Need a great pasta salad to take to a party?? This is the one! I absolutely love it. My mom got the recipe from her cousin a few years ago (Thanks Jill!) and when I needed a good pasta salad to take to a shower, she told me I couldn't go wrong with it. She was right. I absolutely loved it and I am not normally a pepper lover.
Make your pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. While it's cooking, start chopping your green onions and peppers. I used orange, yellow, red, and green and just didn't do the whole pepper on each. Use whatever you'd like though. I also tore up some of the larger spinach leaves just because I am not a big fan of eating a salad with large leaves. (I'm the girl at Cafe Rio that orders her salad with shredded lettuce....sooo much better in my opinion.)
I wanted to have the salad ready to go, but I didn't want it soggy. So I combined all the salad ingredients in a large bowl except for the spinach. That way, I could add the dressing to the pasta and other ingredients and let them sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before the party (marinating the flavors) and it wouldn't make the spinach soggy. When I got to the party, since the dressing was already on, I just had to throw in my spinach and mix. It made it much easier to transport too!
As for the dressing, the recipe my mom was given was not quite enough dressing for the salad....I felt. I adapted it to make more dressing. If you feel it's too much though, don't put it all on. I just threw all the ingredients in my 4 cup glass measuring cup, whisked together, and it was ready to go. Again, I mixed it with all but the spinach and let it sit in my refrigerator for a few hours. Not necessary, but if you want your pasta cold, I would recommend this step. I think it marinated the chicken more too which made it extra yummy.
I'm thinking of even adding some mandarin oranges next time. Not sure what that will do to the flavor and I don't necessarily think that it needs them, I just always like a little sweet in my salad. I'll let you know if I do and what I thought.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking!!!