Thanks to Perdue Chicken for sponsoring today’s post! As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone. #YummerSummer
Welcome the warm weather with a cool, healthy, and refreshing dish! My mom’s recipe for Sesame Chicken Pasta Salad has been a favorite among family and friends for over 30 years, thanks to the perfect combination of juicy chicken, crisp vegetables, and tender pasta — all tossed together in a light Asian-inspired dressing. It’s a perfect make-ahead weeknight dinner and a crowd-pleasing potluck picnic favorite!
This is such an exciting post for me today! Yes, I love, love, love this recipe; but that’s not all…
Starting today, I will be spending the next few weeks working closely with one of my absolute favorite companies, Perdue Chicken, to bring you a variety of really great recipes, family-friendly activities, and MORE. So much more!! Please stay tuned (and be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post) because I assure you, you don’t want to miss this!
But first, let’s focus on this recipe! Over the past few months, my mom has spent a lot of time cleaning out closets, sorting through old files, and generally organizing the house that my parents have lived in for about 35 years. As you can imagine, it’s not an easy job.
Whenever she comes across items that she thinks I might want, Mom sticks them in a box and brings them to me on her next visit. I have received soccer jerseys, trophies from my athletic past, many photo albums, and the list goes on. What have I enjoyed most, though? The stacks of old recipes that Mom no longer needs! These are retro recipes that are scratched on weathered index cards in handwriting from my mom, her friends, and relatives. They are the meals that I enjoyed as a child and that bring back so many memories! Paging through these files is like a trip down memory lane and it’s definitely inspiration for a food blogger like myself.
I recognized the handwriting on this particular recipe as that of my mom’s best friend: Joyce (also famous for her Rich Chocolate Pudding Pie!). My mom must have asked Joyce for the recipe many years ago because it was so good…and I’m sharing it with you (30 years later)…because it’s STILL SO GOOD. And the star of the show is this Perdue Harvestland® Fresh Chicken Breast.
Harvestland® meat is pure and simple — no hormones or antibiotics ever. The chickens are fed an all-vegetarian diet with no animal by-products and they are raised cage-free. I have been buying this chicken at my local Walmart on a regular basis because I love knowing exactly what I’m feeding my family!
Since this recipe calls for cooked chicken, I usually have Keith throw some boneless, skinless breasts on the grill over the weekend when he has the time. That way I have the tasty grilled chicken ready to go and I can keep it in the refrigerator to use on sandwiches, to feed the baby in bite-size pieces, or to toss into recipes like this! It’s easy, there’s no clean-up involved, and it cuts down on the preparation time later.
Give this guy a cold beverage in a Solo cup and he’s very happy to stand by the grill and cook just about anything…
The chicken is combined with a lot of fresh vegetables and some pasta for a nutritious, one-dish meal! I changed my mom’s original Asian-inspired vinaigrette slightly to incorporate seasoned rice vinegar and sesame oil (ingredients that probably weren’t readily available in grocery stores 30 years ago). Both of those ingredients add so much flavor to an already tasty dish!
I love to make this salad ahead of time when my boys are napping or at morning preschool so that we have dinner ready to go when everyone is tired and hungry at the end of the day. It’s also a great potluck or picnic dish for the summer because it feeds a crowd, it appeals to both adults and kids, and it tastes good at room-temperature.
But the reason that I really love this recipe? It’s one of those rare gems that pleases absolutely every member of our household…from Daddy all of the way down to baby! You know those meals, right? The ones that you serve and then the table is instantly silent because everyone is too busy devouring their food to even try to make conversation? Yep, it’s one of those.
When I served this for dinner not long ago, I grabbed my camera phone to snap a few pictures of my 18-month-old enjoying his meal. Isn’t this reaction just the best recommendation that I could possibly give you?
Take it from Spence…you NEED to make this dish!
And Spencer isn’t the only one that’s having fun with his chicken right now! Perdue wants to help YOU have a Yummer Summer! CLICK HERE for savings, recipes and to enter the Yummer Summer Sweepstakes where you could win a sensational PERDUE® Yummer Summer Backyard Makeover valued at $10,000! Enter between May 15 and August 10.
Perdue is also giving away twelve weekly Yummer Summer Bash Packages this summer! Each package includes amazing prizes that help you make the most of your summer. The winners will be announced each week on Perdue’s Facebook page. Enter today and be sure to follow Perdue on Facebook to find out who has won!
I’m going to be on Perdue’s Facebook page live on Thursday! Please come and join the conversation here.
And in the meantime, be sure to:
- Learn more about Perdue at http://www.perdue.com/
- Join the Perdue Crew to get some pretty sweet rewards. http://www.perduecrew.com/
- Follow Perdue on Facebook for recipe ideas, product information, news and exclusive savings: https://www.facebook.com/PerdueChicken
- Follow Perdue on Pinterest for even more delicious chicken recipes: http://www.pinterest.com/perduechicken/
- For the Salad:
- 3 boneless, skinless Perdue Harvestland® brand chicken breasts, cooked and diced
- 3 ½ cups cooked small macaroni shells (or other small pasta shape of choice)
- 3 cups fresh chopped broccoli florets
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 8 ounces fresh snow peas or sugar snap peas, cut into bite-size pieces
- ¼ cup sliced green onions
- For Serving: 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
- For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar (can substitute with red wine vinegar if desired)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Sriracha)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine cooked chicken and pasta in a large bowl. Add broccoli, bell peppers, snow peas, and green onions. Toss gently.
- Combine dressing ingredients in a jar, cover, and shake until completely combined.
- Pour dressing over salad. Toss, cover, and chill for a few hours.
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds just before serving.
Looking for other delicious ways to enjoy Perdue chicken? Try these favorites: