Charred corn, spiced grilled chicken and juicy tomatoes give this main dish pasta salad lots of flavor without a lot of added calories.
- 2 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 6 each)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 ears corn husks removed
- 8 oz dry Dreamfields penne cooked according to package instructions
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1/2 cup scallions minced
- 1/4 cup cilantro minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat grill to high heat.
While grill is pre-heating, season chicken breasts with cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Rub chicken well to make sure spices are evenly coated.
Spray the grill with non-stick grilling spray then add the chicken breasts and corn.
Cook chicken 3-5 minutes on one side until nicely browned. Flip to other side and cook until browned or internal cooking temperature reaches 160 degrees fahrenheit.
While chicken is cooking, rotate corn every 2 minutes until all sides have a bit of char an are bright yellow/white.
Remove chicken and corn from the grill and set aside. Let chicken rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked penne with tomatoes, scallions, cilatro, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Dice chicken and add to the bowl. Carefully slice corn kernels off the cob right into the bowl (to avoid a mess!)
Toss well and check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Dish can be served warm, room temperature or cold. Tastes even better the next day - great for making ahead.
When Susan asked me to participate in her Virtual Picnic as part of Dreamfields 3rd Annual Pastapalooza Pasta Salad Celebration I was immediately on board. This little boy in my belly pretty much craves carbs morning, noon and night. Pasta salads are the perfect happy medium because I can get my carb fix while also enjoying tons of fresh veggies and lean protein.
Southwest Grilled Chicken and Corn Pasta Salad is ideal for summer entertaining and BBQ’s because it can be made in advance and served cold or at room temp. Chicken can easily be swapped out for pork tenderloin, flank steak or whatever meat you have on hand. Want a vegan version? Skip the meat all together and add black beans instead.
If you need a quick lunch or dinner this dish is a great way to transform leftover grilled meat and veggies into a healthy and delicious meal that your family won’t recognize as leftovers.
Diced avocado or Mexican cotija cheese would be great additions to this salad if you have either on hand. Just don’t forget the pasta. What baby wants, baby gets.
Your fork is waiting.
Are you craving pasta now??