Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

When that summer heat hits, there's truly nothing better than a backyard barbecue with friends and family. And no good barbecue is complete without a spread of food. While burgers and hot dogs are usually the stars of the shindig, there are also plenty of all-star sides that go so incredibly with the classics. Take this chicken pasta salad, for example. It's light, creamy, and the chicken and veggies make it a well-rounded dish. There's no doubt that this chicken pasta salad is substantial enough to serve on its own, but it also pairs well as a side with a burger or hotdog.

Recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating loves a good pasta salad recipe, and this one is no exception. "I love the combination of fresh crunchy salad with pasta and chicken," she raves. "The creamy dressing is delicious too!" Best of all, this salad comes together with little fuss, little hassle, and a whole lot of flavor — so let's jump right in.

Gather the ingredients for chicken pasta salad

For this recipe, you will need fusilli pasta, mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon, honey, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, salt, cooked chicken, cherry tomatoes, chopped lettuce, a large cucumber, a yellow bell pepper, and fresh chopped basil.

Boil the pasta

Bring a salted pot of water to a boil and add in the pasta, cooking according to package instructions. If you don't want to use fusilli, Brookes notes that you can sub it for a different type of pasta.

Once the pasta is cooked and drained, run it under cold water to cool it down. Return it to the pot or pan, and drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil on top. Toss the pasta to coat it in the oil. Brookes notes that this is a special method, explaining that tossing the pasta in oil "helps keep it moist when you store it in the fridge after." After all, no one likes dry pasta.

Mix the sauce

In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, and some salt to taste. This sauce has a smooth, creamy flavor that is super refreshing. 

Combine the ingredients

Now, you will need a large mixing bowl. Add the pasta, chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper, and the sauce mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together and you're almost ready to dig in! 

Serve the chicken pasta salad

To finish things off, optionally top the pasta with fresh chopped basil. This pasta salad is wonderful and filling on its own, but Brookes provides a few additional serving suggestions. "It could be the main meal in itself or a side alongside other meats, grilled veggies, or eggs," she notes.

As for leftovers, they'll be good for up to two days in the fridge. And, thanks to Brookes' special method of tossing the pasta in oil, you can count on the pasta remaining fresh and moist during those two days!

Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe
4.6 from 8 ratings
This chicken pasta salad will make for the perfect side dish at your next barbecue.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
4
servings
chicken pasta salad in bowl
Total time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces fusilli pasta
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt, to taste
  • 8 ounces cooked chicken pieces
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups chopped lettuce
  • ⅓ of a large cucumber, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
Optional Ingredients
  • Fresh chopped basil, for garnish
Directions
  1. Boil the pasta in salted water as per the packet instructions. Drain and run under cold water to cool.
  2. Add the pasta to the pan, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and toss to coat.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, and some salt to taste.
  4. Add the pasta, chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, bell pepper and the sauce mixture to a large mixing bowl. Mix together with a large wooden spoon until fully combined.
  5. Optionally serve the pasta salad with fresh chopped basil.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 532
Total Fat 26.5 g
Saturated Fat 5.1 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 48.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 54.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.7 g
Total Sugars 8.1 g
Sodium 696.0 mg
Protein 19.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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