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Chicken Cantaloupe Bacon Pasta Salad

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Ingredients

1 (16 ounce) package gemelli pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup raspberry yoguort
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cantaloupes
4 rotisserie chickens
12 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

Chicken Cantaloupe Bacon Pasta Salad

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

This main dish salad recipe is so easy to make and so spectacular. This is definitely an example of the whole being more special than just a combination of its parts.

I love cantaloupe and always have. The fruit is so sweet and juicy, with the freshest taste. It pairs well with all other fruits too. But have you ever thought about pairing it with chicken?

This recipe for Chicken Cantaloupe Pasta Salad has always been one of my favorites. The sweet melon is perfect pair with tender chicken and pasta, in a smooth and creamy dressing. I could eat this salad all day every day.

And now it’s even better, because I have added BACON to the recipe! I was looking through a cookbook and saw a recipe for cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto and made the connection. The bacon adds a wonderful salty note to complement the cantaloupe, and the crunch is an added bonus. YUM.

Oh, and since there was a huge and deadly food poisoning outbreak linked to cantaloupes a few years ago, I now sanitize the fruit before I cut it. When you’re making a pasta salad it’s easy to do. Just remove the cooked pasta from the pot with a large strainer and leave the water behind. Immerse the cantaloupes into the hot water for 45 seconds to kill any bacteria on the surface. This doesn’t affect the texture or flavor of the fruit at all. Take the fruit out (carefully) and pat dry with paper towels, then cut it and remove the flesh.

You could use other types of melon in this salad too. Try honeydew, or casaba. And enjoy every sweet and salty bite.

Why this recipe works:

  • The combination of opposing flavors and textures makes the salad interesting.
  • The dressing adds great flavor because it combines flavored yogurt with mayonnaise.
  • The addition of bacon adds another flavor entirely: Salt. Different flavors in one recipe complement and enhance each other.
  • The sweet melon with the tender mild chicken and salty crisp bacon add up to a wonderful recipe.

Steps

1
Done

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

2
Done

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, and lemon juice in a large bowl and whisk to blend.

3
Done

When the pasta is done, remove it from the water using a large strainer with a long handle. Add to the dressing and stir.

4
Done

Turn off the heat under the pot of water. Carefully add the cantaloupes, one at a time, and let sit in the water for 45 seconds. Turn the cantaloupe occasionally with a strainer so all sides get the hot water treatment.

5
Done

Remove the cantaloupes from the water and put on paper towels. Let cool while you remove the meat from the chicken and cube it.

6
Done

Cut the cantaloupes in half, remove the seeds, and cube the flesh. Add the cantaloupe cubes and the chicken to the dressing with the pasta and bacon and stir.

7
Done

Cover the salad and chill for 1-2 hours to blend flavors.

lindaBest

lindaBest

Linda is a home economist who has authored 48 books (47 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. 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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