If you are looking for a quick, easy & versatile dish to serve your family , I have a great Pasta Salad Recipe to share with you!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
LET’S MAKE MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD
To make this pasta salad, I used a kit that includes the pasta and the mix for the dressing . Culinary mixes can make a cook’s life so much easier! Using a mix to make a recipe is as simple as adding a few ingredients to the mix, stirring, cooking or chilling and serving!
This Pasta Salad is made with a mayonnaise based dressing, black olives and cooked, cubed chicken.
To save time, I used already cooked and cubed chicken that I purchased in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. I simply set the frozen chicken out and let it thaw at room temperature before I boiled the water for the pasta.
My grocery store didn’t have canned sliced black olives so I did need to chop the whole black olives into slices. It is times like this, that I really miss owning my own pizzeria where I had access to all the sliced olives, frozen cooked chicken and other ingredients that I might need for my culinary creations!
Boil the water in a large pot. After the water has started to boil, add the pasta and let the pasta cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Cooking time with depend on the type of pasta used. The Penne pasta took about 11 minutes to cook. The pasta is done when it has reached the al-dente stage, meaning it is still firm when you chew it. Avoid over cooking the pasta, as it can become mushy.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing by combining the mayonnaise and the seasoning packet in a mixing bowl.
Once the mayonnaise and seasoning mix are blended together to make the dressing, add the chicken and the sliced black olives to the dressing. Blend well.
Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain the pasta using a large colander.
Once the pasta is drained, add it to the chicken/black olive/dressing mixture and mix until well blended.
Cover the salad and chill for at least one hour before serving.
READY TO SERVE
Once the salad has chilled for at least an hour, it is ready to be served. I added a few sprigs of rosemary to the plate of salad pictured above. The sprigs of rosemary increase the Mediterranean flair of the recipe. The sprigs add eye appeal . They aren’t meant to be eaten along with the salad!
To add variety to your Mediterrean Pasta Salad you can make the following substitutions:
Instead of Penne Pasta, use bow tie or shell shaped pasta. Really any shape pasta will work. You may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the type/shape of the pasta. The cooked cubed chicken can be replaced with tuna or even cooked turkey. Parmesan Cheese can be sprinkled on top of the pasta salad before serving.
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Penne Pasta
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 4 oz can of Sliced Black Olives
- 2 cups cooked Chicken cut in cubes
- 1 packet Mediterrean Pasta Mix from Mad Dash Mixes
- Boil Water for the penne pasta
- add penne pasta to the boiling water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes; pasta is done when it is al dente or still firm when you bite into it. Pasta can become mushy if over-cooked!
- While the pasta is cooking, mix Mayonnaisse and the contents of the seasoning packet in a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Add cubed chicken & sliced olives to the Mayonnaisse/seasoning mix and mix well. If sliced olives are not available, pitted whole olives can be sliced and added to the salad.
- When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the chicken/olive/mayonnaisse blend. Stir until well mixed.
- Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving
- To add variety to your Mediterranean Pasta Salad you can make the following substitutions:
- Instead of Penne Pasta, use bow tie or shell shaped pasta.
- Tuna can be used instead of Chicken.
- Parmesan Cheese can be sprinkled on top of the pasta salad before serving.