Curried Chicken Pasta Salad is an easy, tasty twist on classic mac salad with macaroni, green apple, golden raisins, and chicken in a creamy curry dressing.
CURRIED CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
If you’ve had our Curried Egg Salad, you know what a game changer adding curry powder can be! Just a little bit of this savory, slightly sweet, earthy spice blend packs a lot of flavor. The bright golden color, from the turmeric, makes every bite look as good as it tastes. Curry powder is a magic special ingredient that can turn an everyday deli classic to a show-stopping side.
The apples and golden raisins balance the the heavily spiced flavor of curry in this Curried Chicken Pasta Salad. Like most deli salads, the longer you let Curry Chicken Pasta Salad chill, the more the flavors will develop and come together. If you are serving Curried Chicken Pasta Salad for a party, make it a day or two ahead of time. Bonus of making this dish ahead is it cuts your to-do list down for the day of your party!
This Curried Chicken Pasta Salad is full of flavor that sounds and tastes fancy, but it’s actually budget-friendly side! A little curry powder goes a long way and lasts on the shelf for a long time. While it’s a little more expensive at first, you can get a lot of mileage out of curry powder. Keep it on hand to turn classic dishes like Pasta Salad into something special and to make better-than-take-out Indian Food!
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You can use a pre-made curry powder blend for Curried Chicken Pasta Salad or make your own blend. For store bought curry powder, you want to be sure to check the spicy level especially if you are making this Curried Chicken Pasta Salad for a crowd. Madras Curry is a popular curry blend but is has quite a bit more heat than regular golden curry powder.
Curried Chicken Pasta Salad is a quick and easy lunch after the holidays with leftovers from your Easter Ham or Thanksgiving Turkey. If you have extra celery and grapes from your veggie and cheese trays, add those to your Curried Chicken Pasta Salad too! This is a great dish to clean out your fridge, swapping out ingredients in the recipe with what you have on hand.
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VARIATIONS ON CURRIED CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
- Pasta: Instead of macaroni noodles, you can use small shells, penne, rotini, or bowtie pasta. Try this recipe with 2 cups of diced boiled potatoes like red potatoes or Yukon potatoes.
- Chicken For the chicken, you can use canned chicken, freshly cooked chicken, or use leftover Rotisserie Chicken. You can also make ground chicken or ground turkey and drain the grease before adding.
- Mix-Ins: Other mix-ins you can add besides green apples and golden raisins are dried apricots, regular raisins, red grapes, or any crisp, tart apples you have. Instead of almonds, try walnuts, pine nuts, or pecans and toast the nuts for more flavor!
- Veggies: Some other fresh veggies that would taste good in Curried Chicken Pasta Salad are snap peas, baby kale or baby spinach, diced red onions, green onions, or carrots shreds.
- Potato Salad: To make Curried Chicken Potato Salad, replace the pasta with 3 pounds Yukon potatoes or red potatoes that have been peeled, diced and boiled. You can add 3 hardboiled eggs, diced, to make it even creamier and rich.
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HOW TO STORE CURRIED CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
- Serve: Let your Curried Chicken Pasta Salad chill for at least a few hours before serving so the flavors develop. Its best to keep mayo based salads cool and store after 2 hours at room temperature.
- Store: Keep Curried Chicken Pasta Salad in an airtight container for up to 4 days and stir well before serving.
- Store: Mayonnaise separates when it is frozen so its not recommended to freeze Curried Chicken Pasta Salad. You can freeze cooked pasta noodles for up to 6 months but it’s best to make the rest of the salad fresh.
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 pound elbow macaroni , cooked and drained
- 4 stalks celery , chopped
- 1 green apple , cored and diced
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 cups chicken breast , cooked and chopped
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds , for garnish
- Mix mayonnaise, salt, pepper, lemon juice and curry powder.
- Toss with pasta, celery, apples and raisins.
- Carefully mix in chicken until coated with dressing.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Garnish with sliced almonds before serving.