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Farmers' market chicken pasta salad

Farmers' Market Chicken Pasta Salad is an easy, delicious summer dinner. It's loaded with all kinds of fresh veggies (and a fruit) easily found at your local farmers market.

A dressed plate of farmers market chicken pasta salad in front of the salad dressing shaker

Welcome to Farmers Market Week! I participated last year, and was excited to participate again this year. This week, many bloggers will share recipes using ingredients found at their local farmers markets.

As you may know, I moved over the summer, so I'm no longer living near one of the best farmers markets in Philadelphia, Headhouse Farmers Market. But, I now live within walking distance of my new borough's farmers market, so I'm happy!

An overhead shot of a serving bowl of farmers market chicken pasta salad

Today, I'm sharing a main course salad that combines shredded chicken, tortellini, peaches, basil, and lots of veggies. I also made a Parmesan vinaigrette to go with it.

Depending on how large your farmers market is, you could potentially get nearly all of the ingredients there. I have visited several that sell handmade pastas, small-batch vinegars, and flavored olive oils.

Parmesan vinaigrette being poured onto a plate of farmers market cihcken salad

I served this salad to my husband for dinner after making it for the blog, and he said, sounding rather surprised, how good it was. He was hesitant about the peaches in the savory salad, but was pleased with how good it tasted.

This is a great meal to make when it's just too hot out to turn on your oven. If you don't have leftover cooked chicken meat lying around, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken. But what I like to do is buy family packs of chicken when they are on sale. I'll cook the whole package, use part of it right away, then freeze the rest in small portions for use in other recipes.

I used cheese tortellini in this recipe but you could also use penne, rigatoni, ziti or other short pasta shapes. I used tortellini because I can get my son to eat a deconstructed version of this salad: tortellini with a side of red bell pepper, mozzarella balls and peach slices. Hey, whatever gets them to eat veggies, right?

There are many ways to customize this salad. The original Southern Living recipe included corn, but I hate stripping kernels from the cob, so I omitted it, but include it if you like. Sugar snap peas or blanched asparagus spears would also be delicious additions.

Farmers' Market Chicken Pasta Salad

Farmers' Market Chicken Pasta Salad

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

Farmers' Market Chicken Pasta Salad is an easy, delicious summer dinner. It's loaded with all kinds of fresh veggies (and a fruit) easily found at your local farmers market.

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 10 oz cheese tortellini
  • 8 oz cooked chicken thighs, shredded
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin 1-inch-long strips
  • 1 ripe fresh peach, diced
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 4 oz mini mozzarella balls, halved

For the vinaigrette

  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the tortellini according to package directions to al dente. Drain, set aside to cool. Refrigerate if not continuing with the recipe immediately.
  2. Place the shredded chicken, tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, peaches, mozzarella and basil in a large bowl.
  3. Add the cooled tortellini, toss to combine and distribute the ingredients.
  4. Place the parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small food processor. Process for several seconds to emulsify the oil and vinegar, and chop the garlic.
  5. Add the basil and pulse a few times to incorporate.
  6. Serve the salad with the vinaigrette.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 543mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 22g

I am not a certified nutritionist. This nutrition information is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only.

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Adapted from Southern Living

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Christie

Saturday 24th of August 2019

Such a hearty and delicious looking pasta salad. All those colors = so much flavor.

The Freshman Cook

Saturday 10th of August 2019

This is a gorgeous salad! I am looking forward to making this!

Amy (Savory Moments)

Tuesday 6th of August 2019

This looks so bright and delicious and I love the idea of adding peaches in here! So yummy!

Terri Steffes

Monday 5th of August 2019

That looks so fresh and colorful. I would love each and every bite of this!!

Wendy Klik

Monday 5th of August 2019

What a perfect summer meal. A nice glass of Chardonnay and I am completely happy.

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