A Squared: We're Moving! And Super Easy Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

Monday, June 23, 2014

We're Moving! And Super Easy Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad

So, you may have heard that I'm moving... :)

I'm so excited about moving into a new place and about (finally) being a homeowner, although it is already occupying a lot more of my time than I had expected. Typical, right?

Alex and I have owned our home for 10 days now and have spent the last two weekends (plus a handful of weeknights) painting the place so that's ready when we move in this Friday. With 2/3 of the place needing to be painted (to change the existing yellow to our preferred gray) and 11-foot ceilings this was quite an undertaking! Why am I telling you about this?

1. You may experience some radio silence here on A Squared over the next week or two. All my free time lately has been dedicated to packing, painting, and moving-related errands so I haven't had tons of time to prep posts (or even cook). So, bear with me... we'll be back to our regularly scheduled posts before you know it! In the meantime, you can always keep up with me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook where I'll be checking in live from my move.

2. Cooking has been a real challenge-- both in terms of time and space. The lack of time, of course, you understand. But in the last week, we have also sold our kitchen island and we gave away our old dining set so we have no place to cook or to eat. So, we have eaten a lot of pizza, Chipotle, and I did manage to "cook" the other night, but Alex and I dined on moving boxes. True story.

Since I can't stand eating takeout all day every day (a girl has her limits), I have been coming up with some super easy dishes to make for dinner when I can. Last week Alex and I had to run up to the new place to do some painting after work so I made a pasta salad the night before that was easy to make, pack up, and transport to the new place for a picnic dinner in our new kitchen. This pasta salad recipe is super simple and is based on one that my mom used to make for us on hot summer nights when I was a kid. This can be customized with any other mix-ins that you like, but I love that the combo of grilled chicken and fresh veggies makes this an all-inclusive meal. This pasta salad is perfect for a picnic (it's dairy free!), for a quick summer dinner, or if you're planning on moving in the near future.


  • 8 oz. short cut pasta *I used elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, seasoned (I use a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika), grilled, and cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup olives, pitted and sliced *I used a combo of green and kalamata olives
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup prepared Italian dressing *I like Good Seasons or Newman's Own
  • Grated Parmesan or red pepper flakes, for serving

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and pour pasta into a large bowl.

Place broccoli in a medium microwave safe bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbs. water and microwave for 90 seconds. Drain off remaining water and add to bowl with the pasta.

Add chicken, carrots, peppers, and olives to the pasta and pour in 1/2 cup dressing. Toss well to coat.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This pasta salad tastes great when refeigerated overnight. Before serving, stir well and add additional dressing to taste. Serve chilled.

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  1. Yum! Saving this recipe for a concert in Ravinia!

    1. This is perfect for Ravinia! It is also my go to for Movies in the Park.


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