Creamy Chipotle Chicken Penne Salad
Bobbi Jo Woods
I accidentally acquired a can of these smoky, zesty goodies, and put them in the pantry for later, not knowing what to do with them. I heard they paired well with eggs, were in things like barbecue sauces and salsas, but didn't know much else about 'em.
After being invited to a group picnic this summer, I got nervous because I was short on time (and food in my pantry). I had some dry pasta, leftover rotisserie chicken, and not much else. A light bulb went off in my head, and this recipe is a result of my quick thinking and creativity. It was a huge hit at the picnic; people practically fought to take some home with them and even begged for the recipe.
The chipotle is your friend! I'm glad I became familiar with the little buggers and came to love them. Hope you enjoy!
How to Make Creamy Chipotle Chicken Penne Salad
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking, dice or shred chicken (however you like it, and remove the skin, if desired) peel and dice onion coarsely, rinse and quarter cherry tomatoes.
- Drain pasta and rinse in cold water, set aside.
- Open can of chipotles in adobo sauce (found in Mexican aisle of grocery store) and with a spoon, remove a couple of the peppers (2-4 should do) and some of the sauce, set aside. Store remainder in a tightly sealed jar (will keep for months in the refrigerator).
- In a food chopper/processor, pulse the pepper and sauce a few times until you have a slight chunky puree (the desired consistency is when the peppers break down into small flakes).
- In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, ranch dressing and chopped peppers in sauce with a spoon. Add just a little of the peppers at a time, tasting the dressing as you go to ensure it's not too spicy for your taste. If it's just a bit spicy and salty, that's perfect - the dressing will absorb into the pasta salad while chilling and won't be too bland or too rich.
- In a large bowl, toss pasta with chopped cooked chicken, diced onion and quartered tomatoes.
- Fold the dressing mixture into the pasta and veggies. Chill for at least one hour and serve. Tastes even better the next day or two!