Spinach Pasta Salad with Chicken Recipe

This delicious Asian chicken spinach pasta salad is filled with tender chicken and fresh baby spinach, tossed in a homemade Asian-inspired tangy dressing.

spinach pasta salad on a plate

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Even though it’s made with a few simple ingredients, this salad has so much flavor, and everyone will love it.

This simple pasta salad can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. It’s also perfect for using leftover chicken, or you can make your own shredded chicken for this salad.

🤍Why you will love this recipe

  • It’s a refreshing, light salad perfect for a side dish or main course.
  • Spinach pasta salad is a wholesome and nutritious pasta salad with lots of flavor.
  • This salad is a great way to use up leftover chicken.
    a photo of the ingredinets: spinach, chicken, salad dressing green onions and pasta

    Here is what you will need

    This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions.

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    How to make this spinach pasta salad recipe

    Prepare all ingredients: Rinse and dry the spinach, cut or shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, slice the onions, and make the dressing.

    a view of pasta cooking in a pan on the stove

    STEP 1: Cook pasta according to the package directions until it’s al dente. Drain and rinse the pasta, rinse it in cold water, and set it aside.

    STEP 2: Place the cooked pasta, spinach, chicken and onions into a large bowl.

    the ingredients in a bowl

    a photo of the dressing pouring over the salad

    STEP 3: Shake up the dressing and pour it over the ingredients in the bowl.

    STEP 4: Mix everything together and serve the pasta salad at room temperature or cold.

    a completed view of the pasta salad

    Ingredient notes & substitutions

    Pasta. You can use your favorite pasta in this recipe. We like whole-wheat rotini pasta, penne pasta, or bow tie pasta for their different textures. The nooks and crannies are perfect for holding onto all of those delicious flavors.

    Chicken. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or you can make a batch of shredded chicken.

    Tamari Sauce. This is a Japanese soy sauce. It’s darker than soy sauce and has a more robust flavor. It can be substituted one for one with soy sauce or coconut aminos

    Rice Vinegar. It can be substituted with white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

    Honey. Substitute honey one-for-one with maple syrup or brown rice syrup.

    overhead view of pasta salad on a white plate

    Serving suggestions

    Serve this simple pasta salad as a side dish garnished with green onions and chopped fresh cilantro as a side dish with burgers, shrimp cakes or as a main with a side of air fryer broccoli and cauliflower or broccoli salad.

    Make-ahead instructions

    This pasta salad recipe is the perfect one to make and put together just before serving.

    Here’s how: Cook the pasta up to a day ahead, drain, rinse and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Combine the dressing ingredients, and prepare the chicken. Store the salad ingredients separately in the refrigerator.

    A few hours before serving, combine the cooked chicken and cooked pasta together, mix the salad dressing ingredients together, slice the onions, and prepare the spinach. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

    a picture of asian pasta salad on a plate

    Recipe variations

    Vegetarian Pasta Salad with Sesame Dressing. Replace the chicken with a 14-ounce block of tofu that has been drained, brushed with olive oil cut into cubes; and roasted at 375 for 20 minutes.

    Gluten-Free Chicken Pasta Salad. Replace wheat pasta with your favorite gluten-free pasta such as chickpea pasta, and zucchini noodles or leave the noodles out altogether.

    Add More Fresh Veggies. Toss in 1/2 to 1 cup of sauteed mushroom, shredded carrots, zucchini or red peppers.

    Spice it up. Add 1/2 teaspoon or more (to taste) of red pepper flakes, hot sauce, chopped banana peppers or chili pepper to the dressing.

    Add some crunch. Instead of or in addition to sesame seeds, add 1/4 cup of toasted sliced almonds, peanuts or pine nuts to the pasta salad.

    Storing and using leftovers

    Store leftover chicken spinach pasta salad in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

    Use leftover pasta salad for lunch or as a side dish for dinner.


    • If the leftover pasta salad is dry after being stored in the fridge, stir in olive oil and tamari sauce.
    • Cook the pasta just until it’s al dente, which means it’s cooked but still slightly firm to the bite. Overcooked pasta can become mushy in the salad
    Can I leave the sesame oil out of this recipe?

    Yes, you can; however, the sesame oil adds a lot of flavor to this salad.

    Is this Asian chicken pasta salad healthy?

    Some pasta salads can be unhealthy when filled with fat and white pasta. This salad is made with whole wheat pasta, healthy spinach and lean chicken, so it’s a great recipe for healthy eating!

    Can I use a different meat to make this salad?

    Yes, you can easily substitute the chicken with shrimp or thinly sliced pork or beef.

    Are you too tired to cook dinner?

    If you’re feeling uninspired when it’s time to cook dinner, this free guide will help you make a quick and healthy dinner with ingredients you have in your kitchen.

    You Might Like These Easy Healthy Recipes

    Do you like this recipe?
    Please comment and give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below!


    spinach pasta salad on a plate

    Asian Chicken Salad with Pasta and Spinach

    A flavorful combination of ingredients are tossed in an Asian dressing.
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 25 minutes

    Click on serving size to scale this recipe

    Course: Dinner Recipes
    Cuisine: Asian American
    Keyword: spinach pasta salad
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 592kcal
    Author: Anne


    Scale this Recipe 4


    • 2 tablespoons Tamari Sauce
    • 2 tablespoons [sesame oil]
    • 2 tablespoons cup [rice wine vinegar]
    • 3 tablespoons [olive oil]
    • 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
    • 1 Garlic Clove Crushed
    • 4 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta such as fusilli rotini, shells, penne or bowties
    • 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken or 3/4 pound boneless chicken breast.
    • 4 green onions diced
    • 6 ounces baby spinach
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds


    • Cook the pasta according to package directions
    • While pasta is cooking combine the dressing ingredients (tamari sauce through crushed garlic clove) 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.
    • Pour the dressing over salad, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve at room temperature or place in the refrigerator until it’s time to serve.


    Fresh ginger with 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    Garlic clove with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
    Rice wine vinegar with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
    Tamari Sauce with an equal amount of soy sauce or coconut aminos.
    Make it Vegetarian: Replace the chicken with a 14-ounce block of tofu that has been drained, brushed with olive oil cut into cubes; roast at 375 for 20 minutes.
    Make it Gluten-Free – Replace whole wheat pasta with gluten-free pasta and use gluten-free tamari sauce.


    Serving: 1 | Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 140mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g

    Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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