Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

This recipe contains cheese and some of those who are lactose intolerant may be able to tolerate it.

This is a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten. Use gluten-free pasta in this dish. (Note that blue cheese is gluten-free.)


"Life is great. Cheese makes it better." -Avery Aames

The refrigerator light goes on...

I love blue cheese. It makes a great ingredient for adding to almost anything, especially salads. One problem is that people often use too much. I ordered a salad recently at a restaurant and there was way too much blue cheese. It doesn't take much to be overwhelming: just a little bit brings a lot of savory saltiness to your dish with a pungent tartness of its own.

This salad is a great example of that right balance. The sour, creamy flavor of the cheese balances the tartness of the balsamic onions and enhances the savory taste of the roasted chicken. The best part is that the blue cheese brings a lot of saltiness to the pasta salad, so you need to add only a little salt to the dish, keeping the total sodium content low.


Braised Balsamic Onion Pasta Salad

Servings: 4 | Serving size: about 2 cups

Cooking time: 30 minutes (Cooking time does not include chilling time.)

This recipe can easily be multiplied and makes very good leftovers.

6 quarts water
8 ounces whole wheat or gluten free bowties or elbows
2 tsp. olive oil
4 medium onions (thinly sliced)
6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable broth
16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs (leave whole)
1 medium red bell pepper (seeded and diced)
4 Tbsp. pine nuts
to taste fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
3 ounces blue cheese (crumbled)

Braised Balsamic Onion Pasta Salad recipe from Dr. Gourmet

Place a large skillet in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.

Place the water in a large sauce pan over high heat. When the water boils, add the pasta.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the pasta is tender, but not mushy.

Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, place the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.

Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for about 7 minutes, until the onions begin to brown. Adjust the heat so that the onions don't burn.

Add the vinegar and vegetable broth and stir.

Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 7 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While the onions are cooking, add the chicken thighs to the skillet in the oven.

Roast for about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool for 5 minutes.

When the onions are done, add them to the bowl with the pasta and gently fold together.

Cut the cooked chicken thighs in 1/2 inch cubes, add to the bowl with the pasta, then gently fold together.

Add the red pepper, pine nuts, pepper, salt, and blue cheese to the bowl.

Fold together gently and chill well before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: about 2 cups

Amount Per Serving

Calories 489 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value
Total Fat 17g
    Saturated Fat 6g 26%
    Monounsaturated Fat 5g
    Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 82mg 27%
Sodium 448mg 19%
Total Carbohydrates 60g 46%
    Dietary Fiber 7g 30%
    Sugars 12g
Protein 27g
Vitamin A 16% Vitamin C 81%
Calcium 18% Iron 18%
Vitamin K 10mcg Potassium 582mg
Magnesium 103mg