Italian Chicken Pasta Salad

Tonight’s dinner is one of those super simple dishes that can be thrown together with little effort and very little actual cooking as well, which makes it the perfect weeknight meal.  It also makes great leftovers for lunch the following days.  This is yet another recipe that takes advantage of the ever-convenient and delicious rotisserie chicken…. one of my favorite cheats!  I suppose you could make your own chicken if you wanted, but last I checked there were no awards being handed out for causing yourself unnecessary hassle and making it from scratch lol.

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The concept of this dish is pretty basic, with many of the usual Italian ingredients… and that’s ok.  Sometimes you just don’t need to mess with a good thing.  I really enjoyed this salad, and would definitely make it as is over and over again with complete satisfaction.  I can also see room for embellishments too if you wanted to mix things up from time to time.  Perhaps some crispy proscuitto, maybe some parsley or lemon… or whatever other Italian ingredients you like.  The only change I made to the original recipe was to use half kalamata olives just because they are my favorite and I happened to have some of both in the fridge I needed to use up.  Another area of versatility is in the dressing.  With so many options out there this could easily take on a lot of different flavors.  I used some Olive Garden Italian dressing I had on hand which I really love because it’s so creamy and cheesy.  You can also use whatever type of pasta you prefer.  I used some orecchiette, which is great for catching the dressing in the little bowl shaped centers.  The only downside is that they tend to stack up in there.

I cut the recipe in half and still had LOTS of food, so take that into consideration.  This would feed a lot of people, but like I said it can also make good leftovers.  I actually made mine earlier in the day and let it hang out in the fridge for a few hours before I served it.  I did sneak a taste right away before putting it in there, and I gotta say I really liked it with slightly warm pasta.  However, it’s still very good totally chilled.  It’s not a bad idea to reserve a bit of dressing to mix in later on just in case it seems a bit dry after sitting so long.

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Italian Chicken Pasta Salad

Ingredients :

  • 1 pkg. (16 oz) pasta
  • 3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, diced
  • 1 can (6 oz) sliced black olives
  • 1 tub (8 oz) mozzarella pearls
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup torn or julienned basil
  • 1 cup shaved parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 bottle (16 oz) Italian salad dressing, divided

Directions :

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.  Rinse under cold water and drain well.  Pour pasta into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, reserving about 1/2 cup of the dressing.  Mix to combine.
  3. Serve or refrigerate until ready to use.  (Pasta may dry out upon standing. Add reserved dressing if needed)

Recipe from In Good Flavor


Day 15 : Garbage Omelette

Don’t let the name fool you, this is in fact the perfect omelette.  It takes a bit more time and effort, but I assure you it’s pretty fail proof if you follow the directions correctly.  When trying to make an omelette the regular way (in a skillet) I am not ashamed to admit that I fail at it miserably about 7 out of 10 times.  If it’s not the dang thing sticking to the skillet (which it does more and more as the skillet gets older) then it’s my spatula ruining it, and that’s assuming it even cooks evenly and properly…..  This method results in a perfectly even, fluffy omelette that tastes as good as it looks!  It’s especially good for company, as after all, who wants to serve their guests a messed up omelette?

The recipe I will share is for the basic omelette and from there you can add whatever you like to it.  It’s given the name Garbage Omelette because it’s a great way to clean out the fridge of all the leftovers from a week’s meals.  That is exactly what I did this morning.  One downside to making so many new recipes is that you have to buy a lot of ingredients you don’t normally have on hand and then find uses for the leftovers!  Anyway, this is a very filling omelette, so it can easily serve 3 or 4 people, but between my husband and I we often find a way to finish it off anyway.


Today I used the following ingredients in ours and they were fantastic!

  • Deli Turkey (about 3/4 C., cut up into squares)
  • Muenster (I used 4 slices worth)
  • Monteray Jack (about 1/2 C. shredded)
  • mushroom (about 1/2 C., diced)
  • sweet red pepper (about 1/4 C. or so diced)
  • garlic (2 cloves, minced)
  • green onions (about 4, sliced)
  • bacon (4 slices cooked, and cut up into bits)

Other ingredients I would typically use would include (though not necessarily together) parsley, basil, cilantro, various other cheeses, green pepper, yellow or orange pepper, jalapeno, ham, chicken, beef, sun-dried tomatoes, feta, spinach, etc.  Like I said, it’s really up to you and there are an endless number of possible combinations.


Garbage Omelette

Serves : 2-4             Time to make : 30 minutes (rough estimate depending on prep of chosen ingredients)

Ingredients :

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions :

  1. Cut up and prepare your filler ingredients and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. In a mixing bowl, blend together the eggs and milk until fluffy.
  4. Add in flour, salt and pepper, blend until smooth.
  5. Pour into a greased 9×13 glass baking dish and bake on the center rack for 10-15 minutes, until the eggs are just about set.  Be sure to keep an eye on it however since depending on your oven it could set faster.
  6. Spread your filler ingredients evenly over the eggs and bake for another 5 minutes or so until your cheese has melted.
  7. Now you can either roll it up jelly-style and then cut it, or you can do like me and cut it in half in the dish and then fold each of those over into a big omelette and then cut those into portions.


*bacon not pictured*

Published in: on January 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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