Greek Pasta Salad with Chicken

INGREDIENTS

MARINADE

  • 1 lemon 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced and divided 
  • 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

SALAD

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 oz. pasta, any shape
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, diced
  • 4 oz. grape tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced 
  • 1/4 bunch parsley, diced
  • 2 oz. feta, crumbled

DIRECTIONS

  • Zest the lemon and set aside. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a separate bowl. You’ll need at least 1/4 cup juice. You can use juice from the jar.
  • Prepare the dressing and marinade by mincing one of the two cloves of garlic and combining them with 1/4 cup lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, some freshly cracked pepper, and a pinch of the lemon zest. Whisk these ingredients until well combined.
  • Place the chicken  in a small zip lock bag and add half of the dressing, saving the rest to add to the salad later.  Squeeze the air out and massage the bag to make sure the chicken is well coated in the marinade. Refrigerate the chicken for 30 minutes.
  • While the chicken is marinating, cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain in a colander, and let cool.
  • Heat a skillet over a medium flame. Once hot, add the marinated chicken and cook on each side until browned and cooked through (about 5 minutes each side). There should be enough oil in the marinade to keep the meat from sticking.
  • Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and let it rest for about five minutes. Once slightly cooled, chop the chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Dice the cucumber and bell pepper. Slice the tomatoes in half. Pull the parsley leaves from the stems and give them a rough chop.
  • Finally, build the salad. Add the cooked and cooled pasta to a large bowl. Top the pasta with the cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, parsley, and chopped chicken. Crumble the feta over top and add a pinch or two of the lemon zest.
  • Pour the remaining dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • Serves 2

Author Notes

  • This recipe was created for Tallahassee Senior Living Magazine. When making this for myself, I would double the ingredients and also grill the chicken breast.
  • You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer that cut of meat.

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