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Creamy and fresh Cashew Chicken Salad is tossed in a delicious homemade dressing. It’s a perfect summer salad!

We all know chicken salad is hard to turn down, but add pasta and cashews, and it makes it even better!! This is the perfect summery salad to take to showers and BBQ’s!

Cashew chicken salad on white plate.

A favorite pasta salad

Whenever we go to parties, get togethers, or baby showers, we’ll usually find at least one salad or pasta recipe, and we’re always trying them out so we can snag the recipe from whoever brought it.

This Cashew Chicken salad actually came from my sister-in-law’s mom. They served it at my brother’s wedding and it was a favorite—everyone was asking for the recipe! My mom has made it a few times since for events, and it’s always gone in no time.

If you’re one to enjoy pasta salads as well, then I suggest giving this one a try. It’s hearty and has a delicious creamy dressing that you will love!

How to Make Cashew Chicken Salad

This recipe is too easy!

Prep Pasta: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. If you wish to season the pasta with salt, do so now. Use ¾ tablespoons salt for every 8 ounces of pasta. This recipe calls for about 3 cups, or 6 ounces, of dry bow tie pasta so use ½-¾ tablespoons of salt.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook the pasta to al dente. See package directions for specific times. Drain and rinse with cold water. 

COMBINE. Mix cooked pasta, chopped celery, green onions, cubed chicken, and grapes together in a large bowl.

DRESS. Make the dressing and pour over the salad. Refrigerate for at least one hour and add cashews right before serving.

Cashew Chicken pasta salad ingredients.

Change it up:

Not only is this pasta salad tasty, but the mixture of the colors and textures make it a pretty salad as well. The salad is easily customizable too. Here are a few ideas for equally delicious and beautiful variations:

  •  Use Almonds
  •  Red onion 
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Add raisins or craisins
  • Switch up the pasta: penne, rotini (either white or tricolored), medium shell pasta. Really any pasta that has some type of groove so the dressing will cling to every bite. 
  • Add salt, black pepper, garlic salt to taste
  • Add shredded carrots
  • Sprinkle in a bit of fresh cilantro
  • Replace mayonnaise with greek yogurt
  • Add a bit of diced red bell peppers
  • Toss in some small broccoli florets
  • Mix in some shredded red cabbage
Cashew chicken salad recipe in white bowl.

Making Ahead + Storing

Make ahead of time: Prepare this pasta salad a couple of hours before serving. Any longer and the pasta will begin to absorb the moisture and the salad will become dried out. If you want to prep the ingredients the day before, then I suggest storing them in separate containers and then mixing them all together before serving. 

STORE leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

For more Pasta Salad Recipes, try:

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4.94 from 16 votes

Cashew Chicken Salad Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Creamy and fresh Cashew Chicken Salad is tossed in a delicious homemade dressing. It's a perfect summer salad!
Servings: 6
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes



  • 3 cups pasta cooked
  • 1/2 bunch celery chopped
  • 1/2 bunch green onions sliced
  • 3-4 chicken breasts cubed and cooked
  • 1-2 cups grapes sliced in half
  • 2 cups cashews


  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
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  • Mix all pasta ingredients together, except cashews.
  • Combine sauce ingredients and poor over salad. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Add cashews just before serving.


Calories: 983kcal, Carbohydrates: 67g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 64g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 1089mg, Potassium: 881mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 35g, Vitamin A: 135IU, Vitamin C: 3.5mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 4.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mike says:

    5 stars
    Krystyn’s Cashew Chicken Salad Recipe

    I made this for my wife. She was very skeptical that it would be as good as the kind our local grocery store makes.
    They haven’t made it for a long time, so on a whim I tried this receipe.
    I was pleasantly shocked that she said it was very good. I think she was more surprised than I was. My granddaughter, also quite picky, wanted 2nd helpings.

    I am definitely saving this one!
    Thank you

  2. Melissa says:

    4 stars
    Way too sweet for me. Will try with 1/4 cup brown sugar next time

  3. wilhelmina says:

    5 stars
    I love this salad as a light meal when it’s hot or as a cookout side dish. It’s so good!

  4. Toni says:

    5 stars
    I love the combination of flavors in this salad! Seriously amazing!