Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad; a new plan

This is a warm salad rather than a hot pasta main course.

It’s summer. We like food that can be finished, and then left to sit a bit while we enjoy the sunset and a glass of chilled rosado.

We never been particularly precise about mealtimes. We tend to be even more relaxed, both with the cooking and the eating, in summer.

The pandemic has given us an opportunity to re-think a lot of things…. like taking the time to sit on the deck, watch the bunnies nibbling the farmers corn, marveling at the glorious sunset and savoring the wine.

We can stop and smell the roses another day.

This is a summer pasta.

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Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

This is an easy summer meal for 2. A warm pasta salad with grilled chicken breasts and sautéed vegetables – relaxed and easy.

  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta Salad
  • Method: Grilling

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/4 cups (4oz, 120gr) pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, quartered, then sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow squash, (8″, 20cm) cut in half lengthiwise, then sliced
  • 3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tbs fresh basil, large leaves cut or torn
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Marinade
  • 1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 3 tbs good olive oil

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. When done, drain.
  • Chicken:
  • Make marinade and spoon over chicken. 
  • Let marinate for 10 minutes. 
  • Cook on barbecue grill for 8 – 10 minutes per side, turning once, or until done.  
  • Remove and let rest 5 minutes. Slice.
  • Vinaigrette:
  • Whisk together vinegar and mustard.
  • Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly. Set aside.
  • Vegetables:
  • Heat oil in a large skillet. 
  • Add onion and sauté until tender. 
  • Add garlic, squash and sauté until squash starts to brown. 
  • Add tomatoes and pasta, stir to combine and warm slightly.
  • Put pasta into a large serving bowl, add basil, vinaigrette and stir gently.  
  • Add Mozzarella, stir gently. 
  • Top with sliced chicken and serve.

Notes

Zucchini or any summer squash will work in this, just remember to pick them small. They grow into monsters quickly

Keywords: grilled chicken, pasta salad, summer squash

Warm Chicken and Squash Pasta

There are other things I learned during the pandemic lock-down:

I now know that long-life / shelf-stable milk is just fine, as is the orange juice.

I can be happy augmenting my daily fresh fruit fetish with frozen fruit.

I can order food online.

Well, that last thing I didn’t actually learn…. I’ve just never done it before. I’m not counting the smoked paprika I get on Amazon or the Lindt chocolates I order from Lindt at Christmas or the Spanish rosado I order from my favorite vineyard….. I’m talking every day stuff.

When we lived in the US I did the weekly shopping every Friday evening, after work.

When we lived in Andorra I did the shopping every Thursday – we played golf on Friday.

After we moved to France I switched back to Friday – I have no idea why.

During lock-down I started shopping less often. I rather like it. For the first time in my adult life I don’t have a regular shopping day. I’m doing what a lot of people have always done: shop when I need to.

My sister ‘ran to the store’ every few days. My neighbor here in France went at least twice a week, often more because she forgot something or changed her mind. I’m working on going every 10 – 14 days. I have a new system to make that possible. I order all the big stuff online and pick it up at the drive through. That takes care of the milk, juice, wine, beer, paper towels, etc…. everything that’s bulky or heavy. Then i continue on to the store to buy the fresh fruit, meat, and all the other small stuff.

I think I’m going to like this new plan.

4 thoughts on “Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad; a new plan”

  1. Living alone means not really needing a plan but thats also helped by having food shops one minute away

  2. We too have been spending more time on the deck, watching the bunapocalypse happen in the yard, listening to the birds and just generally enjoying life a bit more. Hubs is back to work and has been for a few weeks, but still, it changed us. I too used to shop once a week but now go when I need to and that’s generally when I’m out of milk so ten to fourteen days for me as well. Thankfully, our big box store has a great selection of wine and I can pick it up on my grocery pickup day so it’s all good. 🙂

    I like this recipe! Easy, quick and we’re like you in that we’re eating more when we’re hungry now and also like to let things ‘set’ until we’re ready for dinner. Makes for a more easy going lifestyle.

    • We were sitting on an open porch last night with friends, having a glass of wine, enjoying the view and commenting on how we have slowed down and are enjoying the simple things more…. Then realizing how awful this same period must be for families in apartments with children. Makes us even more appreciative/

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