Chicken-Thyme-Penne Salad

It's "thyme" for chicken salad! Make this crunchy and flavor-packed salad a day ahead for a super time-saver.

  • Prep Time 25 min
  • Total Time 4 hr 25 min
  • Servings 12

Ingredients

3
cups uncooked penne pasta (10 oz)
4
cups cubed deli rotisserie chicken (from two 2- to 2 1/2-lb chickens)
2
cups seedless red grapes, cut in half
2
medium stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
1/3
cup chopped onion (1 small)
3
tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2
tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 1/4
cups reduced-fat mayonnaise or salad dressing
1
tablespoon milk
1
tablespoon honey
1
tablespoon coarse-grained mustard
1
teaspoon salt
1
cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain.
  • 2 In very large (4-quart) bowl, mix pasta, chicken, grapes, celery and onion. In small bowl, mix oil and 1 tablespoon of the fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon of the dried thyme). Pour oil mixture over chicken mixture; toss to coat.
  • 3 In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, milk, honey, mustard, salt and remaining thyme. Cover chicken mixture and mayonnaise mixture separately; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
  • 4 Up to 2 hours before serving, toss chicken mixture and mayonnaise mixture. Cover; refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, stir in 3/4 cup of the walnuts. Sprinkle salad with remaining walnuts.

Expert Tips

To toast walnuts, bake uncovered in an ungreased shallow pan at 350°F for 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Garnish the salad with 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese for a sophisticated flavor.

This salad is great for a potluck! Just tote along the walnuts to stir in once you're at the gathering.

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
400
(
Calories from Fat
200),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
22g
22%
(Saturated Fat
3 1/2g,
3 1/2%
Trans Fat
0g
0%
),
Cholesterol
50mg
50%;
Sodium
610mg
610%;
Total Carbohydrate
30g
30%
(Dietary Fiber
2g
2%
  Sugars
7g
7%
),
Protein
19g
19%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
4%;
Vitamin C
6%;
Calcium
4%;
Iron
10%;
Exchanges:
1 1/2 Starch; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 2 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 3 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.