A Twin Cities chain of grocery stores has a cherry chicken pasta salad that is truly hard to resist. I don’t even know how or why I tried this – it really isn’t my style, but I may or may not get a small container of it on Friday afternoons. While it is undeniably delicious, I knew it could be equally delicious made-over.
The pasta could be whole-grain, the chicken, well, it would preferably be organic or free-range and the mayo and poppy seed dressing? Could definitely benefit from some lightening. So here it is – it may not be as creamy as the store version, but it is certainly a lot better for you and I promise you won’t miss all the mayo!
Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad – makes a large bowl
- 8 oz whole-grain penne
- 8 oz chicken thighs, cooked and chopped (we grilled ours)
- 3 oz dried cherries
- 5 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 bunch of green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup Briannas poppy seed dressing
Prepare pasta as directed. Let cool. Combine mayo and poppy seed dressing and stir until combined. Toss with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 hours minimum. Serve over greens or straight from the bowl!