Talk about summer harvest in a bowl! This filling pasta salad celebrates everything we love about summer flavors. Juicy tomatoes and tart lemon juice balance fresh basil, salty cheese, and creamy avocado. Grilling the chicken and corn gives the salad that char-gilled summer flavor, all balanced by the whole wheat pasta. In addition to delicious, this dish is filling; we had leftovers for several days!
TIP: When storing leftovers in the fridge, reserve the avocado slices. Those will oxidize and turn brown.
Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken
(Original Recipe: Half Baked Harvest)
1 lb chicken thighs, grilled and sliced
8 oz whole wheat rotini
1/2 C fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 C sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/2 TBSP fresh chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
2 ears grilled or steamed corn, kernels removed from the cob
1-1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
OPTIONAL: 1 pinch crushed red peppers flakes
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, add the basil, olive oil, cheddar, parmesan, lemon juice, chives, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to a large serving bowl. Add the hot pasta and toss vigorously to combine.
Fold in the sliced chicken, corn kernels, and halved tomatoes, tossing to combine. Top the pasta with diced avocado. Season with freshly cracked pepper and salt. Serve immediately.