Pasta is a “sometimes” food for me. As much as I love it, it’s very easy for me to overeat, so I don’t have it around all the time. When I do, I try to make it as smart of a choice as I can, which means surrounding it with protein and veggies. This could easily be called Veggie Salad with Smoked Chicken and Pasta but that just doesn’t sound as fun, right?
I recently found this protein packed pasta – it contains extra protein, fiber, and even omega 3 fatty acids as compared to regular pasta. 10g of protein in a 2 ounce portion, and it even tastes great. This almost makes pasta into a smart carb!
A few quick notes on some of the other ingredients:
- I smoked the chicken breasts on my Traeger grill, which I love and adore. If you don’t have access to a smoker, you can probably find smoked chicken at your grocery store, substitute smoked turkey, or just cook up some chicken breasts however you like and use that.
- These Mama Lil’s peppers are local to Seattle – I found them at PCC market. I imagine you can find these, or something like these, wherever you live. Or, if you can’t find them, or don’t like spicy food (I beg to differ with their definition of “mildly spicy”, these have a legitimate kick), use regular roasted red peppers.
Pasta Salad With Veggies and Chicken
- 1 box Barilla Plus rotini pasta (or 1lb of your favorite pasta)
- 2 smoked chicken breasts, shredded
- 1 bunch kale, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2-3 tablespoons Mama Lil’s pickled peppers
- 1 cup julienned or shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Boil pasta in well salted water until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Add to a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. This tastes even better the following day, once the kale has wilted slightly and flavors have married. Plus, it makes a TON of salad, so it’s perfect for your weekly meal prep!
Pasta tends to absorb whatever liquid surrounds it, so you may find this gets a bit dry the next day. I like to sprinkle a bit of extra rice wine vinegar into each container when I pack it up.