This recipe was inspired by two different sources, which you can find here and here. I fused the two recipes together to my liking and made a gluten-free version. This salad is tasty and tangy. It’s the perfect dish to prepare on a weeknight after work when you don’t want a lot of fuss but want a ton of flavor. It’s great to take to work the next day for lunch as leftovers, and it would probably be the first dish to be finished at a potluck because who doesn’t like pasta? So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 8 oz gluten-free pasta, which equated to 3 cups uncooked for me (I used this one and found it at Costco for half the price)
- 2 handfuls of colorful mini bell peppers, chopped
- 1 cup of grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 large cucumber or 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 can pitted black olives
- A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- Feta cheese (to your liking), crumbled
- Salt (I used this Himalayan Pink Salt from Costco)
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I used pomegranate red wine vinegar)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
In a nonstick pan, heat olive oil and add the chicken over medium heat. Cook the chicken until browned. Add lemon pepper seasoning and salt.
While the chicken is cooking, boil salted water in a pot. Once the water comes to a boil, add your pasta. The back of my package indicated to boil the pasta for 6-8 minutes but I boiled mine closer to 13. When I tasted a piece after even 10 minutes, it was crunchy and not the least bit appetizing! I’ve found that you have to boil gluten-free pastas a bit longer than regular pastas.
Remove chicken from heat.
Remove the boiled pasta from heat. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
Now comes the fun part! Chop and slice your vegetables. In a large bowl, mix the cooled pasta, chicken, mini bell peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, parsley, and feta cheese.
In a container, combine your ingredients for the dressing (extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, yellow mustard, salt, pepper, and honey. The honey here is crucial, as it will take away the bitterness and give the dressing a subtly sweet touch.) Give it a few really good shakes until all the ingredients are combined nicely. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss gently.