Happy spring! We Minnesotans are thankful for the sun's return.
During the spring and summer I really shift the way I cook - as in, I don't want to cook much at all!
I try to get outside as much as possible and limit my time in the kitchen.
Pasta salads are a great meal to whip together and can be perfect to make ahead as lunches.
There is so much variety you can add to this recipe - mix up the veggies you use and the dressing you pair them with. *I've listed a mayo-based dressing below as an option, so give that a try!
The staples to make this meal protein-packed are twofold: protein noodles and meat (usually chicken).
For the noodles I love to use the gluten-free Aldi brand made with quinoa.
Some other brands I love are (click to buy):
Don't forget to save this recipe!
Protein-Packed Pasta Salad
Per serving: Protein = 19g, Carbs = 42g, Fat = 8g
16 oz protein noodles (a curly variety like rotini)
1 pound chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 cup fresh mixed vegetables (example: broccoli, diced red pepper, shredded carrot, green onion, diced cucumber, diced celery, etc.)
1/2 cup Italian vinaigrette
1) Cook pasta according to package directions, being sure not to overcook the noodles.
2) Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
3) In a large bowl mix together the noodles, chicken, your choice of vegetables, and dressing.
4) Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, or make ahead for later.
*Optional dressing recipe:
1/2 cup mayo (I use this brand)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste