There are women who can shop, and then there are the ones who just get by. I am thoroughly entrenched in the “get by” category.

Some women don’t like shopping because they feel it’s a waste to buy clothes when they need to lose 5 or 10 pounds anyway. This is not me. (Not the part about losing 5 or 10 pounds. Hello, I write a food blog.) I don’t like shopping because I have no idea what I’m doing.

There are so many options. You go to one department store and there are literally thousands of things to choose from. And then there’s the rest of the mall. How am I supposed to know what’s going to look good? When you shop on a budget and can only choose one thing out of tens of thousands, pressure is high to pick something awesome. That’s when I start to get a mini panic attack and think to myself “How many ounces of goat cheese could I buy with this money anyway? Do I really need these shoes or would I rather be eating a nice steak? Let’s head to the grocery store; there are no clashing colors and I never have to face the fact that my butt is nonexistent.”

IMG_2750It’s not just clothes I have a hard time with. Now that I have 2 kids I am in the market for a double stroller. Do you KNOW how many double stroller options exist on this planet? Head explode. I try to do online research but after the 112th review (it’s flimsy, but fits great in the trunk. It’s very maneuverable, but weighs 60 pounds. Where is the One Stroller to Rule Them All?) I start reevaluating my decision to buy a double stroller anyway. I mean where do I go, really? The grocery store has carts, and the mall gives me panic attacks. I think from now on I’m just going to Bjorn up my infant and strap a leash to my toddler. Maybe all the bulk will help make my butt look bigger?

IMG_2745As much as I’m sure you would love to keep talking about my butt, it’s time to move on to this pasta salad. My mother in law’s friend made this recipe up. I can say with confidence that it’s the best pasta salad I’ve ever had. It has different flavors than you would expect. The lemon and tarragon really make it unique. And how can you say no to a pasta salad with asparagus, chicken, and grapes in it? And no nuts? You can’t.


Lemon Tarragon Pasta Salad

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
This is the best pasta salad I've ever had. The lemon and tarragon are unique. And how can you say no to a pasta salad with asparagus, chicken, and grapes?


  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 5 tablespoons lemon zest, about 2 large lemons
  • Juice of half a large lemon, 2-3 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons dried tarragon
  • 1 pound bow tie pasta
  • Salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, or less to taste
  • 12 asparagus spears, roasted or steamed, then chopped
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
  • 2 cups of meat from a rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt until it tastes like the ocean. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and then place in a large bowl. Stir in about half a tablespoon of olive oil to keep it from sticking to itself.
  • Add the green onions, asparagus, grapes, and chicken to the pasta. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  • In a medium size bowl or tupperware, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and tarragon. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  • When everything is chilled and you are ready to serve, add the mayonnaise mixture to the pasta and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Source: my mother-in-law Kris's friend Sharle


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 282IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Calories: 513
Keyword: lemon, pasta salad, tarragon
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!


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  1. Karen,
    I wonder…could you substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream? I have some in my fridge I need to use up and this salad could be the PERFECT excuse. Plus, this salad just sounds amazing. :-)

      1. I made this with Greek yougurt and it was delish….I substituted smoked salmon for the chicken and added a bit of fresh dill.
        I will definitely be making this again!

  2. I LOVED this. I am so with you on the shopping thing. It’s so stressful (and time consuming)! My hubby and I don’t have kids yet, but we went to Buy Buy Baby the other day to buy a gift for a friend and were totally blown away by the number of stroller options. It’s like a stroller dealership in there! Crazy.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this on the Cookout Side Dish link party. I’ll definitely be pinning and using this in the future. I LOVE grapes in salad. Such a great idea!

    1. It’s so true. You can get away with not buying stuff sometimes, but once you have kids it just goes downhill from there. Let me know if you try this salad!! I hope you love it as much as I do!

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