Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

I remember when I was a kid loving cold pasta salads on a hot summer night. Nothing heavy and nothing rich. One of my favorite restaurants in Green Bay is Grapevine Cafe, and they have a chicken pesto pasta salad to die for. One steamy night in Wisconsin I decided it was the perfect time to whip up my own batch of this yummy salad. This recipe gave me exactly what I was looking for, and reminded me of one of my favorite restaurant to go to with my family or my girlfriends. Enjoy!
1 1/4 lb chicken tenders
1 cup sliced celery
3 Tbl sliced green onions
3/4 cup craisins
2 oz pine nuts
12 oz penne or rigatoni
4 Tbl prepared pesto
1 cup reduced fat mayo
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Saute chicken in a medium skillet until completely cooked. Set chicken aside and allow it to cool.

While chicken is cooling add celery, onion, craisins, and pine nuts in a bowl. Set aside. In another bowl mix mayo, sour cream, salt, pepper, and pesto. When you can comfortably handle the chicken chop it into small bite size pieces.  Add chicken and celery mixture to pesto mayo. Stir till all ingredients are completely incorporated. In a large bowl, fold chicken mixture into noodles.

Serve, or cover and chill in the refrigerator.

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