Creamy Chicken Cherry Pasta Salad
At one of the holiday parties this year, I could not stop staring at this pasta dish a family member brought... UGH the creaminess, gosh, how I miss the creamy pasta salads. It seems like every creamy pasta salad I see has ounces and ounces of dairy which are difficult to find replacements for. However, I woke up the next morning still thinking about this salad so I was determined, no matter how hard the task, I would find a way to make this recipe gluten, dairy, and FODMAP friendly. To my surprise this was one of the easiest recipes I have had to tweak (and prepare) yet!!
So, enough talking, as I think the recipe name and photo speaks for itself. Time to get your hands on this creamy, simple, amazing, mouthwatering, (did I mention oh so creamy?? ha!), recipe!!
1 package of chicken (shred or dice into cubes)
1 box of gluten free Penne noodles
3/4 cup sliced celery
Roughly 1 cup of dried cherries
1 1/4 cup mayo
1 1/4 cup Lighthouse Poppy-seed Dressing (this is gluten and dairy free)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 cups cashews or walnuts
1 small pack of bacon bits or freshly chopped bacon (optional)
3 cups of spinach (optional)
In a large bowl add in your freshly cooked & rinsed pasta (cook pasta as it states on the box), celery, cherries, and bacon.
In a separate bowl combine your poppy-seed dressing, mayo, salt & pepper.
Once combined into a thick dressing, stir in about 1/2 - 3/4 of the mixture into the large bowl. Save the remaining dressing as you will use later.
Refrigerate covered for several hours or even overnight.
Before serving, add in your chopped spinach, cashews or walnuts, and remaining salad dressing.
ENJOY!! Let me know if you make this recipe. This is one of my absolute favorites!!!