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Delicious Chicken Pasta Salad


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This Chicken Pasta Salad is always a hit at picnics and potlucks. The unusual collection of ingredients magically come together to create an amazing lunch dish!

Chicken Pasta Salad in a white bowl with a fork in it on a white cloth on a gray kitchen counter with title text reading Chicken Pasta Salad

Now that my kids have headed back to school, the lazy days of summer are behind us. Every afternoon we have a hectic schedule of homework, dinner, a sport, packing lunches for the next day, then our bedtime rituals.

Knowing that we were going to be hitting the ground running as soon as the kids got home from their first day of school, I made a crockpot chicken dinner to take some of the stress out of the busy dinner hour. Since I had some great chicken stock left over, I decided to make my favorite chicken pasta salad recipe that we could easily divide up between the six of us for lunches the next day.

Chicken Pasta Salad in a white bowl with a fork in it on a white cloth on a gray kitchen counter next to a bowl of more salad

How to Make Chicken Pasta Salad

I like to use the Wacky Mac bowtie pasta because the kids like the fun shape and colors and I like the healthy ingredients (the pasta gets its interesting colors from tomatoes, beets, and spinach). Nutritionally, it has more protein and less sodium than Barilla’s veggie farfalle (aka bowtie pasta).

If you want another option, go with Barilla Plus farfalle. It has slightly more sodium and fat than Wacky Mac, but fewer carbs, more protein, more dietary fiber and a teeny bit of calcium. This is a good choice if you have a child that is skeptical of anything that is green (like my younger son).

By the way, I’m not being paid by either company to promote these products, they just happen to be the ones my family likes best. By all means, if you have a favorite brand stick with it. The small variations in pasta won’t affect the flavor of this dish.

Aside from the pasta, you’ll also need:

  • Chicken breasts
  • Bowtie pasta
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Carrots
  • Grapes
  • Mayonnaise
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Orange juice
  • Garlic powder
  • Pepper
  • Salt

I just love the rainbow of colors!

ingredients needed to make Delicious Chicken Pasta Salad

First, you need to boil the chicken breasts in chicken stock. You can also use a rotisserie chicken to save time.

chicken breasts in chicken stock in a pot

In a separate pot, boil the pasta.

While the chicken and pasta are cooking, dice the onions, celery and red bell pepper. Also, wash the grapes and shred the carrots.

When the chicken and noodles are done, drain them separately. Put the pasta in a bowl and toss it with just a little bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.

Let the chicken cool slightly and then dice it. Next, season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

The chicken absorbs more of the flavor from the seasonings than the other ingredients so you get the most flavor mileage if you keep the chicken separate for this step.

diced cooked chicken in a pot being mixed with seasonings

After that, add the chicken and all of the vegetables and grapes to the pasta bowl.

chicken, vegetables, grapes and pasta in a metal bowl on a gray kitchen counter

Mix everything together.

chicken pasta salad in a bowl being mixed together with a spoon

Finally, it’s time to finish off the dish with the sauce.

bowls of sauce ingredients for the chicken salad on a white cloth and a gray counter

Combine the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), and orange juice in a bowl, making sure to stir well.

sauce for the chicken salad in a white bowl with a spoon in it next to a white cloth on a gray counter

Then, add the sauce to the pasta mixture.

sauce being stirred into the chicken pasta salad with a spoon

Stir it in until all the pieces were coated.

close up of chicken pasta salad and a spoon

You will notice that the recipe doesn’t make a lot of sauce. That’s intentional.

My kids don’t care for mayonnaise so I use just enough sauce to keep the salad from being dry.

You can serve this right away, but I prefer the flavor after it’s sat for a while. I like to make it a day before I plan to serve or eat it to make sure it’s extra flavorful.

a close up of Chicken Pasta Salad in a white bowl on a white cloth on a gray kitchen counter

The sweetness of the grapes and orange juice and the fun shape and color of the pasta helps make this dish appealing to my kids. The healthy ingredients and delicious combination of sweet and savory flavors make this a favorite for me and my husband.

close up of Chicken Pasta Salad in a white bowl on a white cloth on a gray kitchen counter

I hope your family enjoys this Chicken Pasta Salad as much as we do.

Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

Here’s the printable recipe card for this Chicken Pasta Salad. Enjoy!

Chicken Pasta Salad

Full of color and flavor.
4.67 from 3 votes
Cook Time 20 mins
20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 224 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pkg Wacky Mac Veggie Bows or Barilla Plus Farfalle pasta
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 carrots shredded
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 T orange juice

Instructions
 

  • Boil chicken in 2 cups chicken broth plus 3 cups water for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • Season chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Combine pasta, seasoned chicken, celery, onion, bell pepper, carrots, and grapes in large bowl. Mix well.
  • In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt or sour cream, and lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Fold mayonnaise sauce into pasta mixture, stirring well to coat all the ingredients with sauce.
  • For best results, refrigerate at least one hour and up to 24 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 14gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 398mgPotassium: 439mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3043IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chicken pasta salad, pasta salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

a collage of Chicken Pasta Salad in a white bowl with a fork in it on a white cloth on a gray kitchen counter with title text reading Chicken Pasta Salad

3 thoughts on “Delicious Chicken Pasta Salad”

  1. Pingback: Easy Summer Salads Menu Plan - Blessed Simplicity
  2. I don’t know why, but I love chicken and grapes together so I know I would love this salad. I need to learn to make my own mayo without sugar in it.

    Reply

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