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Posts Tagged ‘pasta salad’

Okay, remember that pesto pasta salad?

This one?

The only problem with it is that it only uses half a container of pesto. So you have a few options. You can:

A.) Double the recipe and have pesto pasta salad sitting in your fridge for weeks in that bowl you always want to use but can never find because it’s sitting in the fridge with pesto pasta salad in it

B.) Leave the half-used container of pesto in your fridge to “do something with,” forget about it, and find it two months later in an unusable state

C.) Make this pesto chicken

This was really good, really easy, and tasted awesome. JW commented several times how good it was. A huge thank you to Pinterest for this find (which if you are any sort of creative or foodie or fashion type and you are not on Pinterest, you are missing out on a whole world of new and exciting things), and of course, many thanks to Kalyn’s Kitchen for the recipe.

Baked Pesto Chicken (This is how I made it, when I didn’t have the recipe in front of me. Here is the original if you want to compare.)

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 3)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
  • Half of a 7-8oz container of basil pesto
  • Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut chicken breasts into strips, or pieces. Whatever you prefer.
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread pesto over the chicken. Stir it around a bit so the chicken is covered with the pesto.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid) and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. Don’t cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.

When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. (If your broiler is separate from the oven, start preheating it when you take the chicken out.) Kalyn’s note: After I melted the cheese for 5 minutes I switched my oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.

We had this over the same tri-colored curly pasta I had used for the pasta salad, and the juice from the chicken dish was delicious over the pasta. You could also use angel hair, or even rice.

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This recipe came out of the most recent issue of Health magazine (June 2010). It looked so light and fresh, and looked easy too, which immediately drew me to it. And I love pasta salad, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

If you like the taste of both red bell pepper and lemon, you’ll like this. It includes the juice and zest of one lemon, which gives it a lovely summer flavor. I did add more oil later to refresh it because I didn’t serve it immediately. JW likes our usual pasta salad better, but he ate this and enjoyed it. He said it tasted “earthy” (in a good way).

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

  • 8 oz farfalle
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • One can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil in a large bowl and whisk together.

Add artichoke hearts, cheese, and red pepper to lemon/oil mixture, and stir to combine.

Place peas in colander, and when pasta finishes cooking, drain pasta over peas. Add pasta and peas to artichoke mixture and toss.

Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Chill until ready to serve. May need additional olive oil for refreshing prior to serving.

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