This chicken and pepper pasta salad makes such a delicious and colourful summertime dish.
It’s a perfect way to feed the whole family for an al fresco summer lunch. It contains a rainbow of healthy, antioxidant-packed vegetables, and a good portion of protein rich chicken. And the juicy mango adds a fresh sweetness that kids really love. That means they won’t even notice it’s counting towards their five-a-day. In fact, the whole thing is under 500 calories per portion, making it one of our favourite summer healthy pasta recipes. It’s also a great way to use up leftover chicken from a Sunday roast, or cooked pasta from previous dinners.
- 200g spaghetti or pasta shapes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breast fillets, sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 1 small ripe mango, peeled, stoned and cut into chunks
- 75g watercress
- Small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tbsp suflower seeds
- 1 tbsp pumkin seeds
- 25g hazelnuts, chopped
- For the dressing:
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
Cook the spaghetti or pasta shapes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 mins, until just tender.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken, pepper and chilli and stir-fry over a high heat for 5 mins until the chicken is cooked and the pepper has softened. Set aside to cool.
Drain the spaghetti or pasta, rinse under cold water and drain again. Place in a salad bowl with the chicken, pepper and chilli. Add the spring onions, mango, watercress and parsley and toss to mix.
Place dressing ingredients in a screw top jar with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Shake well to mix and pour over the salad. Sprinkle over the pumpkin and sunflower seeds and hazelnuts.
Top tips for making chicken and pepper pasta salad
You could serve this with couscous instead of pasta. Cook according to packet instructions and toss with a little olive oil before tossing with the chicken and veg.
Add a good pinch of chilli flakes to the dressing to give the dish a spicy kick.
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