Karin Calloway

Food columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.

Lunch Box: Honey Mustard Chicken and Pasta Salad

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I love pasta salad when it’s packed with tasty ingredients and has loads of flavor. Unfortunately, most store-bought pasta salads don’t have much of either, but are a combination of cooked pasta and prepared Italian dressing.

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Honey Mustard Chicken and Pasta Salad Cake shown Tuesday July 24, 2012 for Cookin with Karin. CHRIS THELEN/STAFF  CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
Honey Mustard Chicken and Pasta Salad Cake shown Tuesday July 24, 2012 for Cookin with Karin. CHRIS THELEN/STAFF

This week’s Honey Mustard Chicken and Pasta Salad is more to my liking. It’s packed with flavor and texture and it’s perfect to pack up for a quick lunch at the office or for a picnic in the park.

I used the shredded meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken when testing the recipe, but leftover grilled chicken breast meat also would be great in the salad.

Sliced grape tomatoes, crispy shoepeg corn, peas, chopped green onion, some crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar cheese give the salad lots of texture and flavor.

You can use store-bought honey mustard dressing in the dish if you’re short on time, but I prefer homemade, so I’ve included the recipe below.

My Honey Mustard Dressing can be prepared with mayonnaise or vegetable oil, depending on whether you want a creamy dressing or one that’s more of a vinaigrette. I prefer the creamy version for this salad.

The combination of textures and flavors make this the type of pasta salad I crave.

Pack some up in plastic containers for lunch at the office, or take this to your next potluck or picnic.

HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN AND PASTA SALAD

1½ cups spiral, bowtie or other shape of dried pasta

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken meat or grilled chicken breast meat

1 ½ cups grape tomatoes,
cut in half

1 11-ounce can shoepeg corn, drained

1 cup frozen petite peas, defrosted

3 green onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup crumbled cooked bacon or real bacon bits

¾ cup reduced-fat honey mustard salad dressing (or the homemade dressing below)

1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.

Combine the chicken, tomatoes, corn, peas, green onion, bacon and honey mustard dressing in a large bowl.

Stir in the cooked pasta. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir in the cheese just before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

HONEY MUSTARD DRESSING

½ cup Dijon mustard

½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise OR ½ cup vegetable, canola or light olive oil (Use mayonnaise if you want a creamier dressing, and use oil if you’d like more of a vinaigrette dressing.)

¼ cup white balsamic or cider vinegar

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes about 1 ½ cups of dressing.

WHAT’S COOKING?

We’re looking for your best kitchen creation, whether it’s a simple chili or an elaborate continental concoction.

Our food writer, Karin Calloway, will re-create your dish, and we’ll feature it on the Wednesday food page of The Augusta Chronicle.

Send your recipe and contact information to karin.calloway@gmail.com, or write to Recipe Favorites, Newsroom, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928.


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