Serves 4
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This versatile pasta salad contains all the crunch, flavour and satisfaction for entertaining, or even as a low-calorie meal. With less than 30 mins preparation, this leaves you more time for everything else on your list.


  • 500 g short pasta
  • 180 g green beans, trimmed, sliced diagonally
  • 2 cups (240 g) frozen peas
  • 3 cups (480 g) shredded cooked skinless chicken
  • 4 cups (160 g) firmly packed trimmed watercress
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, loosely packed
  • ¾ cup (60 g) flaked natural almonds


  • 2 cups firmly packed trimmed watercress
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ⅔ cup (160 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps white wine vinegar

Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water for 1 min less than packet instructions state, or until pasta is slightly firmer than al dente. Drain, rinse under cold running water, drain.


Meanwhile, make lemon and watercress dressing. Blend or process ingredients until smooth, season to taste.


Boil, steam or microwave beans and peas, separately, until vegetables are just tender, drain. Refresh in a bowl of iced water, drain, then transfer to a large bowl.


Add pasta, chicken, watercress and parsley to bowl. Toss gently to combine. Place salad on a large platter or divide among bowls. Top with almonds. Drizzle with dressing.

TIP You could substitute another small pasta for the pasta shells. You will need 2 bunches of watercress. For a modern look, split the green beans in half lengthways and arrange with other ingredients in individual containers, then drizzle with dressing.

Do ahead: Recipe can be prepared 8 hrs ahead up to the end of step 4.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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