Thursday, March 10, 2016

Chicken Pesto Salad

As I've mentioned before, I live in Western Pa.  I am located in a small rural area that leaves much to be desired in restaurant choices. 

Sure, we have McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King, and Wendys.  A Perkins, Ruby Tuesday, and Ponderosa.  

But, there are not many of my favorite restaurants in my area.  Some of my faves include Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Texas Roadhouse, etc.  Those are nowhere to be found.  To be exact any of those restaurants are at least an hour and a half away.

We do have a few hidden gems.  I personally really like the Italian Oven.  From what I can tell there are only 2 of these restaurants.  One is in DuBois, PA and the other in Johnstown, PA (like where the famous flood happened.)

Many times my friend and I will go to lunch here and they have a salad that is divine!  It is a chicken pesto salad.  It's lettuce, pesto, chicken, some veggies, and the best part--penne pasta!  I love pasta and salad, so the combination won me over!  The first time I ate it I ordered it on a whim not really knowing what it would be like.  Now I barely look at the menu because I already know what I'm going to eat. 

Though the restaurant isn't terribly priced, we don't go there often just because we are trying to be super duper frugal.  So I decided to do my own copycat version for lunch today, and it turned out AWESOME!

Also, Aldi has pesto now!  It's in a little jar by the pasta and as is tasty as can be!

 Here we go.

The salad uses a basic iceberg lettuce mix that you can get pre-bagged in the store.  I had this on hand and used it as my lettuce base but romaine would be excellent to.

So lay down your lettuce base--however much or little you want.

Then, spoon a little pesto over the lettuce.  I am slightly heavy handed here since I love the pesto, but if you are watching your calorie intake, I would recommend only using the 2 tablespoon serving size.  ( I actually put the pasta down first then the pesto-but either way, it's delish!)

After your pesto is situated, throw on some naked penne pasta!

It's that easy!  The restaurant version added chicken, tomatoes, and cucumbers, but I didn't have any of those things with me, so I had a bare bones salad.  And you know what?  It was still just as good as the restaurant.  

I added a hard boiled egg to mine for some protein and topped it with zesty Italian dressing.  It was lunch time heaven.  I gobbled it up and I got up to date on the social media happenings since this morning.

Give this a try and let me know what you think!  Are pasta and salad your thing?

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

1 comment:

  1. I miss eating at the Italian Oven so badly! This looks fantastic!


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