Monday, February 7, 2011

Balsamic Chicken Spinach Pasta Salad

I found a winner last week and I'd like to share it with you!  I originally found this recipe on the Multiply Delicious blog...but, I subtracted one tiny ingredient.  My husband, David, does not like fresh tomatoes...though he does like cooked, such as spaghetti sauce...don't ask why because I haven't been able to figure it out either...  So, I removed that particular ingredient and voila, perfection!  This recipe is a definite repeat and is still quite good the second time around, yum, yum!

Balsamic Chicken Spinach Pasta Salad
adapted from Multiply Delicious

1 (20-ounce) package cheese tortellini
1 pound skinned and boned chicken breasts
1 ½ cup Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing, divided
1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, diced

Place chicken in a zip-lock bag and pour 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette in bag with chicken. Marinate for at least 2 hour, but best if marinated overnight. Take chicken out of zip-lock bag and discard marinade.

In a grill pan, grill chicken breasts, about 5 to 6 minutes on each side until cooked through. Place yellow bell pepper slices in grill pan and grill about 2 minutes on each side. Once cooled, dice chicken up in small bites.

Whisk together remaining ½ cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing and mustard in a small bowl.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Let cool 10 minutes.

Toss together pasta, chicken, balsamic mixture, spinach, and remaining 2 ingredients in a large bowl. Enjoy immediately!

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