Chicken, Spinach, & Squash Pasta Salad; bats

The squash have started.

They are always the first of the non-leafy vegetables.

I always plant 4 summer squash.

I only need 2 but if I planted 2 they would either both die or, for whatever reason, not be productive.

I could plant 3 but then I would have to chose which of my 4 favorites to eliminate.

4 plants gives me more than I need and all the colors that I like.

4 plants give me lots of soup for the freezer, a few bags of shredded squash for winter, plus enough that I can make all of my favorite ‘zucchini breads‘ as often as I like. And I’m always careful to pick them when they are small.

I normally plant 1 each: white, yellow, light green, and green striped. I never plant the dark green one which is everywhere here.

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Chicken, Spinach, & Squash Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are a great hot-weather meal in the summer. This is a cross between a hot pasta and a salad…. which means one can make it, then relax a bit before eating.

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad


  • 1 1/4 (4oz, 120gr) cups pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts, (12oz, 360gr total)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced.  
  • 4oz (120gr) fresh spinach, large leaves torn
  • 4 tbs fresh basil, large leaves torn
  • 1/4 cup (1oz, 30gr) shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Marinade:
  • 1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 tbs Greek yogurt


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
  • Chicken:
  • Combine ingredients for 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, then slice.
  • Vegetables:
  • Heat oil in a large skillet.
  • Add onion, garlic, squash and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Dressing:
  • Whisk together vinegar, mustard and oil.
  • Add yogurt and whisk to combine.
  • Add dressing to vegetables in skillet
  • To finish:
  • Put pasta into a large serving bowl, add vegetables from skillet, spinach and basil, stir to combine. 
  • Add chicken and stir gently.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and serve.


Use any color summer squash / zucchini in this.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
  • Calories: 784
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 818.3 mg
  • Fat: 38.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7.9 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 50.2 g
  • Fiber: 3.9 g
  • Protein: 53.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 139.8 mg

Keywords: pasta salad, grilled chicken, summer squash, yellow squash

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It’s been warm here for the last few days. Not quite hot enough that I want to close the shutters in the afternoon but hot enough that I’m thinking about it.

So, trying to be prepared, I peaked behind them the other day.

There was a bat having his daily sleep.

If I just swing the shutters closed it dislodges the bat, who then, unprepared for the sudden awakening, falls. If it hits the ground it can’t take off. Bats have to start flying from a free-fall.

I have, in the past, gone outside and picked them up, tossing them in the air so they can fly.

I’d rather they did it on their own.

For the last few mornings, while that side of the house is still in shade, I have unlatched the shutters from the house, and tapped on them. After 5 minutes or so, following some groggy wandering, the bat has left to spend the rest of the day somewhere else.

So far, having the sleep interrupted has not encouraged it to find a new spot. To give it credit, today it was attached to the house rather than the shutter.

The daylight disturbed it and eventually it left.

I’m trying to be kind…..

4 thoughts on “Chicken, Spinach, & Squash Pasta Salad; bats”

  1. Awwww…poor bat! Be kind. They eat their weight in bugs every night and are very beneficial. We had bats here, lots of them. Brown bats. They’re on the protected list and were wonderful to watch in the evening. The for some reason, when they finished paving the road in front of us and further on, the road commission took the bat’s trees down. I don’t know why, it made no sense, the trees that were removed had nothing whatsoever to do with the paving process and weren’t anywhere near the road. The road commission waited until the bats left on their yearly migration and then it was a mad dash to get rid of the trees. We haven’t seen the bats since. The uptick in bugs however has been very noticeable! The swallow population has grown a bit, but not much. I miss the bats. I even put up a bat house, but if they’re not there, it doesn’t make a difference. 🙁

    • It finally gave up the property and found a different place to spend the days. And I can safely close the shutters. I like them, too, and love to watch them swooping around at sunset. They just need to be in places that we humans don’t disturb during the day.

  2. First of all, your salad sounds excellent.

    Secondly, while I don’t envy you with bats in your shutters and/or on the wall, I WISH there were bats in our back garden again. They used to hang out a lot in the late evening, feasting on the resident mosquitoes. I’m not sure what has happened to them all in the past few years. Next time you are forced to pick up a bat to help it fly, toss it in our direction. Encourage it by telling it about the mosquitoes as big as small birds here. Delectable. If you’re a bat.

    • I’ll be sure to let them know. I wonder if I can convince them to do a spin around the tv room in the evening…. we occasionally have a mosquito in there. I have to say, happily, that we have very few mosquitos here. We can even sit outside after sunset!

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