Marinated chicken, juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese are tossed with corkscrew pasta and a tangy dressing in this colorful, flavorful Greek Pasta Salad, perfect for summer barbecues and get-togethers!
1 1/2poundsboneless skinless chicken breastsabout 3 medium chicken breasts
8ouncescavatappi (corkscrew pasta)
1tablespoonbutterplus more as needed
1tablespoonextra-virgin olive oilplus more as needed
2cups(approximately 12 ounces) grape OR cherry tomatoes
10ouncesseedless cucumbersabout 3 baby cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick (to make little half moons)
1(12-ounce) jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts
1cup(about 4 to 5 ounces) Kalamata olives
6ouncescrumbled feta cheese
In a gallon-sized, freezer-thickness, zip-top plastic bag, combine yogurt, minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Zip the top and squish the bag to distribute all of the ingredients.
In a blender or small food processor, pulse the garlic until minced. Add the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, oregano, salt, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, and pepper. Blend or process until well-combined. Stream in the olive oil and blend/process until the dressing is thick and emulsified. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
Place the chicken breasts in the bag of marinade, zip the bag, and squish/turn it to coat all of the chicken. Lay the bag in a baking dish and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for 4 to 8 hours.
Once the chicken is marinated, cook the pasta according to package directions in well-salted water. Drain, rinse, and cool.
Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, scraping off any excess yogurt, and discard the marinade. Set a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter and olive oil and swirl pan to coat. Cook the chicken breasts until deep golden brown on the underside, about 5 to 8 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until the second side is browned and the chicken is cooked through, another 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside on a cutting board to cool.
Transfer the cooled pasta to a large bowl. Slice the chicken breasts and lay them on top. Scatter the tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, artichoke heart quarters, olives, and feta cheese on top. Drizzle with about 2/3 of the dressing and toss until evenly coated (reserve the remaining 1/3 of the dressing to add just before serving).
Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the remaining vinaigrette (to taste).
The marinade and the dressing contain a lot of the same ingredients, so I like to prepare both of them at the same time while I already have everything out. Then I just store the dressing at room temperature until I'm ready to make the pasta salad.
I always keep a bottle of pure lemon juice in the fridge (as in, lemon juice is the only ingredient with no added preservatives) and it's a great substitute when I don't have fresh lemons on hand.
If you wish to bake the chicken breasts instead of sauteeing them, you may bake them at 425°F until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F, which will probably take around 20 minutes.
If you wish, you may add 1/2 of a thinly sliced red onion to the pasta salad at the same time as the rest of the veggies.