Most chicken pasta salads that I have had in the past are all made with a creamy dressing. I was really excited when I found I recipe that uses a vinaigrette dressing, I had to try it. I found it on an online magazine that I recently discovered after attending Summer Social Retreat ’09. The magazine is called CraziBeautiful Women. It is a beautiful site. The tag line there is gifting entertainment, education, and friendship. They have a recipe section on their site that has a lot of great recipes with wonderful pictures. I only made a half a recipe which was plenty for my family of 5 with leftovers. So the original recipe said to mix the pasta chicken mixture with spinach. I must admit, the spinach didn’t do anything for me in this salad, so I would recommend using it to serve the salad on just to help make it pretty (like I did in my picture) of just leave it out. I also left out the water chestnuts, I am not a fan. I think you could also skip the sunflower seeds. For me, I didn’t even notice they were there when I was eating this salad. I also purchased a mixture of honey roasted peanuts and cashews that I used. Those were wonderful, loved them by themselves and in the salad. I really think this salad is wonderful fur this time of year as we transition into the Fall season. It has the beautiful red color from the cranberries, orange from the oranges, and green from the parsley, green onion, and spinach. This would also be excellent to serve for a bridal or baby shower. It’s great that you make this salad ahead of time. I would recommend reserving a little dressing to toss this in right before serving. Most of it get absorbed by the chicken and pasta. I also served this with recipe I have on here for 30 minute rolls.
Bowtie Chicken Salad (I made half of this recipe)
16oz. Bowtie pasta, boiled until tender
6 large chicken breasts, boiled till cooked, cut into bite size pieces.
3 can mandarin oranges, drained (I would up this to 4 cans)
2 cups water chestnuts, drained (I left these out)
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 cup honey roasted peanuts (I used a mixture of honey roasted cashews and peanuts)
10oz. spinach (add spinach before serving, I would leave this out)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (I would skip these)
1 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt
6 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup white whine vinegar (I used red)
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Whisk all dressing ingredients together
Combine all ingredients except spinach (I’d reserve a little of the dressing to toss in before serving). Place overnight in refrigerator in zip-lock bag.
Before serving: Mix together zip-lock bag ingredients and spinach…serve (I would skip this of just serve the salad on the spinach to make it look pretty)