This easy recipe is elegant enough for company, writes Bridgette Monaghan from Masonville, Iowa. “I've served it often, and everyone comments on its rich flavor. I love the fact that it can be made ahead.”
I’ve tried many chicken salad recipes over the years, but this is my very favorite. It’s fresh, fruity and refreshing, and the cashews add wonderful crunch. Every time I serve it at a potluck or picnic, I get rave reviews…and always come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
Facebook fans of my blog, Chef in Training, inspired me to make this creamy pasta casserole out of ingredients I had on hand. Success! I took the dish for another flavorful spin and added a bit of smoky bacon and toasted bread crumbs. —Nikki Barton, Providence, Utah
Our family of five enjoys trying different ethnic cuisines. This Italian specialty has a little Mexican zip. Be careful not to overcook the manicotti. If the filled shells happen to break, just place them in the pan seam-side down.
Rich, creamy and laced with wine, this chicken-and-pasta main dish is a favorite with Elaine Moser’s family in Spokane, Washington. Who’d guess it’s so quick and easy?
COOKING CAPERS. Capers are the small, green flower buds of a bush that grows all over the Mediterranean area. Pickled in wine, vinegar or brine, capers lend a salty, lemony flavor to sauces, salads, veggies and main dishes. They can be found on grocery store shelves with olives and pickles.
"When a girlfriend came home from the hospital with her newborn, I sent over this freezer casserole," recalls Jamie Valocchi, Mesa, Arizona. "She and her family raved over how good it was. Try substituting olives for mushrooms or using veal instead of chicken," she suggests.
I first had this summery salad at a family reunion, and it's become one of my husband's favorite dinners. Sometimes, we leave out the chicken and serve it as a side dish instead. —Jennifer Madsen, Rexburg, ID
"I had a rich pasta dish similar to this at a restaurant," recalls Dana Simmons of Lancaster, Ohio. " It was so unique that i tried to duplicate it at home a few days later. This is remarkably close, but not as fussy because it uses ready-made ingredients rather than being made from scratch."
With its delicious mix of crunchy peanuts, tangy dried cranberries and mandarin oranges, this colorful pasta salad is a definite crowd-pleaser. Water chestnuts and a teriyaki dressing give this main dish its Asian flare.—Carolee Ewell, Santaquin, Utah