The boys made pasta salads for lunch today (with a bit of help from me). We had some chicken thighs in the fridge that needed using up, as well as some homemade pesto, and some tuna, so we decided to make two pasta salads, a plain tuna one, and a chicken pesto one. The tuna pasta salad is the same as the recipe below, except you leave out the pesto, add tuna instead of chicken, add sliced black olives and chopped boiled egg and dress it with some homemade mayonnaise, or balsamic vinegar.
To make your own pesto, there’s a great dairy free macadamia pesto recipe in my Quirky Cooking Cookbook!
For a great, grain free variation, see the notes on the recipe below.
Pasta salad is something I don’t really use specific amounts for, so excuse my vague measurements – and the ingredients always vary with whatever I have in the fridge, so use your imagination.
- 250g (or more) pasta (e.g. gluten free Orgran pasta)
- one head of broccoli, cut into florets.
- a couple of handfuls of cubed chicken thighs/breasts
- 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
- a few heaped Tbspns of homemade pesto (with or without parmesan, can just add herb salt if not adding parmesan)
- a drizzle of olive oil
- grated carrot
- thinly sliced celery
- torn lettuce leaves
- baby spinach leaves
- semi-dried tomato strips
- halved cherry tomatos
- cucumber pieces
- sliced black olives
- thinly sliced Spanish onion
- sliced shallots
- Cook up a batch of pasta - I usually use shells or spirals. If you're adding broccoli to your salad, cook it with the pasta, adding it during the last few minutes of cooking time. (Or see below for a grain free version!)
- In Thermomix bowl, cook cubed chicken with olive oil at 8 mins/100C/reverse/speed soft. (You may need to stop halfway through and push chicken off blades with spatula.)
- Prepare vegetables, and mix them into the pasta and broccoli, along with the cooked chicken and pesto.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
- Grain free 'pasta' salad: Instead of pasta, use your vegetable spiraliser to make zucchini 'noodles', and use those raw, instead of pasta. Just stir through the cooked chicken and broccoli, and whatever other additions you're using. Very easy and delicious!!
- This would also be really nice with sun-dried tomato and red capsicum pesto! You can find the recipe in the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook.