I’m sure many of you have come home from work with no idea what to make for dinner. “Do we have left overs?” “Is there food in the fridge?” “What can I create with the scarce ingredients from our pantry?” Believe me, I was there last week. It was a long day of work and errands, and the last thing I wanted to do was go to the grocery store. Luckily, cooking is all about being creative…plus, I have a husband that will eat anything I make him. This nutritious, tasty pasta salad uses simple ingredients and comes together quickly.
Fortunately, when I got home we had a frozen chicken breast I threw in the sink to thaw. I figured if all else fails, grilling a chicken breast is a safe bet. Hesitantly, I looked into our pantry to see what ingredients I could concoct into a dish. We had a can of whole corn kernels, gluten-free pasta, and a red onion. (Don’t get me wrong, we had other things in our pantry, but I wasn’t interested in getting too creative with cereal or protein bars). The only option the fridge had to offer was half of a green bell pepper. After a moment of thinking to myself, I figured why not put it all together for a veggie chicken pasta salad with a light barbecue vinaigrette? Sounded good to me!
The sweet, tangy, spicy barbecue vinaigrette comes together in a snap. I prefer to keep the vegetables uncooked, so they are crunchy and a nice contrast to the soft pasta. It ended up to be a hit with our family! Moral of the story, don’t be afraid to be inventive in the kitchen…you may just come up with your best recipe yet!
- 1 large chicken breast (if frozen, give time to thaw completely)
- 1 15oz can of whole kernel corn
- 4 cups cooked mini conchiglie pasta (or your pasta preference)
- 1/2 green bell pepper- chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion- chopped
- 1/2 cup of your favorite bbq sauce (preferably low sodium)
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- salt/pepper to taste
- Start your grill so it has time to get nice and hot.
- Place chicken on grill for approximately 15 minutes (or until fully cooked) turning the breast over about halfway through the cooking process.
- Begin to cook the pasta, based on package instructions.
- While the chicken and pasta are cooking, open/drain the can of corn, and chop the green pepper & onion.
- To create the bbq vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl until everything is well integrated.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove from the grill and chop into bite size pieces.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain well, and pour into a large serving bowl.
- Add chopped chicken, veggies, bbq vinaigrette, and mix well.
- Add additional salt/pepper if desired.