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A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

Best Chicken Pasta Salad

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A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

Carrie’s Chicken Pasta Salad

My husband and I love a really good pasta salad, so I tweaked and experimented and created the Best Chicken Pasta Salad, which I named after me:) 

With it’s creamy perfectly balanced flavored dressing, crisp  tart apples, smoky Gouda cheese, velvety avocado, crunchy almonds; combined with the other scrumptious ingredients, we think you will agree too that this is the Best Chicken Pasta Salad!

This will generously serve 4-6 adults with a loaf of crusty bread.

It’s a great recipe for a picnic, just be sure to keep it cold because of the mayonnaise and the chicken.

Carrie’s Chicken Pasta Salad

Salad Ingredients:

2-3 green apples, cored and cut into small bite-sized pieces; my handsome hubby prefers I peel the skin off, so that’s a personal preference too (the tart balances the other flavors and compliments the smokey cheese)

3-4 cups of cooked chicken,  A rotisserie chicken is fabulous here and what I generally use.

3/4 – 1 cup celery, chopped into small pieces

8-12 oz. Gouda cheese, cut into small pieces (the package of sliced is the usually the most cost effective, just dice it up)

2-3 avocados, diced

2 cups seedless red grapes, cut in halves (they look pretty, but can use green grapes if they are sweeter and in season)

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted* and cooled

16 oz / 1 lb. package of Rotini style pasta (corkscrew type to hold all the good dressing in and sturdy enough for the other ingredients – use a GOOD brand or it falls apart when you add in the other ingredients.  I prefer Barilla pasta)

 

Dressing Ingredients:

16-18 oz. light mayonnaise (2 – 2 ¼ cups), only real mayo here, please don’t use Miracle Whip.  You can use regular if you’d prefer over light

1/2 cup light sour cream (you can use regular instead of light)

1 ½ Tbl. poppy seeds

2 Tbl. honey

5 Tbl. lemon juice (bottled or fresh)

3 Tbl. seasoned rice vinegar

1/2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/2 – 1 tsp. roasted garlic seasoning, optional, but balances the sweet nicely – I use McCormick Grill Mates Roasted Garlic & Herb

1/2 tsp. Emerill’s original seasoning




Directions:

First toast the nuts as shown below*

Cook pasta as directed on package.

When the pasta is al dente (not mushy or too soft), rinse and drain to remove the starch so it isn’t sticky and clumpy later after it sits.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Pour the dressing ingredients over the salad ingredients and combine gently.

Gently toss in the pasta and fold till all mixed through.

 It is best to serve this salad chilled for at least an hour. It sits well over night too.

Carrie's Chicken Pasta Salad *To toast nuts, pour them into a non-stick pan and cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly until the nuts are a slightly browned.

It only takes a few minutes but it brings out a delicious deep flavor.
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My Carrie’s BEST Chicken Pasta Salad would be perfect to take to a neighbor, friend or family member in need.  If you’d like to know more, I have this post:  What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat

And even more information at    How Can I Help When Someone Is Sick And Show I Care?

A cold pasta salad using rotini pasta that has grapes, celery, crisp apples, smokey Gouda cheese and toasted almonds. All topped with a creamy poppy seed mayonnaise dressing for a perfect dish

Carrie’s Chicken Pasta Salad

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015, 2018

Copyright and recipe by Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

 

 




Dinner Spinach Salad

Perfect Dinner Spinach Salad

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Dinner Spinach Salad

Dinner Spinach Salad

My handsome hubby Stan grows the most scrumptious spinach in our garden! I wanted to find a way to use those lovely green leaves.  I created this ‘salad’

It actually is more than a salad, I will say, it would be considered an elegant meal, though not difficult to make at all and very gourmet-like.

It could also be served as an elegant side salad to impress any guest.

It is so satisfying and the flavors are incredibly complimentary that it is one you will want to make time after time as a regular all through the seasons. 

 



Dinner Spinach Salad

Ingredients

1 large sweet onion (Vidallia if available)

2-3 Tbl. butter

 1/2 tsp sugar

10-12 oz. package of  spinach leaves

1 can Northern beans, drained & rinsed (these add a rich butter flavor.  Even if you don’t care for beans, give this a try)

1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into strips, then in half or thirds

4-8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (depending on taste)

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

1 can mandarin oranges, drained – save the juice

 Dressing:

Juice from mandarin oranges

1 tsp. prepared mustard

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. roasted garlic seasoning optional

1/3 cup rice vinegar

3/4 tsp. Montreal Steak seasoning

1/2 tsp. Emerills seasoning




Directions:

First, slice the onion thin and then in half.  Place in large fry pan with the butter.  This will seem a lot, but it will shrink tremendously.Dinner Spinach SaladContinue cooking till the onions begin to wilt. translucent and begin to brown, then add in the sugar. 

This step brings out the natural sugar in the onions for a sweet and surprisingly wonderful taste.Dinner Spinach SaladContinue to caramelize the onion, cooking over med heat till soft and golden; keep warm.

In a large bowl combine the rest of the salad ingredients OR make individual salads according to desired salad ingredients.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and serve over the salad, a little at a time till desired strength.

Arrange warm onions on top of salad.

Serve immediately.

Recipe by Carrie Groneman,

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.