With my children involved in every imaginable sport and activity I am always asked to bring food. Recently, I was asked to bring a pasta salad with a protein for a group of teens. This stumped me as cheese was not considered a protein and it had to be cold. After much thought and consideration, the BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad was born.
The adorable wagon wheels and inclusion of corn created an immediate kid favorite. Because of the chicken it can be served as a main course and is perfect for a picnic or any type of tailgating party.
1 box or 16 ounce box of wagon wheel shaped pasta
2 cups shredded BBQ chicken
1/2 cup frozen white corn
1/2 basket cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 bunch fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing
Salt & fresh ground black pepper
Put pasta water on to boil and prepare as package directs. Cut tomatoes in half and finely dice spinach. Use a good size bowl so it will be easy to toss and coat each pasta piece. I like to add my ingredients to the bottom of the bowl while the pasta is cooking so they can begin to incorporate. Add chicken, corn, tomatoes, spinach and dressing and gently stir together.
Rinse pasta in a colander and allow to cool completely. Add pasta to the ingredients in the bowl, then add the cheddar cheese, salt and black pepper to taste. Gently toss together.