Asparagus and Artichoke Pasta Salad

Ingredients

6 slices bacon

 10 asparagus spears, ends trimmed

 1/2 (16 ounce) package rotini, elbow, or penne pasta

 3 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise

 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing

 2 teaspoons lemon juice

 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

 1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

 1 cooked chicken breast, cubed

 1/4 cup dried cranberries

 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

 salt and pepper to taste

  • PREP 20 mins
  • COOK 20 mins
  • READY IN 90 mins

Directions

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Strain asparagus out of water and immediately plunge into a bowl filled with ice water; let sit in ice water until completely cold, then cut into 1 inch pieces. Next, add pasta to boiling water and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, rinse with cold water until chilled, then drain well.

Stir together mayonnaise, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Fold in artichoke, chicken, cranberries, almonds, crumbled bacon, and asparagus. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then fold in cooked pasta. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

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