irrelephant has captured one fab way to grab that last taste of summer with her Caprese Pasta Salad full of the freshest ingredients in your garden.

 

Easy to make, and easy on the wallet, we couldn’t wait to dive in to this delish dish!

 

Please click here to visit irrelephant and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: To make a delicious and refreshing pasta salad with a few basic ingredients. Potato salad and chips get old, fast!

 

Details:

  • We Tried It!  Caprese Pasta Salad @thecraftycollabAny type of pasta works great. I used Penne because that is what I had on hand.
  • I planted an herb garden on the deck this year and I used a few handfuls of sweet basil for this recipe
  • Fresh mozzarella is always best
  • My hubby ate half of my grape tomatoes, so I had to cut mine in half to get more bang for my buck
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic vinegar although recipe calls for a dressing.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The recipe states to cool or chill the pasta 4-6 hours before adding the dressing. Yeah right! If any of you know me at all, I have zero patience for waiting. I rinsed my pasta off in cool water and then drained it thoroughly. Next, I popped it in the fridge for a few minutes before adding all the ingredients and dressing.

Pros:

So easy to make.

Cons:

None!!!

We Tried It!  Caprese Pasta Salad @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I was pleasantly surprised! This salad has such a light and yummy flavor and will definitely make this again with that yummy fresh mozzarella.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: Create a fresh and light pasta dish that would complement any BBQ cookout!

 

 

Details:

  • DSCN8222I stuck with Bow Tie pasta and used Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette. It has the perfect balance of tang and flavor.
  • For the cheese I used one of my favorites Bel Gioioso Fresh Mozzarella Pearls. I like to have these on hand for an impromptu mommy dinner complete with a nice glass of wine, some olives and crispy crackers (all while sitting in a dark closet where my children can’t find me).
  • The tomatoes and basil were harvested out of my deck garden. YUM and cheers to super fresh eats!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I definitely suggest testing your dressing to salad ratio before chilling. You hate to have a flavorless side!

Pros:

This salad is a cinch to throw together and a serious crowd pleaser. I had family over when I made this and they loved it.

Cons:

None. Not a single thing to complain about or be disappointed in with this dish.

We Tried It!  Caprese Pasta Salad @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

This will now be in permanent rotation in our house. I can’t wait to get invited to a BBQ or potluck so I can serve this to friends!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Kristy

Mission: Perfect dish for a family get together!

 

Details:

  • I am not a huge pasta eater, but love the Bow Tie pasta!
  • Grabbed a handful of fresh basil then picked up a ball of fresh mozzarella and grape tomatoes.
  • Be sure to coat the pasta with the olive oil, I think this is what helps the pasta stay moist and soak up the dressing!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Buy fresh ingredients, it makes this salad taste so yummy!

Pros:

Easy and flavorful! Tastes great even the next day so perfect for leftovers!

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  Caprese Pasta Salad @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Great for get together…I love this as a side dish or main course!  Throw in some grilled chicken or shrimp, or simply add-on the side as I did!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sheri

Mission: Caprese salad is one of our all-time summer favorites. I’m a huge fan of fresh mozzarella combined with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette. When I saw this recipe I instantly knew it would become a summer staple for cookouts with the family.

 

Details:

  • This was a very, very simple recipe with minimal ingredients. I started with getting my pasta water boiling. I used a whole wheat fusilli pasta because I was all out of my favorite Campanelle pasta.
  • I diced up the fresh mozzarella and I chose to split the grape tomatoes in half making them more bite-size. I sprinkled both with some black pepper.
  • I contemplated making my own balsamic vinaigrette but then decided to use my favorite  Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette.
  • I combined the ingredients, tossed, and then ribboned the basil leaves and put them in.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use a serrated knife when cutting the mozzarella and tomatoes. It keeps the edges nice and clean and not all squished.

Salt your pasta water after it comes to a boil.

We Tried It!  Caprese Pasta Salad @thecraftycollab

Pros:

Freaking yummy and super easy, using minimal ingredients.

Cons:

Absolutely none!

We Tried It!  Caprese Pasta Salad @thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

This recipe of course was delicious. Everyone at the party enjoyed it. You can jazz it up a bit more too; I often like to add black olives or diced salami, both keeping with the Italian theme. So if you like the classic caprese salad, you will love this pasta salad. Quick, easy, and delizioso!

 

 We Tried It!  Caprese Pasta Salad @thecraftycollab


The gorgeous
Caprese Pasta Salad and it’s photo by irrelephant


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Jennifer, over at Savoring the Thyme has unlocked the secret to a truly tasty and budget-savvy meal with her Greek Inspired Chicken.  Even better is that this not-so-boring chicken can be kid friendly!

 

Better brush up on your Sirtaki!  Opa!

 

Please click here to visit Savoring the Thyme and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: I’ve been dying to try Savor the Thyme’s recipe. When I first spotted it on Pinterest, I drooled on my computer. Any excuse for me to use feta in a recipe. Not to mention, I’m tired of the same old chicken. I’m trying to only serve lean protein and we’re all getting bored with it. “Chicken again?”

Details:

  • The directions we’re easy to follow.  Just flour the chicken breasts (season first) and cook them in the frying pan with some olive oil.
  • The fun part was putting together the Greek goodness. Olives, Feta, and tomatoes! Yum.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use a cutting board that has a lip around the edge so the tomatoes and olives don’t go rolling off when you try to slice them.

Sheri - Greek Chicken 1

Pros:

Simple and so delicious! And it has feta!

Cons:

None, aside from the fact that I should have made more of the topping just to throw on a salad.

Sheri - Greek Chicken 2

Conclusion:

First of all my husband was pleased not to have to eat the same old chicken recipes I usually make! This one had a ton of flavor and was truly easy to make. It’s definitely something I can whip up quick when I get home from work. Did I mention I LOVE feta!? I’m sure this would be a great crowd pleaser for a group as well. It’s not only flavorful, it’s eye appealing as well. I’m going to try this a little different next time…marinating the chicken in Greek dressing first. We’ll see how it goes.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: To cook healthier meals for the New Year…always a resolution! And this looked delicious!

 

Details:

  • I am trying hard to follow the Paleo diet so I had to use almond flour to coat the chicken instead of all-purpose flour.
  • I changed it up a bit by sautéing the spinach with the garlic (yummy…I used lots of garlic) then I topped the finished dish with fresh chopped basil.
  • Despite trying to keep the Paleo diet I still topped with the crumbled feta.  A gal still needs cheese, it makes everything a little more scrumptious. And what’s Greek inspired if it doesn’t contain olives and feta!?!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be certain to defrost the chicken…I was too lazy to and it took a bit longer for my chicken to cook.  It came out a bit dry because of this.

Kristy - Greek Chicken 1

Pros:

Very easy to make, healthy and the ingredients were super cheap!

Cons:

Nothing really, my chicken was dry but that was because of my own laziness!

Kristy - Greek Chicken 2

Conclusion:

Mike and I both thoroughly enjoyed it. I will definitely be saving this to make it again! Very healthy dish that is super quick to make!

 
 

Reviewer #3 – Janet

Mission: My first thoughts, Yum! But the picture looks too good to be true, no way could I make mine look that yummy.

 

Details:

  • I had feta on hand, so before that went bad, I decided to whip up the meal. I grabbed the rest of the goods at the grocery store.
  • I used soy flour and coconut oil that I also had on hand.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I let the chicken cook for quite a while…uncooked chicken frightens me.

The coconut oil worked really well for cooking, I just always forget to use it to substitute olive and veggie oil.

The recipe was really easy to follow, I didn’t deviate much from it.

Pros:

Did I really make something this delicious and fresh tasting? And it actually looked like something I could serve to guests? Awesome!

Plus, it actually keeps really well left over for those who are making it just for themselves.

Cons:

Nothing here, except cooking chicken in the skillet makes my apartment stink for the next 4 days. Can’t wait until I get a house someday!

Janet - Greek Chicken

Conclusion:

I already have this on my docket of go-to meals. It was so yummy, light and fresh, it almost made me forget it was winter!

I am so proud of myself for actually making something that somewhat resembled the picture and that would actually be appetizing for my fiance or guests. This is a must try recipe!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: To find a delicious, healthy and quick meal for my family.

 

Details:

YUM! This recipe sounded great from the get-go and really turned out amazing.

  • This recipe had minimal ingredients, that were all easy to find, so that was a plus from the start.
  • Our family tries to steer clear of gluten as much as possible, so I substituted almond flour for the regular flour it called for.
  • In addition, I added chopped onion when the tomatoes and olives were tossed in the oil as we love onions in this house!

This recipe was so easy to prep and cook so we will definitely be making it again! I couldn’t believe how quick it all came together – I think I was in the kitchen no more than 20 – 25 minutes before it was done and on the table.

Next time we make this, I may try using kalamata olives in place of the black olives for a little extra zing.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure your oil of choice is hot before you start cooking your chicken. The chicken breasts I used were a bit thick, so the cooking time was more like 5-6 minutes per side vs. the 3-4 it called for.

Sarah - Greek Chicken 1

Pros:

Easy, healthy and delicious! This would be a great go-to recipe for entertaining.

Cons:

Nothing!

Sarah - Greek Chicken 2

Conclusion:

So delicious and my husband and kids loved it! I can’t wait to make it again!!!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Amanda

Mission: Try a new way to spruce up the good ole chicken breast (let’s be honest – it can be rather boring!).

 

Details:

  • I used 5 chicken breasts instead of a package of three but I think the lbs. were about the same.
  • I did finish the dish with some thinly cut fresh baby spinach.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I am a true chicken-over-cooker at heart and have a VERY hard time not turning the meat several times and NOT cutting into it to check the doneness at the end. Both of these issues usually result in over cooked chicken but I got lucky this time and that did not happen. I did however; lose a lot of the delicious, crispy goodness due to my excessive turning. Moral of the story boys and girls, just turn it once. That really is all you need!

Pros:

Easy, quick, cheap, fairly on hand ingredients or at least ones that even I can get in the back woods I call home.

Cons:

Well my children. They are the only con. Having zero to do with the dish itself (it was truly insanely delish and would be a major crowd pleaser for a group of adults) my kids didn’t like the fact that there was “stuff” on top of the chicken. I kind of new that would happen but for the sake of a picture I topped it anyway. They lived by either not eating it or scraping it off.

Amanda - Greek Chicken

Conclusion:

I will DEFINITELY be making this again. My hubby ate two servings and raved about it (which can be rare since I do usually overcook chicken). The flavor was SO good!

 

Greek Chicken Conclusion

 

The delectable Greek Inspired Chicken and it’s photo by Savoring the Thyme


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