Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tomato-Basil Pasta Salad

Life has been crazy lately and it’s about to get even more crazy with a family reunion, lots of traveling, and my brother’s wedding coming up!  So I will return at some point with the house series, but until then, here’s a recipe I thought I’d share.  Maybe you can bring it to a picnic this weekend!

This dish is something I literally threw together when I had a friend over for lunch recently.  I know a lot of people don’t feel confident as cooks – so I think one of the big secrets to successful cooking is to find ingredients that you enjoy eating, and then take it a step further and find combinations of ingredients that you enjoy eating together.  Keep those basic things on hand and you’ll almost always be able to whip up something tasty!  I’m pretty sure 90% of the meals I make are made from the same 15-20 pantry staples. :)

No fancy instructions here; just simple directions (and adjust as YOU feel is needed!)  Don’t like my pasta choice? Swap it!  Hate grape tomatoes?  Scrap them!  Don’t have feta?  Who cares!  Add more mozzarella!  haha  You get what I’m saying?  Okay good…you are going to love this! 


more may 004


Tomato-Basil Pasta Salad

1 box whole grain shells, cooked and cooled
2 chicken breasts, sautéed and cut into bite-sized pieces, then cooled*
1-2 C broccoli florets, steamed, chopped, and cooled
1 package grape tomatoes, halved
6-7 basil leaves, chopped roughly
1/2- 3/4 C feta cheese
1/2 – 3/4 C mozzarella cheese
1/2-3/4  C parmesan cheese
Homemade Italian vinaigrette **

Combine first eight ingredients in large bowl.  Add desired amount of Italian dressing to salad ingredients, and combine again.  Serve and enjoy!! :)


*Rub chicken with oil, then dry rub spices in. I personally used a combo of garlic oil and a spice mix that included garlic, salt, and pepper. Use whatever you have!

**You can use my recipe by following the link (it’s delish!) or use a clean dressing from the grocery store. Note that my recipe states white wine vinegar; now I use red wine. It’s really just a personal preference!


Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone!


  1. The fresh basil leaves were the stand out on this. I was the friend (hehehe) and it was amaaaaazing. And that chicken was delish too. So yummy!

  2. OH! Jessica! I checkin in on JUST the right day! Would you believe my basil is coming on strong!?? I will try this recipe FOR SURE! YUM!


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