Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Phew this Summer has been hot, hot, hot so far. For me that means super easy dinners that can be prepared early in the day before the heat builds. Also, as a family we are wanting cool meals in the evening. Especially meals that don’t leave a lot of washing up! Because everyone is just too hot and tired. So I created this recipe for Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad. Not only does it taste good, the bulk of washing up is done earlier in the day.

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Having been sent a jar of Garlic Mayonnaise from Kentish Oils I wanted to use it almost as a sauce for a pasta dish. Since the sunshine has been consistent throughout and with temperatures of 30C plus, I decided on a cold pasta dish. While the mayonnaise has garlic in it, it is not an overwhelming, raw, hot garlic flavour. And it blends beautifully with the lemon chicken and crunchy vegetables in this dish.

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

As the chicken is baked in lemon juice it has a juicy, light lemon flavour. Also, when serving this dish I added very thinly sliced lemons. They are tangy to eat and add an extra punch to this cool, Summer meal. Likewise, an additional teaspoon of the garlic mayonnaise on top of the plated salad gives a tasty finishing touch.

Recipe: Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad serves 6

450g/1lb – Four Chicken Breasts skin and bone removed

3-4 Whole Lemons – washed and dried

2 Sweetcorn Cobs – approximately 275g/10oz or the equivalent tinned sweetcorn – drained

450g/1lb Pasta – I use rigatoni

8 Spring Onions (scallions)

2 Red Bell Peppers

2 Sticks of Celery

125g/4.5oz – approximately 5 tablespoons of Garlic Mayonnaise (plus extra to garnish) – I use Kentish Oils alternatively use the equivalent amount of mayonnaise and add one clove of minced/crushed garlic

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, 325F, gas mark 3

Preparing the chicken

  • First of all, place the chicken breasts in an ovenproof dish. Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and the juice from two whole lemons.
  • Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes.

Cooking the pasta and preparing the vegetables

  • While the chicken is cooking place a large pan of water on a high heat. As soon as the water is boiling add 1 teaspoon of sea salt and then add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  • Chop the spring onions, red peppers and celery to about the same size and place in a large bowl. If using tinned sweetcorn add it to the bowl.
  • Stand a sweetcorn cob on one end and carefully cut down between the husk and the corn. Turn the cob and repeat until all of the corn is removed. Repeat for the second cob.
  • 3 minutes before the pasta has finished cooking add the fresh sweetcorn to the pan.
  • Once cooked drain the pasta and sweetcorn.
FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Preparing the vegetables and pasta.

Assembling the salad

  • After 45 minutes check that the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Cut through the thickest part of the biggest chicken breast, there should not be any pink colour, this shows the chicken is cooked. If there is even a hint of pink return the chicken to the oven for a further 10 minutes and check again.
  • As soon as the chicken is cooked remove from the oven and place the chicken breasts on a plate for 10 minutes to rest.
  • Cut the chicken into slices.
  • Add the cooked pasta and sweetcorn to the bowl and the add the garlic mayonnaise. Mix using a large spoon.
  • Now add the sliced chicken to the bowl and mix again.
  • Taste and check for seasoning, adjust if needed.
FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Assembling the Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

The finished Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad.

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate until ready to eat. This dish tastes best when it is fridge cold.

Serve the salad with very thin slices of lemon, extra wedges of lemon to squeeze over and a drizzle of garlic mayonnaise.

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad

Keep any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container and eat within two days.

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad you may also like these:

Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad 

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Roasted Summer Vegetable Orzo Salad

Chicken Pasta Pesto Salad

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Chicken Pasta Pesto Salad

Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo 

FF Creamy Garlic Lemon Chicken Pasta Salad
Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo

Because I love the versatility of pasta it is one of my favourite staples to have in the kitchen. Since all I need are a few crunchy vegetables and this yummy garlic mayonnaise I am set now for the heatwave! I think we all need a stash of easy, light, quick recipes for when we are busy and especially when the weather is hot. Now is not the time for slow cooked casseroles! I say cool, quick and easy saves the day.

Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Kentish Oils sent me the Garlic Mayonnaise to try. All opinions and views are my own and this is NOT a sponsored post.

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Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

June is Asparagus season, here in the U.K. Such a vibrant, distinct colour and flavour when cooked. So I decided to incorporate it into this utterly delicious Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche.

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche such a delicious flavour combination.

Making the best use of seasonal vegetables is so important to me. It makes me appreciate them more. Strawberries always taste better in the summer, because that’s when they grow in this country. Asparagus is the same. Beautiful green shoots that can be enjoyed in any number of recipes.

One of my favourite ways to enjoy them is in this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche!

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche perfect with salad.

I have made this quiche twice now, in as many weeks and believe me when I say, I’ll probably make it next week too. In fact I should probably make two, so that I can stash one away in the freezer for when asparagus is no longer available.

Good quality, outside reared bacon makes all the difference to this dish. It is not pumped full of water and who knows what. When placed in a hot, dry skillet this bacon sizzled. There wasn’t any liquid leaching from it and oh, it tastes so good!

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche a tantalising bite 😉

Making this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche is easy. So is making your own pastry, there’s a link in the recipe. It doesn’t take long and is a tried and tested recipe that creates the most delicious buttery crust for it’s eggy filling.

I like to get the pastry made first thing in the morning. I always make double as it takes hardly any extra time and stores really well in the freezer. If using frozen pastry defrost it overnight in the fridge.

Recipe: Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche

500g/1lb 2oz All Butter Shortcrust Pastry see Perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry the recipe will also give you tips on how to line a tart tin, blind bake and there’s another quiche recipe as well

12 Rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon – take off any rind and cut into 2.5cm/1″ chunks

6-8 Asparagus Spears – washed trimmed and cut into 5cm/2″ pieces

50g/2oz Strong Cheddar – finely grated

6 Large Free Range Eggs – note if making to freeze add an extra egg and leave out the cream – my eggs were from Waitrose

50ml/2fl oz Double Cream

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method: Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7

Note – the filling can be prepared whilst the pastry case is baking.

  • Make the pastry, wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Place your quiche tin on a baking tray.
  • Lighty dust the work top with flour and roll out the pastry, from the centre outwards. Move the pastry around to ensure that it isn’t sticking to the work top.
  • Use the rolling pin to transfer the pastry, lay it gently into the quiche tin.
  • Gently push the pastry into place, if you stretch it, it’ll shrink during baking – I know trust me!!
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Nicely finished pastry case.
  • Roll the rolling pin over the top of the quiche tin and it will trim the pastry, leaving a lovely clean edge.
  • Use a fork to dock the bottom of the pastry, it allows steam to escape during baking.
  • Cut a piece of baking parchment slightly bigger than the tin, scrunch up, line the pastry case and fill with baking beans.
  • Place in the top of a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, lift out the baking beans and return for a further 5 minutes until golden in colour. Remove from the oven and set to one side.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6.
  • In a dry skillet/frying pan, over a medium heat dry fry the bacon until cooked, but not crispy. Off the heat add the asparagus and allow to sit for 5 minutes or a bit longer.
  • When the bacon is cool enough to handle arrange in the base of the pastry case.
  • Then arrange the asparagus spears however you like.
  • Top with the finely grated cheese.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche ready for the egg custard.
  • Crack the eggs into a jug – I always crack mine separately into a small bowl first.
  • Add the cream, if using and a good season of black pepper.
  • Whisk with a fork to combine and then pour carefully over the pastry tart.
  • Leave a gap between the pastry rim and the custard. The quiche will rise whilst baking and it’s not the end of the world if it leaks, but prevention is better than cure. Gosh I sound like my Grandma, what a wise woman she was.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche ready for the oven.
  • Place the quiche into the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until it is puffed and golden without a wobble in the centre.
  • Once baked remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.
FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche it’s freshly baked smell is tantalising.

This delicious tasting Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche can be served hot, warm or cold, making it perfect for buffets, picnics, easy dinners, packed lunches.

I had the last piece of quiche, cold from the fridge today, for lunch. It was absolutely yummy and as it is quite muggy, it was refreshing as well as filling.

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche a delicious summer meal.

Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche will keep well wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for up to 3 days and successfully freeze for one month. In fact I have a lovely friend on Twitter – Lou – who baked this yesterday, without the cream and popped it in the freezer for a party in a few weeks time.

Make the most of the asparagus season, it is all too short!

If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche you may also want to try these:

Quiche Lorraine

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Quiche Lorraine delicious bacon chunks and cheese.

Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche

FF Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche
Feta Red Onion Marmalade Quiche layers of fantastic flavour.

Spicey Sausage Rolls

FF Smoked Bacon Asparagus Quiche
Spicey Sausage Rolls tradition with a twist!

Pastry is such a versatile medium to bake with, see my Twisted Fruity Jam Tarts . It lends itself very well to portable food, which means it’s great for family and friend get together’s.

I am going to be working on a gluten free pastry recipe, so that those with dietary restrictions can enjoy more of the recipes that I create.

After all the core of Feasting is Fun is sharing. I share my recipes, as do some of you. We share our makes and bakes with neighbours, unsuspecting delivery men – oh that’s just me on that one then 😉. Most of all we have fun enjoying the smile a homemade dish can bring to another’s face.

Sammie xx

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Hearty Minestrone Soup.

Who loves a one pot dish? I know I do. When I am busy baking, gardening, or let’s be honest, having some chill time in the garden and catching some rays – knowing that dinner is already made can really take the pressure off. So in the spirit of sharing, that is Feasting is Fun, may I present to you my Hearty Minestrone Soup.

Hearty Minestrone Soup a great one pot, make ahead meal.
Hearty Minestrone Soup a great one pot, make ahead meal.

For the record, may I just say that I LOVE SOUP!!

Because honestly, the number of recipes on this site simply doesn’t reflect how many times I make soup, both for lunch and dinner.

I am definitely working on rectifying that.

Hearty Minestrone Soup served with a thick slice of buttered, homemade bread.
Hearty Minestrone Soup served with a thick slice of buttered, homemade bread.

Soup for any season

I have never held with the notion that soup is simply for eating during Winter and the colder months. Even though today it has been quite a warm, humid day and yet this Hearty Minestrone Soup really has hit the spot for dinner.

Also being able to make this soup earlier in the day, has left me free to carry out some much needed recipe write ups, secure in the knowledge that dinner has already been made.

Hearty Minestrone Soup an easy, yet tasty recipe
Hearty Minestrone Soup an easy, yet tasty recipe

The smoked bacon provides a delicious, yet subtle background flavour to this vegetable packed meal. If you are a vegetarian simply leave out the meat and opt for vegetable stock instead.

Seasonal comfort in a bowl

Following some initial research I have found that there isn’t actually a set recipe for minestrone soup. Italian in it’s origins, it varies from region to region and no doubt household to household. The key to making this soup the very best meal, is to use the best quality, seasonal ingredients that you can afford.

Let’s be honest, this is an incredibly budget friendly meal.

Hearty Minestrone Soup a one pot wonder dish.
Hearty Minestrone Soup a one pot wonder dish.

Even a full English Breakfast wouldn’t feed six people using a few rashers of bacon!

While I have listed specific vegetables and quantities in the recipe below, please feel free to switch things up and use whatever seasonal, abundant vegetables are available. I am very much hoping to recreate a version of this Hearty Minestrone Soup at the end of the Summer, with produce grown in our garden.

Exciting times ahead!

The new garden diary section on Feasting is Fun will be up and running soon. The aim being to help and encourage you to grow a few salad items and vegetables in containers. The reward is immense when you can actually pick your own produce from the garden and then use your ingredients in a recipe.

Recipe: Hearty Minestrone Soup serves 6

1 Large Spanish Onion

125g/6 Rashers Smoked Streaky/Back Bacon – I love the bacon from Graig Farm

3 Large Carrots

2 Sticks of Celery

6 Cavelo Nero Leaves – alternatively use cabbage or kale

3 Cauliflower Florets

2 Garlic Cloves

1/2tsp Chilli Flakes – adjust according to taste

4tbsp Tomato Purée

1 Chicken Stock Cube – vegetable stock can be substituted

100g/4oz Spaghetti – small pasta can be substituted

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground pepper to season.

Large handful of fresh Basil Leaves – cut into thin strips

Method: Making the soup

  • First of all the olive oil to a large, heavy based pan and place over a medium heat.
  • Finely dice the onion, add to the pan and cook until the onion turns translucent.
  • Next add the roughly chopped bacon and continue to cook until the bacon is starting to crisp.
  • Finely chop both the carrots and celery and then add to the pan.
  • Cook for a further 5 minutes and then add the minced garlic.
  • After 1 minute add hot water from a recently boiled kettle and the tomato purée.
  • Scrape any caramelised brown bits from the bottom of the pan, these are packed with flavour.
  • Thinly slice the cavalo nero and cauliflower. Add both of these to the soup.
  • Crumble in the stock cube and add the chilli flakes.
  • Ensure that the saucepan you are using is two thirds full by adding extra hot water from the kettle.
  • Break up the spaghetti into roughly 2.5cm/1″ pieces and add to the soup.
  • Add a good amount of freshly ground, black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt flakes (1/4tsp if using free flowing table salt).
  • Bring the soup to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Hearty Minestrone Soup reducing over a low heat.
Hearty Minestrone Soup reducing over a low heat.
  • After the cooking time has elapsed check the soup for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
Hearty Minestrone Soup served with crunch bread.
Hearty Minestrone Soup served with crunchy bread.

To serve, ladle the soup into deep bowls, sprinkle over ribbons of fresh basil and add thick slices of homemade bread, such as this Farmhouse White Loaf.

Make ahead and freeze

This Hearty Minestrone Soup can be kept in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Cool the soup completely and then ladle into individual freezer safe, plastic containers. Label and pop in the freezer. I prefer to freeze soup in individual portions as it is easier to remove just one portion, during the week for lunch.

To reheat, run hot tap water over the bottom of the sealed, frozen container. Remove the lid, the frozen, solid block of soup should release easily into a saucepan. Add a splash of hot water from the kettle and gently cook over a low heat until the soup has defrosted. Increase the heat to ensure that the soup is piping hot. Serve as for fresh soup.

FF Hearty Minestrone Soup
Hearty Minestrone Soup a meal in a bowl.

I have been making versions of this soup for years, however, I think the addition of the cavelo nero added such a depth of flavour, this may be my favourite version so far!

If you like soup and have enjoyed this Hearty Minestrone Soup, here are some other soup recipes you might like to try:

Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup

FF Hearty Minestrone Soup
Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup a great vegetarian dish.

Roast Chicken Noodle Soup

FF Hearty Minestrone Soup
Roast Chicken Noodle Soup another inexpensive meal.

Carrot Soup

FF Hearty Minestrone Soup
Carrot Soup simply a hug in a bowl.

While writing the post for the unbelievably delicious Chicken Herb Burgers, I talked about the relative cost of buying good quality meat and how I’d rather pay more, for non intensively reared animals, off setting this by eating great meat less often. As a result this recipe contains a mere 6 rashers of bacon and feeds six people. That for me is balance.

Do you have a favourite soup recipe – homemade or canned?

Do you view soup as a meal in itself, or simply an appetiser or light lunch?

Have fun making and baking in the heart of your home and thank you for the wonderful comments and fantastic photos that you are putting on Twitter and Instagram. I never take for granted the trust you place in me when following any of my recipes, which is why I try my hardest to get them right before I share them here, on Feasting is Fun.

Sammie xx

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