Lemony Chicken Pasta Salad is a light cold pasta for a hot summer day and, man-oh-man, has it ever been hot in my neck of the woods! Just days before the official start of fall, every day for weeks and weeks has been in the high 90’s, with many days exceeding 100 degrees. Our highest temperature has been 110!
We have air conditioning powered by numerous solar panels, so I can easily retreat to my house. But many people who live on the coast in San Diego County don’t. One day it was 106 degrees on the coast and all I could think about were “those poor people” who couldn’t even take a walk on the beach for relief!
I’ve been making one dish and reheating it in the microwave and serving it for 3 or more days so that I only use the oven once every three or four days! This plan has worked well to keep my kitchen area cooler, but it has led to same-o, same-o food fatigue after a few days. So, Lemony Chicken Pasta Salad to the rescue and guess what? Charlie loved this cold, refreshing pasta dish for dinner on a hot summer night!
Creamy and delicious, with a delicate lemony flavor, Lemony Chicken Pasta Salad is a lighter, healthier version of classic pasta salad. Bursting with lemony goodness, this salad is made with a surprise ingredient – non-fat Greek yogurt – that helps to keep the calories in check.
Using whole wheat pasta and rotisserie chicken mixed with a lemony Greek yogurt-based sauce, Lemony Chicken Pasta Salad can be served either cold or hot. Be sure to sprinkle with torn fresh basil leaves just before serving for a bit of freshness, color and an added flavor boost.
Super simple to make with leftover rotisserie chicken, just boil the pasta (I know, I know – you don’t want to cook, at all, on a hot summer day, but it’s only a brief 10-minutes to heat up your kitchen!), shred the chicken, whip up the sauce, mix together and it’s done! The perfect make-ahead dish for either a busy day or a day for relaxing with family and friends.
If serving cold, allow 2 hours for refrigeration before serving. If serving warm, once mixed together, serve immediately. Either way, Lemony Chicken Pasta Salad is a tasty pasta dish with a refreshing twist perfect for a hot summer day, picnic, potluck or barbecue.
Here’s the recipe:
- 8 ounces whole wheat Rotini pasta
- ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or the juice of one small lemon
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (the zest of one whole lemon)
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 2 cups chopped or shredded cooked rotisserie chicken
- 6 large or 12 small basil leaves (if large leaves, torn into pieces)
- Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package instructions (about 8 to 10 minutes), drain and add to a large non-reactive (glass) mixing bowl.
- In separate, smaller mixing bowl, combine Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest and capers.
- Pour sauce over pasta and add cooked chopped/shredded chicken.
- Add basil and gently toss to combine.
- Serve immediately if serving warm or refrigerate 2 hours, if serving cold
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