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I love pasta salads. They are so versatile! You can make them as a side dish or appetizer and you can also make them as an entree. This particular pasta salad is a wonderful entree because it contains chunked chicken. The sauce and roasted veggies compliment the meat and penne pasta perfectly. Another amazing thing about this recipe is how easy it is to make. You can whip up this salad in the snap of your fingers for a light lunch or dinner side dish item. Your family will be super excited to see this beauty sitting on the table!
See what my friend Gretchen from Just A Pinch had to say about this recipe:
This is something I came up with after staring at the fridge and pantry awhile. I love adding goat cheese to pasta dishes. When you toss it with hot pasta and a little of the cooking water, it becomes creamy goodness. You get the taste of a heavy cream sauce, without all the fat and calories.
I love heavy cream but I don’t love the massive fat and calorie content that it has. This recipe is significantly lower in fat and cals yet still gives you the taste and texture of heavy whipping cream.
1 lb chicken tenderloins
1 bunch asparagus
1 jar(s) roasted red peppers
8 oz Barilla penne pasta
4 oz chevre (goat cheese)
1/3 c low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
Bertolli olive oil, extra virgin
Mrs. dash garlic and herb seasoning, salt, pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Break off the tough ends on asparagus spears. Place on a cookie sheet, and drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and a little pepper. Using your hands, toss to coat evenly. Arrange in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, or until desired doneness.
2. While the asparagus is roasting, cook your chicken. I seasoned the tenderloins with Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning and some salt. Then I cooked them on my George Foreman grill. Drain the peppers and cut into bite size pieces. Cut the asparagus and chicken into 1-inch pieces.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve about 1/4 cup cooking water. Drain the pasta, and add chicken and veggies to the pot. Add the pasta back to the pot along with the pasta water and feta cheese. Crumble the goat cheese log over top. Toss well to combine the ingredients and melt the cheese. Season with a little cracked black pepper. Enjoy! * I used gluten-free brown rice pasta.
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