Labor Day weekend is full of fun with family and friends. This year we are spending our extended weekend with our family and headed off to the zoo. The summer weather won’t be around for long here in Wisconsin so we need to spend as much of our time outside while we still can.
Because there are a lot of us going, we agreed that we should each pack lunch for our families so that we can have a picnic together. This sounded like a great idea until I had to sit down and think about what we could bring in order to get our entire family fed and not bring a ton of items. I already tend to over pack so I didn’t want to bring a ton of food because we all know most of it just goes to waste.
We decided to go ahead and make a pasta salad. It could be made ahead of time and kept cold in the cooler while we spent our morning at the zoo. Best of all, all I have to bring is the container of pasta salad and some plastic plates and forks. That’s it! Also, we did not want the traditional Italian pasta salad. We wanted something filling and that had some type of protein.
Therefore, we made an awesome chicken pasta salad. The incredible thing about this pasta dish is that it could be served hot or cold. For our outing, we will be having it cold. Either way you choose to have it, you will not regret it.
Let’s get to it!
1 lb Thin Spaghetti
1 lb Skinless Chicken Breasts, Boneless
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Oregano
½ tsp Garlic Powder
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
2 Tbsp Red Onion, Finely Chopped
8 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
2 Tbsp Parsely
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Boil water and cook according to the instructions found on the package and rinse with cold water when done. While the pasta cooks, season the chicken with the basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium-high and place chicken in the skillet. Cook through and brown the chicken and set aside when done.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, sauté the red onions and garlic until fragrant. Turn off the heat and add in the tomatoes. Mix well so that all the flavors combine.
- Toss the pasta into the tomato mixture. Add in the chicken, balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, and parsley. Finally, season with salt and pepper. You can either immediately serve or refrigerate for at least an hour to serve cold.