RECIPE OF AWESOMENESS: Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad

This homemade pasta salad recipe is just as easy as any boxed mix, and tastes 100x better! It is full of flavor, and even sneaks some delicious veggies and clean proteins in there for those of you with picky eaters!

I originally found this recipe on AllRecipes.com, then I made my own set of Marilyn Modifications to better suit my family’s taste. Either way, it’s sure to be a new family favorite around any dinner table and would also be GREAT for pot-lucks and picnics!

Are you ready for a quick, tasty pasta salad that will have you turning away boxed varieties forever??? Oh yeah, it’s that good!

wpid-img_20150805_192118.jpgFirst, completely mix the following ingredients in a LARGE bowl…the largest you have, really, as this recipe needs growing and scatter room:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing

Now, start your pasta of choice cooking, while you dice and chop the next set of goodies. I prefer to use bowtie pasta because it’s fun and showy!

  • 11 ounces pasta–corkscrew, bowtie, elbow, whatever your family likes best (or, whatever you have on hand!)

While the pasta is doing it’s thing, chop, crumble, and dice the following ingredients…BUT DO NOT add them to the mayo mix, yet:

  • 8 ounces Muenster cheese (trust me, I’m a Wisconsin girl through-and-through…Muenster is a GREAT choice for this recipe!)
  • 1 bunch of celery (because who wants to measure celery??)
  • 2 nice-sized orange bell peppers (because they’re sweet and add such gorgeous color to this dish!)
  • 16 (or so) slices of crispy cooked bacon. BTW…Did you know that you can purchase pre-cooked bacon at the market? Oh yeah! This was such a happy surprise for me because I LOVE bacon, but HATE everything about cooking it (the smell, the feel, the smell, the grease, the way you smell it’s residual odor for days…ug). As an absolute last resort, I suppose you could use good old driedĀ Bacon Bits in place of real bacon, but it’s pretty strong-flavored and salty, so I’d cut the amount in half if you’re going to go that route.

By now, you can totally drain your tasty pasta, and add it to the mayo mix. Stir well to fully coat the pasta.

Next, add the following to the mayo/pasta mix:

  • 1 cooked rotisserie chicken, deboned and shredded or chopped (depending on your personal preference)

Once the mayo mix, pasta, and chicken are fully coated, we can put the rest together! Add the cheese, chopped veggies, and whichever bacon option you went with, into the BIG bowl. Stir gently to coat all of the new additions.

Last but certainly not least, add the final two ingredients and lightly stir to incorporate them into the dish:

  • 11 ounces grape tomatoes
  • 1 medium-size avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

This dish is best served cold, so I suggest allowing at least 30 minutes of refrigeration time before devouring…if you can wait that long šŸ˜‰

My wish is that your family lovesĀ this dish as much as mine did! ALSO, if you’re on AllRecipes.com, feel free to hook up with me over there. Who knew that social media would also extend into our cookbooks?!? But, I love being connected, and it’s a great way to continue to share my passions with whoever is interested, so I’m game! You can find ME at: http://m.allrecipes.com/cook/15611560/

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Maril!yn

You can also follow me on Snapchat @ MarilynHorton78

You can also follow me on Snapchat @ MarilynHorton78

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