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Southwest Grilled Chicken and Pasta Salad

    Charred corn, spiced grilled chicken and juicy tomatoes give this main dish pasta salad lots of flavor without a lot of added calories.

    Southwest Grilled Chicken and Corn Pasta Salad - The Lemon Bowl

    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??

    Southwest Grilled Chicken and Corn Pasta Salad - The Lemon Bowl

    Southwest Grilled Chicken and Pasta Salad

    4.59 stars average
    Charred corn, spiced grilled chicken and juicy tomatoes give this main dish pasta salad lots of flavor without a lot of added calories.
    PREP: 10 mins
    COOK: 10 mins
    TOTAL: 20 mins
    Servings: 4

    Ingredients
     

    • 2 oz boneless (skinless chicken breasts (about 6 each))
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • 2 ears corn (husks removed)
    • 8 oz dry Dreamfields penne (cooked according to package instructions)
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
    • ½ cup scallions (minced)
    • ¼ cup cilantro (minced)
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions
     

    • 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.

    Notes

    Dish can be served warm, room temperature or cold. Tastes even better the next day – great for making ahead.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 405kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 29.1gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8.9gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 381mgFiber: 8.2gSugar: 3g
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    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:

    145 Comments

    1. I receive your emails and newsletters. I really like pasta. I would lighten a salad up with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Thank you for the opportunity.

    2. I lighten it up by using fresh vegetables, a vinaigrette (or mayo cut down with a little oil and vinegar) and fresh herbs.

    3. I would lighten up a salad with red wine and vinegar dressing. I subscribe to your newsletters and emails filled with great recipes. Thank you Liz.

    4. It has been a real challenge to lighten up our pasta meals but we’re doing a lot of vegetables and for our cold pasta salads, we skip dressings and mayo and instead use olive ol, vinegar and fresh herbs.

    5. My fave. salad is greek chicken with feta cheese~but then
      I also like the Southwest w/the fresh corn.
      Either way any salad made w/ Dreamfiels past is soooooo Good.

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