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 ½poundsboneless 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 ¼-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, 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 ⅔ of the dressing and toss until evenly coated (reserve the remaining ⅓ 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 ½ of a thinly sliced red onion to the pasta salad at the same time as the rest of the veggies.