With the weather warming up and the divine smell of BBQ wafting though the house I have this overwhelming craving for Chicken Pasta Salad. This is a dish that is served at many BBQ’s around the country but it’s original mayo dressing makes it far too heavy on hot days and with most people watching their waistlines in summer this classic dish is being overlooked! The great thing about this dish is that its so versatile, you can have it at a BBQ as a side dish, or as a main meal during the week when you don’t have time to cook. The combination of ingredients that you add to it is never ending, leaving your imagination (and whats in your fridge) as the only thing that limits you! When I make pasta salad I always use a BBQ chicken from the shops as my local charcoal chicken shop has a great deal for 2 BBQ chickens. I buy one for that night and eat it warm with chips and salad then save the 2nd one for a couple of nights later. Because you’re using store bought chicken thats already cooked you can have dinner on the table in 20 minutes or less making this a great mid-week meal.
1) Bring to the boil a large pot of salted water. Once boiling pour the pasta into the water along with the garlic and cook as per packet directions or until the pasta is just tender.
2) While your pasta is cooking cut the cucumber in half length ways, then using a teaspoon run that down the middle scooping the seeds out. Thinly slice the cucumber and place in a bowl along with the capsicum, chicken, spinach, rocket, pine nuts, olives, avocado, parsley and set aside until needed.
3) Once your pasta is cooked drain it and then rinse under cold running water until cool. Add pasta to your salad ingredients, pour over the olive oil and red wine vinegar, and mix. Lastly season with salt and pepper then serve.
Remember the secret to the perfect dish is to cook with love (and a little va va voom) xx