3 TBSP Lemon Juice (that really makes it)

notes: you can make your own dressing by using oil and vinegar, and I don't like those black olives so I don't use them, but you could add other olives in a much smaller amount or a couple Tbsp of capers just for zing.
edg January 29, 2012
Here's my take on pasta salad. It is an incredibly flexible recipe, so you can add other veggies you like or leave out veggies listed as you please.

1 pkg. Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Mix (or you could substitute with Israeli couscous, or regular couscous, or orzo, or any kind of small pasta really), prepared as instructed on the package

1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow or orange pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 onion, diced
Crumbled feta cheese, optional

When grain mix or pasta is fully cooked, let cool for 5-10 minutes in fridge (or longer if you have time). Add diced vegetables and mix together thoroughly.

For marinade: (You might want to use more or less oil depending on your taste)
1/4 cup of olive oil
Several glugs of balsamic oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice from one lemon
1 tbs. mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced

Mix together all marinade ingredients with a fork until thoroughly incorporated. Pour over pasta and vegetables and mix all together. Serve and enjoy!
Coarsely chopped marinated sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, red onion, fresh mozz, basil and spinach penne.
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