I love September. It’s one of my favorite months because the weather is gorgeous, healthy habits are always renewed and my social calendar is packed with ladies nights and school picnics. This is a simple recipe that I love making for fall get togethers. It’s perfect for a tailgate or school cook out. This recipe was featured this weekend on Dining Playbook and I’ll have a video for you guys soon.
I love using al fresco all natural chicken sausage for extra protein and flavor in this dish. I used the spinach and feta flavor but you can use the garlic or other variety if you’d like. In addition, I used chickpea pasta to make this a gluten free, high protein option but feel free to use regular or lentil pasta.
If I am making this recipe for my family to eat all week, I often wait to cook the sausage until we are ready to eat because it takes minutes to prepare. I usually will heat a little olive oil in a non stick pan, cut up the sausage and then add it in and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side. By letting the sausage cook and not stir regularly, you allow it to crisp up a bit.
I like having al fresco chicken sausage on hand during the week because it’s quick to make after we get home from the park, has a clean label, is made without artificial ingredients and most importantly the boys like it! They have over 19 different kinds of dinner chicken sausage from buffalo style (sliced up for game day!) to mild Mexican style perfect for taco night. I’m loving the Rotisserie style myself these days because it’s the perfect protein for a salad in a hurry.
Protein Packed Greek Pasta Salad (makes 4 servings)
- 4 al fresco spinach and feta chicken sausage links, chopped into bite-size chunks
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 seedless cucumber, halved length wise then sliced thin
- 1/2 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled (omit if dairy free)
- 1 box of lentil/chickpea penne pasta (or regular pasta)
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add lentil pasta to water and cook for approximately 5-6 minutes, then strain, return to the pot, and set aside.
- While waiting for pasta to boil, chop vegetables and slice sausage.
- In a medium saute pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken sausage. Saute for 5-6 minutes, or until sausages are browned. Add to the pasta pot with the chopped up tomatoes, cucumber, onion and olives.
- Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and toss with pasta. Add feta cheese once pasta has chilled or come to room temperature. Enjoy at room temp or chilled!
This recipe make a lot and will keep for at least 3-4 days.
You can buy Al Fresco Chicken Sausage at your local grocery store including Shaws and Stop & Shop. Check out their website for more great recipes and be sure to tune into Dining Playbook on NESN September 14th to see Jenny Johnson and I cooking up this dish!
This post is sponsored by al fresco all natural chicken sausage.