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It’s easy to forget that a “salad” doesn’t have to start with a bowl of leafy greens. This spin on a traditional Nicoise salad is a great example. Heidi starts with fresh green beans and peppers, and adds chicken for lean protein. It’s an easy, tasty escape from the monotony of the average tossed salad. Julia, Recipe Hunter

Julia Rackow, NoshOnIt Recipe Hunter

THE RECIPE

Chicken Nicoise Pasta Salad

A healthy, delicious way to escape tossed salad monotony

Summer is the perfect time for salads. Tons of veggies are in season, and enjoying their crisp crunch is pure delight after many cold months of heavy stews and other winter foods. But after your twentieth bowl of leafy greens with various go-withs, tossed salads may start to lose their charm. Enter Heidi’s Chicken Nicoise Pasta Salad. The traditional Nicoise salad is an excellent example of a tasty salad full of delicious and healthy veggies, but it doesn’t rely on lettuce as its base. A Nicoise salad normally contains green beans, tomatoes, tuna, and sometimes hard boiled egg, all arranged separately on the plate, rather than tossed together. In this recipe, Heidi uses green beans, sliced peppers, onions, and cucumber with sauteed chicken breast and noodles. A light drizzling of Caesar dressing and champagne vinegar and a sprinkling of capers, salt, and freshly ground pepper wonderfully enhance the flavors of the dish. This recipe is ideal for a deliciously healthy lunch or dinner that can be thrown together in a snap. If you find yourself growing tired of the average chopped salad, give this recipe a try and you might just find yourself falling in love with veggies all over again.

THE CHEF

Heidi Larsen

Creator, Photographer and Chief Dish Washer

Heidi Larsen from FoodieCrush

I cook with fresh, quality ingredients so whether a recipe is buttered up, slimmed down, savory spiced or sticky sweet, I don't discriminate so long as it just. tastes. good.

Heidi is truly a renaissance women in the world of food. As the recipe developer and photographer behind the blog FoodieCrush, Heidi creates mouthwatering, delicious recipes using fresh ingredients and from-scratch techniques. In addition to her blog, she’s also the creator of the online magazine FoodieCrush, which celebrates the absolute best of the food blogging world by highlighting the people, recipes, and photography that make it special. If that wasn’t enough, Heidi is also an e-cookbook creator, working with bloggers to bring their recipes to life in a new format. Make sure to check out FoodieCrush but be warned, you may just fall in love.

Head over to FoodieCrush and say hello to Heidi on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

THE TIP

How to Keep Cold Pasta From Sticking Together

As pasta cools, it tends to stick together into clumps. This easy trick shows you how to prevent cold pasta from sticking together for use in pasta salads.

Read the full tip >

  • Heidi

    Summertime pasta salads are my go-to for lunch and yes, for dinner too. Thanks for featuring one of my faves!

    • Julia Rackow

      Thanks for the inspiration, Heidi! We’re really loving your recipe.