Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
On a hot summer day, my husband and I were craving a cold pasta salad as a main dish. Regular pasta salad was not filling enough, so we decided to add some protein: chicken and cubed cheese. This recipe is "semi-homemade" as it uses Suddenly Salad, but the end results was delicious! My whole family loves it! It makes a large batch, perfect for home or potluck. One batch might last a day in this household! The beauty of this recipe, is that you can change the type of Suddenly Salad, and the cheese, and create something different! For example, a southwestern flair using the Chipotle style Suddenly Salad and pepper jack cheese, or a Greek style with Feta and Greek Suddenly Salad! Or, make it vegetarian and trade the chicken for firm tofu! So many choices to make it your own.
- 2 Suddenly Salad Pasta Salad Mix, Original flavor
- 1 cup kalamata olive, pitted and drained
- 1 (8 ounce) jar pimentos, drained
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 6 roma tomatoes
- 1 (16 ounce) package baby portabella mushrooms
- 1⁄2 lb cheese, diced (we use a mix of white cheddar and pepper jack)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons pesto sauce
- 1⁄2 cup ranch dressing
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1. Cube chicken into bite size pieces. Season chicken with oregano and garlic salt. Fry cubed chicken in 1tbsp light olive oil until cooked through. Drain excess oil from chicken in a fine mesh strainer. Set aside to cool.
- 2. Prepare Suddenly Salad pasta according to directions on the box.
- 3. Prepare Suddenly Salad dressing mix according to the box. To the dressing mix, add pesto and Ranch dressing. Set aside.
- 4. While chicken cools, drain Kalamata olives and pimentos, set aside.
- 5. Rough chop red onion, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
- 6. Dice cheese into 1/2" cubes.
- 7. Combine cooked and rinsed pasta with dressing mixture. Add in Kalamata olives, pimento, red onion, mushrooms, and cheese.
- 8. Add in cooked and drained chicken cubes. Stir to combine. Allow to cool in the refrigerator at least one hour.