Posts Tagged ‘italian dressing’

Bruschetta Grilled Chicken

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

This simple recipe was the perfect weeknight meal: very quick, easy cleanup, and delicious. I love the tomato/basil/mozzarella flavor combination just about any time I come across it, so this was sort of a no-brainer to throw together. Marinated chicken is flavorful and juicy when grilled (or cooked in a grill pan, for us apartment-dwellers!), then topped with fresh tomato salsa-style sauce and a bit of mozzarella. The result was kind of like a Chicken Parmesan, but much lighter (both in a caloric sense, and in the sense that it’s June, and it’s hot outside, and Chicken Parmesan sure feels like a winter dish). For a quick and easy side, I tossed warm penne pasta with olive oil, garlic, a bit of the fresh tomato “salsa” and some Parmesan cheese.

Bruschetta Grilled Chicken

  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinaigarette salad dressing, divided
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/8 cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

1. Pour 1/4 cup of dressing over chicken in a ziploc bag, refrigerate 20 minutes.

2. Grill chicken over medium heat on a grill or in a heavy-bottomed grill pan (about 6 minutes). Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil and remaining dressing.

3. Turn chicken over, top each piece of chicken with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. Sprinkle a bit of cheese over the top of each chicken breast. Cover, and cook an additional 7-8 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.

Note: I used a new Basil & Parmesan vinaigarette by Kraft to marinate the chicken, and it was very tasty, but any Italian style dressing that you like would work here. Because we don’t have a grill, or a lid for our grill pan, I stuck the chicken under the broiler for a few minutes to melt and crisp up the cheese. Totally optional.

Pepperoni Parmesan Pasta Salad

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I’m going to attempt to share a recipe for pasta salad with you. I say attempt, because pasta salad is so often a “little of this and a little of that” kind of dish. I’ve had requests for this pasta salad recipe before, and not been able to explain it or share it properly. This time, I tried to pay pretty close attention to exactly how I made it.

One of my favorite things about this dish was these new mini pepperoni (Hormel Pepperoni Minis) we found at Costco. They’re perfect for pasta salad! And probably English muffin pizzas, and regular salads. I’ve also used them in fake lasagna, and bubble-up pizza casserole. I think they’d go really well in those pepperoni pinwheels, too.

Pepperoni Parmesan Pasta Salad
Makes 6-8 servings

  • 1 pound small pasta (shells, bowties, corkscrews, etc)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Italian salad dressing
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, diced (I used these mini pepperoni)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt & pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water (or refrigerate) until pasta is cold all the way through.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic, olive oil, and Italian dressing.

3. Place pasta in a large bowl; drizzle with dressing mixture. Stir to combine.

4. Add basil, cheese, tomatoes, and pepperoni. Mix completely.

5. Serve chilled, with extra parmesan for garnish.