Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Thai Chicken Inspired Pasta Salad

About three years ago I discovered Panera Bread and it was love at first bite.  (I know a bit corny.)  It is a go to place for our family to grab a quick lunch or dinner.  One of my favorite menu items is the Spicy Thai Chicken Salad.  I love the combination of sweet and spicy elements in the salad.  So imagine my delight when I found the salad dressing for sale at our grocery store.  

Today's recipe is inspired by the flavors of that salad, but with a pasta salad spin.  I like this salad for summertime because there is no mayonnaise. It's quick to prepare and has a spicy kick, which is also nice along side of your favorite grilled items.

ingredients  (serves 2)

1 grilled chicken breast, sliced thin
1 cup pasta, cooked and drained
1 ear of grilled corn, cut off the cob
1 cup steamed edamame, removed from pods
1/4 c. sunflower kernels or chopped peanuts
1/4 c. to 1/3 c. Panera Spicy Thai salad dressing

In a large bowl mix all the above ingredients until coated with dressing.  Allow to refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.  Serve as a side dish or an easy lunch.

Remember to tell your guests that it has a bit a heat to it.  The last you want to do is to unexpectedly set someone's mouth on fire.  Also if you prefer the salad a bit spicier, add more dressing. 

The recipe given only serves two, as I use it for lunch.  This can easily serve a crowd by cooking a whole box of pasta, adding more veggies, and of course more grilled chicken.

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