Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Apple Craisin Chicken Pasta Salad

Welcome to my very first recipe series!  Picnic at the Park!  I am very excited to bring this to you and I hope that you will find inspiration here, or at least a couple of recipes that you and your family enjoy.

Picnic at the Park recipes have THREE requirements.   They must be 1) easy to make 2) easy to travel and 3) easy to eat (especially by my youngest).  Typically, during the months of May, June and July - our family spends alot of time on a baseball field or softball field.  This past weekend, we spent twelve hours in the hot sun cheering on our softball team of 16 year old girls.  And yes, they came in first place - woot woot!  Dinners become challenging when we are living on a field somewhere - and I refuse to eat out unless absolutely necessary.  It will bankrupt us, as we just don't budget to feed a family of 5 every single night at fast food restaurants.  With these three requirements for dinner, I hope you will enjoy them.  I will warn you - they will be simple and nothing fancy.  Well, are any of my recipes fancy??!!  I think not ;-)

I am kicking off this series with one of my favorite salads.  Could the name be any longer??  Honestly, I just didn't know what else to call it so this is about as creative as I get!  I first tried this pasta salad at a leadership meeting for the mom's group I once belonged to a couple of years ago - and I have been making it ever since.  It's light, delicious and perfect for summer. 

I also made brats with peppers.  In total, this meal took roughly 30 minutes to make.  I started at 3:00 by making the salad, then made the brats at 4:45 and wrapped them in foil.  Miss Sunshine had a plain hot dog :-) 

Apple Craisin Chicken Pasta Salad
original recipe source: unknown

1 box favorite pasta (I let my kids pick out fun shaped pasta)
1 bottle Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
2 green apples, cored - diced (leave skin on)
1 C craisins
3/4 C slivered almonds
1 large can of chunk chicken (if you have more time, use chicken breast or rotisserie chicken)

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain pasta, and run under cool water to remove the heat.  In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients.  Chill in refrigerator for a few hours.  Enjoy!

As an alternative, this salad is also really good with Vidalia Onion dressing - which is how the recipe came to me originally.  The great thing about salad is you can adjust according to what you like!  Add green onions or carrots or brocolli florets - go wild!

Okay, since we were sitting on the bleachers while we ate, the pictures are not that great - but it was a successful dinner! 

Please click here for a printable version of this recipe - Kitchen Groovy

Enjoy and live with gusto!


  1. oh this salad sounds so easy and tasty! Can't wait to see what else is in this series =)

  2. I really like your new series with the "rules"! I'm not very creative so you give me lots of good ideas! Looks delicious!

  3. I LOVE the "Picnic at the Park" series! Thanks for the ideas!