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I recently developed this recipe, it's a full-flavored salad and not for anyone with plain palettes, the dressing is what really makes this salad --- feel free to add in other veggies of your choice, adjust the dressing and salad amounts to suit taste, plan ahead this salad must chill for 5 or more hours before serving, prep time includes chilling time.
- 500 g uncooked medium pasta shells (or use small cheese tortellini pasta)
- 6 -8 green onions, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced (optional)
- 1 1⁄2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- 3⁄4 cup sliced black olives
- 2 large plum tomatoes, coarsley chopped (or use halved cherry tomatoes)
- 3 cups cooked chicken, diced (or use cooked turkey)
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup prepared ranch dressing (or to taste)
- salt and black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil (can use half each vegetable oil and olive oil)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 -3 teaspoons sugar
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano (you can add in more at the end of making the salad)
- 3 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 -2 teaspoon seasoning salt
- black pepper (to taste)
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- For the dressing; in a bowl whisk together all ingredients until well blended adjusting amount to taste, then refrigerate until ready to use (the dressing may be made up to a day in advance).
- Boil the pasta shells in boiling water until al dente; drain and rinse under cold water; place into a large bowl.
- Add in onions, bell peppers, celery (if using) feta cheese, olives, tomatoes and cooked chicken; toss with a wooden spoon to combine.
- Add in the prepared dressing; toss well to combine.
- Add in Ranch dressing (start with 1/2 cup and add in more to taste).
- Add in more oregano if desired and season with salt and lots freshly ground black pepper.
- Cover and chill for 5 hours or more before serving.