Sherri’s Chicken Pasta Salad


 It is time to reap the great benefits of leftover Roast Chicken.  My husband’s favorite way to polish off leftover chicken is this salad.  Now there are lots and lots of salad recipes using chicken and pasta.  This one came from my cousin, Sherry, when I was a poor college student and would occasionally drop by her house to get away from the dorms, talk with her and her husband and play with their four great kids.  My timing was pretty perfect… dinner time!  This was what she was making on one of those days.  I always think of her when I make this.

Sherri’s Chicken Pasta Salad

12 oz large shell pasta
1/2 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
1 12 oz jar mild banana pepper rings, drained, brine reserved
1/2 – 1 tsp black pepper
2-3 cups diced cooked chicken
Salt to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions (check pasta a few minutes before directed time to avoid overcooking); drain and rinse with cold water.  While pasta drains, chop pepper rings in half or in quarters; add to pasta along with salad dressing (see note below), black pepper, half of the banana pepper brine, and chicken.  Stir gently to combine. Serve on lettuce leaves.  Add salt if needed.  Save the leftover pepper brine in the refrigerator so you can add a bit more along with more salad dressing to the leftovers (if there are any) the next day as the pasta will absorb the dressing as it sits.

Note:  People seem to be either on #TeamMayo or #TeamSaladDressing.  I am a loyal patron of Mrs. Clark’s Salad Dressing.  My mom has used this for as long as I can remember and nobody … NOBODY … messes with my mom’s potato salad! It has half the calories and half the fat of mayonnaise and even though you are suppose to notice a big difference in taste, I don’t.  Maybe that’s because I only use salad dressing.

Anyway … as I said there are many salads, as well as casseroles and soups, for repurposing that leftover chicken.  The various ways I use it will pop up frequently in this blog. Hopefully you will find some new favorites along the way.

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Anita Hinkeldey McVey

From the farm in Alta ... to college in Ames ... to the suburbs of Des Moines in Waukee ... I am an Iowa girl through and through. I married the cute, but quiet, guy who made me laugh out loud in Statistics class and we have two awesome, but terribly sarcastic, boys. In 1999, I quit my research job to be home with those active boys. Staying home allowed me to spend more time preparing meals, trying new recipes and striving to serve healthier options for my family. Now that my boys are men ... well, "adults" anyway ... and my husband still appreciates what I accomplish at home, I have time to explore my creative side and knock "writing a blog" off my bucket list. I love trying new things, traveling, gardening, reading and clean countertops. I love baseball (watching, not playing) and concession stands. Choosing a favorite food is impossible but if I was forced to pick just one, it would be pie! I thank God that He has led me to this place. Here's to a new adventure and hopes that others will be able to use what I post to discover the benefits of family meals and living a picnic life.

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