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Warm Autumn Pasta Salad

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Servings: 4 servings


For the chicken

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt

For the salad

  • 2 cups cavatappi pasta (or any short pasta)
  • 2 cups acorn squash seeded and cut (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup carrots peeled and cut (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 large red onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups kale stemmed and chopped
  • feta, for garnish
  • roasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish


  • Combine the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, soy sauce and olive oil in a medium container.
  • Butterfly each chicken breast and place in the container with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the acorn squash, carrots, red onion, garlic, olive oil, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, and salt. Toss until all the vegetables are coated in oil and seasoning.
  • Spread the vegetables evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast the vegetables for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing. Mix well and set aside.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Reserve 1⁄4 cup pasta water. Set the cooked pasta aside.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the chicken. Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the chicken is firm and the juices run clear, about another 3-4 minutes. Place the fully cooked chicken onto a cutting board and allow it the rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  • Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add in all the roasted vegetables, the cooked pasta, the chopped kale, the 1⁄4 cup reserved pasta water and the dressing. Toss to combine. Cooked until the kale is wilted, season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the pasta salad among four bowls, top with the sliced chicken breast. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and crumbled feta. Enjoy!