Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meAbout twenty years ago, I went to a friend’s house for lunch with my children. We were homeschooling buddies, had young children the same ages, and were both pregnant. Needless to say, we had a lot in common. :)

She created this recipe but used a Caesar dressing that you make at home from a packet. I was very sad when I could no longer find that make-at-home dressing packet in the stores. Anyway, she looked at the boxed pasta salad mix and decided she could make it at home from scratch easily and less expensively than what she’d pay for that box(es).

Boil vegetable garden spiral pasta as the box directs. (You can use whatever pasta you want, but this is the one that we generally use.)

Meanwhile, cook your chicken. There are many ways to do this. My friend Luann grilled the chicken and then cut it into bite-size pieces. I either season it, cook it in a skillet on the stove, and then slice or cut it first and then season and cook. It doesn’t matter which way you do it. It is probably more seasoned if you cut it first. (You can even use leftover chicken from a previous meal.)

Pasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meWe like our broccoli steamed, so I cut it into bite-size pieces and steam it, but you can put it in raw, if you choose.

Pasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meGrate a medium-size carrot.

Pasta Salad ~

Pasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.mePictured above: cooked chicken, steamed broccoli, and grated carrot.

Grate some fresh Parmesan cheese.

Pasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd the cooked and drained pasta.

Mix the Italian dressing as directed on package or use your favorite Italian dressing. Pour about a half cup onto the pasta salad. (We don’t care for vinegary foods. So, when I make this I fill water to the Vinegar line and vinegar to the Water line i.e. swap the amounts of water and vinegar and then follow the rest of the directions as stated.)

Pasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meCombine.

Pasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meServe with croutons. I don’t add them to the salad because if there is any leftover they get all soggy and gross. This night I made my own croutons with some hamburger and hot dog buns I had laying around and needing to be used. Simply melt some butter in a skillet, add a bit of garlic powder, just a couple of shakes, and add the cubed bread. Toss to toast all sides of the cubes.

Pasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meI had some green onions and tomatoes that Mike and I added to our bowls, since our kids don’t like them.

Pasta Salad ~ Lifeofjoy.meAdd more dressing, as desired.

Pasta Salad


  • 12-16 ounce package garden vegetable spiral pasta
  • 1/2 - 1 pound chicken breast (about 2 cups cooked and sliced)
  • about 1 cup steamed or raw broccoli
  • 1 small to medium size carrot, grated
  • about 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • small Roma tomato, diced (optional)
  • green onion, chopped (optional)
  • Croutons
  • Salt and Pepper, as desired
  • Good Seasons Italian Dressing Packet (vinegar, water, and oil)


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
  2. Combine pasta, chicken, broccoli, carrot, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and dressing (about 1 cup).
  3. Serve with croutons, tomato, and green onion, as desired.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

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