GRILLED CHICKEN AND ZUCCHINI PASTA SALAD WITH BACON AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

GRILLED CHICKEN AND ZUCCHINI PASTA SALAD WITH BACON AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES


The Grill:

2 large boneless chicken breasts

2 small zucchinis, sliced into ½” rounds (about 3-4 cups)

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper


The Pasta Salad:

1 lb. rotini pasta (or other short shape), cooked to package directions

1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

10-12 bacon slices, cooked crisp and chopped (about 1 cup)

½ cup scallions, chopped (plus more for garnish)

1, 8.5 oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, julienned or chopped

2 ½ cups Hellmann’s Light mayonnaise

3 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

6 oz. feta cheese crumbled


Preheat grill to 400 degrees.


Place the chicken breasts and zucchini on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle all over with the olive oil and season all with the salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.


Place the chicken breast on the grill first, followed by the zucchini coins.  Close the grill and cook for 2 minutes.  Open the grill and flip the zucchini over (there should be nice grill marks on the first side).  Turn the chicken a quarter turn on the same side.  Close the lid again and cook for another 2 minutes until the zucchini is tender, but not falling apart.  Remove the zucchini to a clean plate.


Flip the chicken to the other side and cook for another 4-5 minutes until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 160-165.  Remove, tent with foil, and set aside to rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  ‘Resting’ is KEY to ensure your chicken will be moist.


Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the zucchini and chop the chicken into bite size pieces and add those as well.  Toss everything until well coated.


Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.  Garnish with more scallions and basil leaves.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

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