A traditional Alfredo recipe will use heavy cream, but this delicious Chicken Alfredo Pasta Salad uses buttermilk instead. The addition of chicken and green bell peppers makes this a well-balanced and tasty lunch. For those of you who like it spicy, try replacing the green bell peppers with deseeded green chillies!
CHICKEN ALFREDO PASTA SALAD
Dressing Ingredients: (makes 1 & 1/2 cups)
1 cup buttermilk / laban
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 plump garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated/diced
3-4 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, or more to taste
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 – 1 tsp salt
350g / 12oz pasta, cooked according to package instructions and cooled
2-3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or diced (QUICK TIP: Save time by using left-overs or a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the supermarket OR try poaching your own chicken breasts using this quick and easy recipe: How to Poach Chicken for Salads)
1 large or 2 medium green bell peppers, deseeded and finely diced (alternatively, you can use 2-3 deseeded green chillies if you prefer it spicy)
- Dressing: Put 2 Tbsp of mayonnaise in a jar or bowl. Slowly add 1 cup of buttermilk (a few tablespoons at a time to begin with) and whisk so that the mayonnaise and buttermilk combine smoothly. If you combine all the buttermilk directly to the mayonnaise, there is a chance that the mayonnaise will become lumpy. Using a the fine side of a cheese-grater, grate 2 plump garlic cloves and 3-4 Tbsp of parmesan cheese. Add the garlic and parmesan to the buttermilk-mayonnaise dressing. Add 1 tsp dried oregano and 1/2-1 tsp of salt. Combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Pasta: Bring a pot of water to the boil, and boil 350g / 12oz of pasta according to the package instructions. When cooked, drain and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Chicken: If you do not have left-over chicken or a pre-cooked chicken from the supermarket, you can easily cook some fresh chicken breasts for your salad by following my recipe for How to Poach Chicken for a Salad. Bring a pot of water (6-8 cups) to the boil, and add 1 tsp salt, 1 bay leaf and 6 black peppercorns. Drop your raw skinless chicken breasts into the water (make sure they are fully covered y the water). Leave your chicken to poach in the seasoned simmering water for 10-12 minutes. When the chicken is done (it will be white all the way through and tender), remove it from a pot and put it on a plate. Allow it to cool and then shred it or cut it with a fork. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Green peppers: Wash, deseed and dice 1 large or 2 medium green bell peppers. Alternatively, you can use 2-3 deseeded green chillies if you prefer it spicy
- In a large bowl, combine your cooled pasta, cooled chicken and diced green bell peppers (or green chillies). Pour the dressing on top and carefully fold everything together.
- Refrigerate until serving.