Whole Foods recently opened a new location here in Lexington. There was an existing store, but with the addition of a new, upscale shopping center in town, they decided to move to a nicer and larger location. I stopped by for their opening weekend, and was really impressed by the new store (and thoroughly annoyed with the crowds, but not sure what I was expecting…). While I was there, I was reminded of a pasta salad that they have in their deli, which is one of my absolute favorites. This recipe is a hack on their smoked mozzarella pasta salad, and will probably save you a few bucks while being just as delicious.
I used smoked Gouda in this recipe, even though I’m pretty sure they use smoked mozzarella in theirs. Smoked Gouda is usually easier to find, and will deliver the same type of flavors to the dish.
You can also adjust the dressing on this pasta salad. I like things a bit spicy, so I generally add more of the adobo sauce, but if you’re not a fan of spicy foods than you can just add a minimal amount. It is a mayo based recipe, which I love because I have no self control, but you could substitute the mayo if you have dietary retractions, or just aren’t a fan of mayo.
The recipe is quite easy to make, and makes a great dish to bring to a summer potluck, or an easy dinner. It does taste best if you can let it chill for an hour or two, in order for the flavors to really come together. Enjoy!
- 1 box penne pasta
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 - 3 teaspoons (depending on how spicy you like things) adobo sauce from chipotle pepper in adobe (or one minced chipotle pepper)
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
- 1 ½ cup (about 1 pint container) grape tomatoes, halved
- 6 oz. smoked Gouda, cut into small cubes
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces (roughly 2 cups)
- 1 cup (loosely packed) basil chiffonade
- Salt and pepper to taste
- If not already done, cook chicken, and allow to cool before cubing (I bake mine at 375F for 25-35 minutes, depending on thickness).
- Cook the pasta according to directions on box. Drain and rinse in cold water until no longer hot. Set aside.
- While the chicken and pasta are cooling, make the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, adobo sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl, combine the together pasta, dressing, grape tomatoes, Gouda, and chicken.
- Taste for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Mix in the basil.
- Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.