There is a restaurant chain in New England called Joe’s American Bar and Grill. Throughout my life, I have frequented locations in Boston, Providence (where I went to college), and West Hartford (where I spent most of my teenage years shopping at the Westfarms Mall). Slowly, these locations have closed, with only the Boston location remaining. If you find yourself there, please order the Honey Sesame Chicken Salad, which is my absolute favorite dish on the menu. If you can’t get there, you can make this recipe, which has gotten me through several “I must have that salad from Joe’s moments”! This Honey Sesame Pasta salad is sweet, tangy, crunchy, and just salad enough…if you know what I mean! It comes together easily, which is perfect because you will wanna make it a lot!Print
What You’ll Need
- 1 lb box of rotini
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups diced cucumbers
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels
- 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 pound of thinly sliced chicken breast tenders*
- 1/2 cup of sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Sesame Honey Dijon dressing:
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds
- salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
- *you can easily substitute firm tofu here.
What You’ll Do
- Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente pasta. After 7 minutes, drain pasta and set aside.
- Lay out your chicken tenders on a cutting board and season with salt. On a small plate, pour ½ cup of sesame seeds. Evenly coat each side of the chicken in the sesame seeds. Heat a large frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Place the half of the chicken in the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey into the pan and repeat with the rest of the chicken. Cut the chicken into ½ inch pieces. Set aside.
- While the chicken rests, make the dressing. Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until well-combined.
- Put the pasta in a large bowl and add in 2 cups each of tomato, cucumber, corn, and lettuce. Toss to coat.
- Cut the chicken into ½ inch pieces and serve either on top of the pasta salad or tossed into the pasta salad. Enjoy!
- This pasta salad can be served warm or cold and is easily made ahead of time!