Creamy chicken pasta salad is quick, easy, and SO tasty. It is packed with hearty ingredients for a filling side or main dish!
Chicken pasta salad is filled with chicken, bacon, avocado, cheese, and veggies for a filling dish perfect for summer BBQs and picnics. For similarly delish salads try Chinese Pasta Salad, Easy Pasta Salad, Greek Pasta Salad, and Macaroni Salad.
easy + cold chicken pasta salad
We have been long time fans of pasta salad, but wanted to change it up by making a chicken version.
Today’s Chicken pasta salad isn’t just hearty and delicious, but it’s FULL of tasty bits of chicken, bacon, cheese, avocado, and tomato. While it makes a yummy side salad, it is hearty enough to be used as a main course.
This pasta salad also makes a great addition to any BBQ or picnic. It transports easily and can be made ahead of time.
You can also add in more protein or veggies to change it up, or to make it even more filling. I know you’ll enjoy this creamy chicken pasta as much as I do!
how to make it
PASTA. Boil water in a medium pot. Add the pasta and cook until firm, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
DRESSING. Add the Italian Dressing and Mayo to a small bowl. Whisk together until smooth.
MIX INS. In a large bowl, add pasta, chicken, bacon, cheese, green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and avocado.
COMBINE. Pour the dressing over the top and stir until evenly covered.
Tips + Storing Info
You’ll notice that the ingredient list does include Mayo, but it’s only ¼ c. Just enough to give some flavor with making this a creamy pasta salad. If you choose to you can definitely increase the amount mayo for a more creamy texture.
I love using the tri colored spiral pasta when I make salads. I think the colors just add to the completed dish. If you don’t have tri colored spiral pasta, any similarly sized pasta will work such as penne, medium shell, bow-tie, or wagon wheel.
The great thing about salads is that you can easily change them up to whatever your family likes best. Green onions, olives, celery, cucumbers are all good mix in choices.
I use this pasta salad as more of a side to BBQs and picnics. However, you can increase the amount of chicken and use it as a main dish.
Most of the salad can be made the day before. STORE it covered in the fridge. Store the bacon bits in a separate container. Also save ¼ of the dressing to add right before serving. I would also wait to cut the avocado otherwise it may become too browned and unappetizing.
When you’re ready to serve the salad, Mix in in the rest of the dressing, add the bacon and avocado.
STORE leftovers, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Add a little Italian dressing if the pasta gets a bit dry.
More Side recipes:
Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe
- 8 oz spiral pasta
- 3/4 c Italian Salad dressing
- 1/4 c mayonnaise
- 2 c cooked seasoned chicken we used packaged fiesta chicken
- 8 sliced bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 c cubed Colby Jack cheese
- 1 c green bell pepper chopped
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted, chopped
- Boil water in a medium pot. Add the pasta and cook until firm, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Add the Italian Dressing and Mayo to a small bowl. Whisk together until smooth.
- In a large bowl, add pasta, chicken, bacon, cheese, green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and avocado.
- Pour the dressing over the top and stir until evenly covered.