Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad is the ultimate BBQ side. It’s made with tender chicken, easy pasta, and a flavorful lemon, relish, and mayo dressing.

This simple Side Dish combines two classics, Macaroni Salad and Chicken Salad. They’re already good separately, but putting the two together makes a filling and delicious recipe that you’re sure to be making all spring and summer long.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad in bowl with celery

CREAMY CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

One of the best things about Summer has to be the cookouts. There’s nothing like serving up some hamburgers, Grilled Chicken, or BBQ Chicken Wings with good friends and plenty of sides. It’s the perfect way to spend a warm afternoon. Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad is a cool and refreshing dish to add to the menu that’s sure to be a hit with all your guests.

The cool, tender ingredients in Creamy Pasta Salad and the zesty dressing make it the perfect contrast to classic BBQ main dishes. It’s great to bring as a side to the next Summer Party you’re invited to, or throw together to go with a simple family dinner.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad also makes a great meal on its own. Adding the chicken brings some protein that macaroni salad doesn’t usually have and makes it a filling dish. It’s great to enjoy as a satisfying but hassle-free lunch.

Chicken Pasta Salad keeps fairly well in the fridge so if you have leftovers you can enjoy them as a lunch in the days to follow. Sometimes I make a big batch exactly for that. With the kids home for the summer, things get hectic and I don’t always have time to be making everyone lunch. It’s nice to have an easy dish to pull out of the fridge and serve up without extra work.

It’s an especially great dish to make the day after enjoying Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts for dinner. You can chop up the leftover chicken and toss it right in the salad.

MORE PASTA SALAD RECIPES

HOW TO MAKE CREAMY CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

  • Prep: Start by getting your ingredients ready. Boil a pot of water and cook your elbow macaroni until it’s tender. While the pasta is cooking chop up the chicken breast and celery.
  • Dressing: In a serving bowl mix together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and relish to make the mayo dressing.
  • Salad: Add the cooked pasta, celery, and chicken to the bowl. Toss all the ingredients together until the salad is well coated in dressing.
  • Set: Cover the Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. You never want to leave Chicken Pasta Salad out at room temperature for more than an hour or two at a time.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad ingredients in mixing bowl

VARIATIONS ON CREAMY CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

  • Protein: You can easily replace the chicken in this recipe with cooked turkey, ham, or tuna. Or if you want to make a vegetarian pasta salad, mix in some chickpeas or tofu.
  • Pasta: You can also easily exchange the pasta for whatever you have in your pantry. Instead of using elbow macaroni noodles try rotini, orzo, orecchiette, or any other shortcut pasta you have on hand.
  • Flavor additions: To change up the flavor try experimenting with different ingredients in the dressing. You could add in some spices like oregano, basil, thyme, coriander, or chili powder. Another option is chopping up some veggies to toss in like green onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, or lettuce.
  • Yogurt: To make a healthier dressing, you can exchange the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt. It will slightly alter the taste, but the other dressing flavors are strong enough to shine through, and it will keep a similar creamy texture to mayonnaise.
  • Cheese: If you want to add some cheese shredded cheddar, Swiss, provolone, or Jack would taste great with this recipe.

MORE CHICKEN SALAD RECIPES

HOW TO STORE CREAMY CHICKEN PASTA SALAD

  • Serve: To keep Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad from going bad, don’t leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Store: Kept covered or in an airtight container, the Chicken Pasta Salad should stay good in the fridge for 3-5 days.
  • Freeze: Unfortunately, the mayo dressing won’t freeze well. If you haven’t finished the Chicken Pasta Salad after 5 days, it’s better just o make a fresh batch.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad in mixing bowl

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Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad is the ultimate BBQ side. It’s made with tender chicken, easy pasta, and a flavorful lemon, relish, and mayo dressing.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons relish , sweet or dill both work
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni , cooked and drained
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast , chopped
  • 4 stalks celery , chopped

Instructions

  • Mix mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and relish.
  • Toss with pasta, celery, and chicken.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 529mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 91IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad

 

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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