Recipe by Faux Chef Lael
This is an exact copycat recipe of the totally easy and delicious Chicken Gorgonzola Salad available in the Fred Meyer Deli case (recipe deciphered by Bitchin' Vittles.) It's a light, flavorful summer salad that is sure to be a huge hit at your next potluck, BBQ or family get together!
- 1 lb penne pasta
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning (to taste)
- 2 cups red grapes (seedless, sliced in half)
- 4 green onions (thinly sliced)
- 1⁄3 cup pecans (coarsely chopped)
- 1⁄2 cup gorgonzola (crumbled)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (for best results, use a quality brand like Best Foods)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (you may use apple cider vinegar, but rice vinegar is better here)
- 3 tablespoons white sugar (to taste)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt (regular table salt will be TOO SALTY)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
Directions See How It's Made
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, NOT al dente. You don't want it to be too gummy or too mushy. Drain in a colander and run COLD water over until it's completely cold. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Sprinkle the chicken breasts with lemon pepper. "Grill" the chicken breasts by whatever method you prefer. You may use a panini type grill, a barbecue grill, or simply bake in the oven. Your cooking times will vary based on your method, but just make sure the breasts are fully cooked by reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees, or when the juices run clear. Allow the chicken pieces to cool until you can handle them. Slice the chicken thinly, then cut slices in half so they are bite-sized. Spread out to cool completely while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Pour the dressing ingredients (mayo, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper) into the bowl and whisk until incorporated.
- After the chicken and pasta are completely cooled, add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir gently. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- TIPS: If the salad is too stiff after prolonged refrigeration, you can make it creamy again by stirring in a tiny bit of olive oil, milk or warm water. Gorgonzola cheese is similar to bleu cheese, but slightly milder. It is an acquired taste for some people, so feel free to use more or less to taste. I use MORE! For best results, don't substitute or omit ingredients. I usually try doing things to lower fat or calories, but in this case, the results will NOT be the same.