Spicy Chicken Pasta Salad with Zucchini and Fennel
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Spicy chicken tossed with rigatoni, zucchini and fennel. Perfect for a summer picnic or a weekday lunch.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup Tabasco sauce, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 2 large zucchini, halved and sliced into ½-inch half-moons
  • ½ fennel bulb, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more for cooking
  1. Slice your chicken breasts and place them in a sealable bag or a medium-sized bowl. Pour the Tabasco sauce over the chicken and toss to coat. Cover the chicken and place it in the fridge for marinate for 1 hour, or as long as overnight.
  2. When you're ready, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in the same pot you plan to later cook your pasta in (why do more dishes). Add your zucchini and fennel, toss with ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat until the zucchini is slightly browned and the fennel is tender, about 8 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pot and place in a large bowl (whatever you plan to serve or store your pasta salad in).
  3. Add another tablespoon of oil to your pot, and add in your chicken. Cook for 8 minutes or so, over medium heat, until cooked through. Again, place your chicken in the bowl with the vegetables.
  4. Don't wipe out your pot (all of the leftover bits will add flavor to your pasta) and fill it with salted water. Bring the water to a boil, and cook your pasta according to package directions, until al dente (usually around 10-11 minutes). Drain the pasta from its water into a colander or strainer, and rinse it under cold water to stop it from cooking more.
  5. Add the pasta to the bowl with the chicken and vegetables. Pour ½ cup of olive oil over everything, add an additional pinch of kosher salt and a few dashes of Tabasco sauce, and toss to combine. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. I recommend storing the pasta salad in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavors come together, but it can also be served immediately. This salad will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at http://www.thecrepesofwrath.com/2015/08/25/spicy-chicken-pasta-salad/