In my family, major fights have started over pasta salad. It’s one food that everyone has an opinion on, and you can’t really make everyone happy. Whether it’s the type of pasta, the dressing, or other additions, there’s always something not to like. My grandma makes hers with spaghetti noodles and bottled Italian dressing, and it disappears faster than anything else at the party, while my aunt tries to one up her with a more a more complicated homemade version that never goes as fast. It’s a battle zone at my family summer barbecues, I tell you.
As for me, I make what I like, and then don’t take it to the family parties. Instead, I eat it at home, usually enjoy it, and don’t have to get in the middle of Cold Pasta War #45389. It’s just easier that way.
This is one of the latest versions I’ve made, and I have to tell you, while I like my grandma’s version (don’t tell my aunt!) this one seems to have been a hit in my house.
This recipe starts with bow tie pasta, and with the addition of chicken and bacon, it’s more of a meal than a side dish. A few finely chopped veggies, some fresh herbs, and an Italian-ish dressing bring it all together.
The dressing is a combination of Ava Jane’s Kitchen Avocado Oil, champagne vinegar, and garlic, with Nana’s Italian Seasoning that I got in my Ava Jane’s Kitchen spice subscription. I like it because it’s more than just an herb blend — it’s made with Colima Sea Salt, some citrus, and a bit of garlic. It’s perfect in this dressing, and in turn, this pasta salad. The result was a perfect back patio meal that I enjoyed with a glass of white wine, all alone, without another family member in sight.
Chicken and Bacon Pasta Salad
Prep time: 30 minutes
8 ounces bow tie pasta
1/2 cup Ava Jane’s Kitchen Avocado Oil
3 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon AJK’s Nana’s Italian Seasoning
1 cup cooked, diced chicken breast
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 carrot, shredded or finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
Colima Sea Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.
In a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, and seasoning until well combined. Add the pasta and the remaining ingredients. Mix well until everything is well coated with the dressing. Season with pepper, and before serving, sprinkle with the Colima Sea Salt.
Easy to download PDF: Chicken and Bacon Pasta Salad