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Chicken and Pasta Salad with Cabbage

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Ingredients

1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup creamy honey mustard salad dressing
1/4 cup honey mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 (16 ounce) box gemelli pasta
6 cups cubed rotisserie chicken
6 cups chopped red cabbage
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) package frozen baby peas
2 cups cubed Havarti cheese
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

Chicken and Pasta Salad with Cabbage

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

A salad for dinner in early spring? Why not! Even though it’s blustery and cold outside, having a cool main dish salad can be very refreshing. And it’s a little bit of summer to come.

I love main dish pasta salads. Every time I make one I change it up a little bit. If you think you’re too busy to cook and you have to order take-out a couple of times a week, make a pasta salad. All you have to do is take it out of the fridge and dish it up – it’s like having a fast food outlet in your fridge!

Except it’s better for you.

And it tastes better.

Chicken Pasta Salad with Cabbage

You can put any ingredient you like in these salads. Don’t like cabbage? Use some chopped zucchini! If you aren’t a fan of bell peppers, use some lightly cooked green beans instead. If you’re a vegetarian, omit the chicken and bacon and add more veggies or some grilled tofu. And if you can’t eat wheat, try one of the fabulous rice-based pastas on the market.

This recipe is based on Cabbage and Pasta Salad with Salmon and Bacon, which was based on Cabbage Tortellini Blue Cheese Salad, which was based on a layered salad recipe. See what I mean?

I make these cold salads even in the dead of winter. It’s nice to have some freshness and color when it’s so cold and gray outside. If you don’t want to eat something cold, do what my hubby does – he microwaves his portion until it’s warm. He says it makes the salad more flavorful.

This healthy and colorful salad is the perfect antidote to the late winter blues. Make it today and enjoy it for the next four days. Yum.

Why this recipe works:

  • I always use rotisserie chicken when I make salads. The chicken is reliably tender and flavorful. I have had some bad luck cooking chicken breasts for salad. This is more expensive, but worth it.
  • Try to make this salad when the chicken is still warm. It will absorb more flavors from the dressing.
  • Same with the pasta. Add the pasta while it’s hot to the dressing and it will absorb flavor.
  • The mustard in the dressing helps tenderize the chicken too.

Steps

1
Done

Bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta.

2
Done

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, salad dressing, mustard, and lemon juice in a large bowl and whisk to combine.

3
Done

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes. Drain well and add to the dressing in the bowl.

4
Done

Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

lindaBest

lindaBest

Linda is a home economist who has authored 40 books (39 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies). She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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