cherry chicken pasta salad

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!


Comments

  1. says

    i cannot even tell you how much i miss lunds/byerlys. their deli is my fave. and i LOVE the simplicity of this dish – the perfect salad for a summer picnic!

    can you tell i am ready for some HOT weather?

    hope you are well dear – love ya!

  2. says

    i cannot even tell you how much i miss lunds/byerlys. their deli is my fave. and i LOVE the simplicity of this dish – the perfect salad for a summer picnic!

    can you tell i am ready for some HOT weather?

    hope you are well dear – love ya!

  3. says

    I miss shopping at Byerly’s.

    Now, you are only adding to my ‘to try’ list. BTW, I made your rhubarb strawberry crostini and avocado lime coleslaw over the weekend. Blog post coming soon – they were great!

  4. says

    I miss shopping at Byerly’s.

    Now, you are only adding to my ‘to try’ list. BTW, I made your rhubarb strawberry crostini and avocado lime coleslaw over the weekend. Blog post coming soon – they were great!

  5. says

    we sell something similar in the deli case at my lovely little coffee shop :) i havent tried and dont think i will as yours looks WAY better!

  6. says

    we sell something similar in the deli case at my lovely little coffee shop :) i havent tried and dont think i will as yours looks WAY better!

  7. says

    I’m definitely going to try this with some chicken leftovers. I’m always adding cranberries to my chicken/tuna salads. The cherries are a nice change.

  8. says

    I’m definitely going to try this with some chicken leftovers. I’m always adding cranberries to my chicken/tuna salads. The cherries are a nice change.

  9. says

    I LOVE Lunds/Byerlys. And their restaurant!! And now that I’m eating meat again….! ;)

    I need someone to show me how to cook chicken though… I’ve obviously never had to before, and my first attempt the other day was a major FAIL.

  10. says

    I LOVE Lunds/Byerlys. And their restaurant!! And now that I’m eating meat again….! ;)

    I need someone to show me how to cook chicken though… I’ve obviously never had to before, and my first attempt the other day was a major FAIL.

  11. says

    Yum! This looks amazing. I love Brianna’s dressings. And what a great idea to add dried cherries. This is the perfect take-to-work lunch.

  12. says

    Yum! This looks amazing. I love Brianna’s dressings. And what a great idea to add dried cherries. This is the perfect take-to-work lunch.

  13. Raven says

    I went on a blind date to the Twin Cities area from California and was greeted with a picnic that included this pasta salad. I was hooked!! On the salad, not so much on the date.
    I tracked down the recipe from the store and am frequently requested to make it for potlucks at the office. I’ve tried other dressings, but Brianna’s can not be topped for this dish.
    Thank you for sharing
    R~

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