Asian chicken pasta salad is a flavorful combination of pasta, chicken and baby spinach tossed in an Asian inspired dressing.
Even though I call it a salad, this recipe has all of the components of a healthy dinner and that’s how I how I serve it. Here is what you will need to make this recipe for Asian Pasta Salad with Chicken: pasta, baby spinach, cooked chicken, green onions, sesame seeds, tamari sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, olive oil, honey, garlic, ginger and toasted sesame seeds.
I first had this salad several years ago at a potluck that I hosted. After one bite, I was in love and I immediately asked my friend for the recipe. It’s been tweaked and made many times since that pot luck.
This salad is perfect for a quick and easy one dish dinner, especially when you have leftover chicken. It’s packed with spinach and which slightly wilts when the dressing is added. When I make this salad, I make up a double batch because it tastes better the next day after the dressing has had time to soak into the pasta and chicken.
Here is How to Make Asian Pasta Salad with Chicken
Please note that this a list of steps to give you an idea how to make this recipe. Full details are in the recipe card below.
- Cook the pasta
- While the pasta is cooking, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces
- Clean, dry and chop the spinach
- Slice the onions
- Make the dressing
- Drain the pasta and place it into a large bowl
- Add the spinach, chicken and onions to the pasta
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix in
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and enjoy
Total Estimated Time: 30 Minutes.
Tips and Variations for Making Asian Pasta Salad with Chicken
This recipe is very versatile. You can change out the type of pasta, make it vegetarian, vegan or low-carb.
- The best pasta to use in this recipe is whole wheat rotini, penne, bow ties or cellentani.
- Leftover shredded chicken breast or chicken breast that has been cut into bite-sized pieces work well in this recipe. If you don’t have left over chicken, grill or bake boneless chicken breasts or thighs.
- If you don’t have rice wine vinegar, you can substitute it with white wine or apple cider vinegar.
- Meal Prep Tip! Prepare the chicken, dressing and spinach ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. Boil the pasta and add it the prepared ingredients for a quick dinner.
- This pasta salad can be served warm or cold. To serve it warm, rinse the pasta in warm water and place it into a large pasta bowl, add the remaining ingredients and serve immediately. To serve it cold, rinse the pasta in cold water, and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator without dressing. When it’s time to eat stir in the dressing and serve.
- Vegetarian Version. Replace the chicken with a 14 ounce block of tofu that has been cut into cubes and roast at 375 for 20 minutes.
- Vegan Version. In addition to replacing the chicken, use maple syrup in place of honey.
- Gluten-Free Version. Replace the whole wheat pasta with a gluten-free pasta such as chick pea pasta, or quinoa pasta.
- Low-Carb Version. Leave out the pasta and more spinach.
- Change it up! Add 8 to 10 ounces of sauteed shitake mushrooms to the pasta.
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Asian Chicken Salad with Pasta & Spinach
A flavorful combination of ingredients are tossed in an Asian dressing.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove-top
- Cuisine: American
- 1 1/2 cups of shredded chicken or 3/4 pound boneless chicken breasts cooked and shredded
- 6 ounces whole wheat pasta – rotini, shells, bow, penne or cellentani
- 4 diced green onions
- 5 to 6 ounces of baby spinach rough chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- Cook the pasta according to package directions
- While pasta is cooking combine the dressing ingredients ( 2 T tamari, 2 T sesame oil, 2 T vinegar, 3T olive oil, 2 t of honey 1/2 t ground ginger) in a small jar and shake well, or add the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk with a fork
- Place the cooked and drained pasta into a bowl, add the chicken, onions and spinach; mix together
- Pour dressing over salad, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve
If you are making this ahead of time, add dressing just before serving
Keywords: pasta salad, asian pasta salad, pasta
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