This is one of my family’s favorite casseroles and I figured out that it can be made either in the oven or the crockpot, making it very versatile. I’m in love with my slow cooker. There are many nights that we wouldn’t be having dinner at all if I couldn’t put it in the crockpot to cook.
I love pasta. I’ve been noticing lately how many recipes I’ve posted that involve pasta. It’s a lot. I hope you don’t mind.
I altered this recipe from one I clipped out of Southern Living many moons ago. It turns out just a little different each time I make it, depending on the veggies I put in and also which kind of cheese I end up using. It’s always good.
This is my favorite pasta salad. I like to make a whole meal of it by adding grilled chicken. (Somehow the chicken never made it into the photos.) It also holds up well in a packed lunch. You’ll be the envy of others eating a fast food meal or lunch meat sandwich as you feast on this.
This is one dish that turns out a bit different every time I make it, because I use what I have available or what sounds good at the moment. As always, feel free to substitute ingredients to your own tastes and pantry items.
For the salad:
bowtie pasta – This was only a 12 oz box. I prefer 16 oz box, just because I end up with more.
grape or cherry tomatoes
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Chop the veggies. Add the chopped broccoli to the pasta water about 2 minutes before the pasta finishes cooking. This is enough time to make the brocoli a bit more tender, but still crisp. Drain the pasta and broccoli and run it under cool water to stop the cooking process. Put it in a big bowl with the other veggies.
For the dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white or red wine vinegar (I used white this time)
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, chives, tarragon etc. or use dried like I did this time
This dressing recipe comes from the New Recipes from Mooswood Restaurant cookbook. Just whisk all the ingredients together, or put them in a container with a tight fitting lid and give it a good shake.
I really like using fresh basil in this, but I didn’t want to pay for it in the grocery.
Stir the dressing into the salad. I added some mozzerella cheese to this that didn’t make it into the ingredients photo. I also like adding shredded parmesan and after cooking with gorgonzola the other day, I think that would taste great in this pasta salad too.
For the grilled chicken, just season it with salt and pepper and grill. Slice or chop it into the salad.
My kids love these and have even been known to ask for them for birthdays. I like that the filling can be made ahead of time and is ready to be stuffed into a pita whenever someone needs to eat. If you need to pack it up, it’s a welcome change from lunch meat sandwiches.
I pulled the recipe from a 1999 Taste of Home magazine.
Here’s what you’ll need:
I didn’t measure any of the ingredients, but I’ll give you the actual recipe.
10 oz package of frozen broccoli florets
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped (I used grape tomatoes, because that’s what I had handy)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs. mustard
salt and pepper
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (I never put this in)
Cook the broccoli until tender. Drain and run cool water over it to stop the cooking process. In a large bowl combine the broccoli, chicken, cheese, and tomato. In a small bowl stir together the mayo, mustard, salt and pepper. I always end up having to make more of the sauce than what the recipe calls for. Stir the sauce into the chicken mixture and stuff into pitas.
We like to eat these with Sun Chips.
I invented this dish many years ago by heavily modifying a Fettuccine Alfredo recipe I have.
Bowtie Pasta with Feta and Lemon Pepper Chicken
- 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts or tenders
- 1 lb. bowtie pasta
- broccoli cauliflower and carrots (I like to use those steam in the bag fresh kind)
- feta cheese 6-8oz crumbled
- lemon pepper
- 3-4 Tbs butter
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups half and half warmed for a minute or two in the microwave
- Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with lemon pepper and grill it.
- While the chicken is grilling start the pasta cooking.
- Steam the vegetables in the microwave, or add to the pasta during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Drain pasta.
- Combine pasta and veggies.
- Add the butter and warmed half & half to the pasta. Stir in the feta.
- Slice finished chicken in thin strips. Serve on top of pasta.
- Serve with additional lemon pepper, if desired.