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Pasta Salad with Chicken

Pasta salad with chicken great for a light summer meal.

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing (Bottled or make your own: because it's half the dressing, the kind you use will significantly influence the flavor)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1–2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard (Whatever kind you prefer, but cheap yellow mustard makes it taste a bit bitter; I use deli or brown mustard; many like Dijon here.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • splash hot pepper sauce

Salad

  • 6 oz dry corkscrew pasta, cooked, rinsed, and cooled (Or any sturdy kind with lots of nooks for dressing to adhere to.)
  • 2 cups cooled cubed cooked chicken (Or, if alliteration isn't a concern of yours, turkey. Can also leave this out, just use more pasta.)
  • 1 Small onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup cucumber (diced)
  • 1 cup celery (diced)
  • 1 cup grapes (halved)
  • olives (sliced, if you like. I don't, so no olives in any salad I make.)

Garnish (Optional)

  • cashews (chopped)
  • lettuce (chopped or sliced)
  • cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • hard-boiled eggs (sliced or diced)

Directions

Dressing
1. Blend the dressing ingredients well.
Salad
2. Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
3. Fold the dressing into the salad, using only as much as you like. Keep in mind, the chicken and pasta will soak up a lot, so if you use too little, the salad will end up dry after sitting for a while.
4. Serve on a bed of lettuce, top with cashews, tomato, and egg.

Note

I usually skip the lettuce, tomato and egg, but Captain OCD has convinced himself that it must be served upon a bed of lettuce. Likewise, the original recipe doesn't call for grapes, but the rest of the family must have grapes in this salad. Craisins also add a nice touch. Sometimes I put canned mandarin oranges in it, but they are somewhat delicate and tend to disintegrate when mixed together with the sturdy ingredients that comprise the bulk of this salad.