Chicken Penne Pasta Salad

Chicken Penne Pasta Salad

This summer, I’ve shared a few pasta salads with you. Chicken Penne Pasta Salad is another favorite of mine.  It has lots of grilled chicken in it, so it is hearty and filling  when using for a meal! I know you’ll love it as much as I do.


Chicken Penne Pasta Salad


1 ( approx 3 lb.) pkg. boneless, skinless chicken breast filets

1 – 16 oz. pkg. penne  pasta

1/2 cup thinly sliced celery

1/2 cup sliced green onion.

4 cups red seedless grapes, sliced or left whole

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

1/2 cup Italian Salad dressing ( for chicken breasts)

1/4 vegetable oil

1 – 1/4 tsp  crushed thyme

1/2 cup (or more) chopped yellow or orange pepper (optional) I prefer this to the walnuts! I add this for more color!

Dressing for Salad:

2  1/2 cups Mayonnaise

3 Tbsp. milk

3 tbsp. honey

1   1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 tsp. crushed thyme



If grilling chicken, use the following directions. (Another option is to use store-bought rotisserie chickens – not as good as the pieces are not thick and uniform,  but quick and easy!)

For grilling the chicken: Pierce chicken on both sides with a fork and brush with Italian salad dressing. Spray grill with a non-stick cooking spray. Grill chicken for 5 minutes on one side. Turn, brush with salad dressing and grill until juices run clear. Cool and cut into thin strips.

Cook pasta and rinse with cold water and drain.

In large bowl, combine oil and 1  1/4 tsp thyme. Toss into grilled chicken mixture. In another small bowl, combine mayo, milk, honey, 3 tsp. thyme, mustard and salt. Refrigerate salad and dressing separately overnight. Several hours before serving, fold dressing into salad. Refrigerate covered. Before serving, fold grapes and walnuts (optional) into salad   Before serving, garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

Makes 20 (1 cup) luncheon servings.

Chicken Penne Pasta Salad



I hope you enjoy this Chicken Penne Pasta Salad! I know it will become one of your favorites, too!


Phyllis (Oma)

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Tri-Color Pasta Salad


Tri-Color Pasta Salad

There are certain pasta salads that are requested during the summer by my husband. This is one of them. I simply took the colors of the pasta, added the vegetables that matched and came up with this recipe! You can make a little or a whole recipe just by varying the amounts.  When two people are home, I make 1/2 a box of Rainbow Rotini. It keeps well for a couple of days for lunches or a side dish for dinner.

Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Colorful goodness in a pasta salad!

  1 box Rainbow Rotini ( or any three colored pasta)

All of these amounts are approximate and variable according to your liking. I never measure, but just add what I think is a good amount.

1 cup  Cauliflower ( broken into small flowerets) or more

1 cup chopped Broccoli (or more)

1/2 – 3/4  cup slivered Carrots

1/2 cup onion (red or your choice)

 Approx 1 cup of Mayo

3/4 cup Italian Salad Dressing (I’ve used  fat-free, regular and zesty)

Salt & Pepper

Optional Ingredients: Black or Green Olives, chicken, ham, salami



Cook pasta according to package directions for “firm” pasta, rinse and drain

Add vegetables: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions

In a separate bowl, add mayo and mix with Italian Salad Dressing

Add to pasta and vegetables.

Mix well and refrigerate overnight.

Salt & Pepper to taste

Before serving, add more mayo and Italian Salad dressing, if necessary, to moisten it.

Serve as a side salad.

Tri-Color Pasta Salad

Great summer pasta salad!

 Don’t you love the colors?


Phyllis (Oma)

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Crab Pasta Salad

Are you a fan of crab? I love it! If not, you certainly can substitute chicken in this recipe, however, I think it is best with crab!

This Crab Pasta Salad is best the next day so make it the night before you serve it. Great Italian flavor and just a little zest of lemon add to this colorful, tasty salad.  I use imitation crab so it is less costly when serving to a large group.

Crab Pasta Salad

Wonderful flavor! You’ll make this again and again!


Crab Pasta Salad


12 oz. vermicelli broken into 1 inch pieces, cooked, drained and cooled.

1 medium red onion, chopped (approx. 1/2 cup)

1 medium green pepper, chopped (or use red pepper for a sweeter taste)

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

3/4 cup Italian Salad Dressing ( lite or regular) I’ve also used a zesty Italian dressing!

1 cup Miracle Whip (lite or regular) If using mayo, just as some extra Italian spices and a little sugar to the Mayo.

1 pound crab or imitation crab, chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

optional items: (black olives, celery, peas)



Cook vermicelli, chop onion,  green pepper. Mix Italian seasoning, celery seed and parsley into Italian Dressing. Add Miracle Whip or seasoned mayo. Add lemon juice and crab. Refrigerate overnight.

Serves approx. 8-10

Remember, this pasta salad is great with chicken instead of crab.

Crab Pasta Salad


Great summer meal!


Phyllis (Oma)

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Tequillaberry Salad

Tequillaberry Salad

Tequillaberry Salad?

Such a strange name for a salad! Well, the name comes from the Tequillaberry Restaurant in Coon Rapids, MN, which served this salad. It is no longer in business, but the salad lives on. The name is very different and has nothing to do with the ingredients or taste! A better name would be Cauliflower, Bacon and Parmesan Salad, I guess, but people know it as Tequillaberry Salad. Yes, a unique name, but a delicious salad!!

I’m not sure that this is the authentic original recipe, but it is quite similar! I have found a few variations around, and I sometimes add a couple of additional items as well just for more color.

I recently served this Tequillaberry Salad at a family gathering and not a bit was left! Everyone loved it!


1 head of iceberg lettuce torn into pieces ( I mix iceberg with romaine and sometimes endive for added color or just using iceberg is fine, too.)

3 cups (approx.) of cauliflower (chopped) I made a large recipe and used a full head of cauliflower

1 lb. bacon, fried and crumbled (or more)

1 or 2 bunches of green onions or 1/2  med. red onion, chopped

3/4  cup shredded Parmesan Cheese (or more)

Green Peas (Optional)

Dressing:  Mix 2 cups of Mayo, 1/2 c white sugar and 4 tbsp of milk    Mix this early and place in your refrigerator  so the sugar melts. If you have extra dressing, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week.

Tequillaberry Salad

Ingredients for salad


Add all ingredients in a large bowl.

Add dressing just before serving and mix well.   Top with more shredded Parmesan Cheese

Optional: Sprinkle with shredded cheddar, add thawed frozen peas

Serves 12


Tequillaberry Salad

This is one of my favorite salads!


Phyllis (Oma)

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Fruit Fling (Salad or Dessert)

I’m not sure whether to call this Fruit Fling recipe a salad or dessert. The original recipe calls it a salad, but it tastes like a dessert. Either way you serve this, you’ll love it.

The name is a bit of a tongue twister. Say it 5 times quickly and you’ll know what I mean. This is one of my mom’s recipes so don’t know where it originated or how it got its quirky name!

The Fruit Fling goes together so quickly and makes a large bowl full! This is more than a family can eat. If you are taking this to a potluck or have a large gathering, make the whole recipe, otherwise, cut this in half and you’ll have more than plenty for your family. For extra color, add more strawberries or blueberries on the top before serving.

Fruit Fling (salad or dessert)

Fruit Fling

1 – 16 ounce vanilla yogurt

12 oz. frozen whipped topping – thawed

2 pkg. ( 3.4 0z.) vanilla instant pudding

1 can 20 oz. crushed pineapple – DRAINED

Strawberries, blueberries, either or both!


Mix yogurt, crushed pineapple, whipped topping and pudding by hand.

Add fresh strawberries, blueberries or both!

Place in refrigerator until served

For a full recipe, I used 1 quart of strawberries, quartered, and 1  1/2 pints of blueberries.  (vary amounts to your liking)

Before serving add additional fresh fruit on top!

Fruit Fling (salad or dessert)

 Would you serve this as a salad or dessert?


Phyllis (Oma)

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Asian Rice Salad


Hi!  I am thrilled to be the guest host at Cheerios& ! Being somewhat of a  “freshman” to blogging, I consider this not only a new challenge, but a great opportunity. I am grateful to Mackenzie for being so gracious in offering her expertise while guiding me through this venture. Thanks for stopping by and visit Mackenzie’s blog for great ideas, too!

Asian Rice Salad

At our house, during the summer,we love cold salads. They also make a hit at family or neighborhood outdoor gatherings. Take this Asian Rice Salad to a picnic or potluck gathering and you won’t go home with leftovers! Every bit of this salad goes. This salad makes a great alternative to a pasta salad. Use this Asian Rice Salad as a side salad dish or add chicken or shrimp for a summer entrée.
Besides the wonderful blend of flavors, the colors make it so appealing, too!  My husband likes colorful food and always comments when something doesn’t have enough color.
Well, no problem with lack of color in this Asian Rice Salad!


  • 1 and 1/2 cup fresh snow peas – blanched (I cut these in half at a slant)
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled brown rice ( I used a tablespoon of the Asian Sesame Accents in with the rice while cooking)
  • 2/3 cup red onion, minced
  • 1 – 10 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and chopped (more if you prefer)
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. (or more) sesame seeds, toasted or use McCormick’s Asian Sesame Salad Topper Accents


1. Chop all ingredients. Blend cooled rice in with chopped ingredients. Moisten the Asian Rice Salad with dressing (I used about half of the bottle) and let the tastes meld for several hours. When ready to serve, remix, add additional dressing if necessary and serve cold!

2. If serving the Asian Rice Salad as a main entree, add shrimp or chicken. Now you have a great summer evening meal!

3. While this salad is not gluten free because of the wheat in the Asian dressing, I am suggesting a homemade Asian dressing to make it gluten free! This will have a sweeter flavor due to the honey. If you have another Asian salad dressing recipe, use it!

Asian Rice Salad

Home made Asian Dressing Ingredients: 

    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger root
    • 3/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce (gluten-free)
    • 3 Tbsp. honey
    • 1/4 cup water


1. Put ingredients in a jar with lid and shake to combine ingredients. Remove the lid and microwave for 1 minute to dissolve the honey. Cool and store in refrigerator. Shake well prior to using.




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Hope you’re having a great summer!

 Phyllis (Oma)

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