Chicken 'N Penne Salad - Grilled

The thyme-infused dressing makes this salad.
Servings 20 cups
Prep Time


  • 3 lbs frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets, thawed
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry penne rigata pasta
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • 4 cups small whole red seedless grapes
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 4 1/4 tsp dried thyme crumbled and divided
  • 2 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • 3 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts toasted
  • leaf lettuce


  1. Pierce chicken on both sides with fork; brush both sides with salad dressing. Spray grill rack with no stick cooking spray. Using direct heat cooking method, arrange chicken breasts 4-5 inches over medium coals. Grill, covered, 5 minutes. Turn chicken; brush with salad dressing. Continue grilling until juices run clear (3-5 minutes). Cool; cut into thin strips (1x1/2x1/4-inch). Cook pasta in boiling salted water (4 quarts water, 2 teaspoons salt) until just tender (12-14 minutes); drain. Rinse with cold water, drain. In large bowl, combine chicken, pasta, celery, green onion and grapes. In small bowl, combine oil and 1 1/4 teaspoon thyme; toss into chicken mixture. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, honey, 1 tablespoon thyme, mustard and salt. Refrigerate salad and dressing separately, covered, overnight. Several hours before serving, fold dressing into salad. Refrigerate, covered.
  2. Toss walnuts into salad. Spoon into lettuce line bowl or platter.