Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad
I love watching what people buy at the deli counter. And unfortunately what they usually overpay for.
Chinese chicken salad is definitely a popular item.
DIY is always best and this is a fast and easy recipe the whole family will love, ready in 20 minutes, and it’s one of the best pasta salads I’ve eaten in ages.
There are so many wonderful flavors because the sauce the chicken cooks in, which then gets tossed with the pasta and vegetables, is packed with the quintessential Chinese chicken salad flavors: Soy, sesame, rice wine vinegar, honey, lemon and it keeps the chicken perfectly moist, tender, and coats the pasta and vegetables beautifully.
There’s texture galore from all the veggies. Carrots, cabbage, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, edamame. It’s like eating a salad minus the lettuce. Along with dry chow mein noodles, crunchy Fisher Natural Sliced Almonds, peanuts, and sesame seeds, it’s crunchy, hearty, and all the veggies really beefs up the yield.
It’s versatile because you can serve it warm or chilled for a cold pasta salad making it great for picnics and parties. Use the vegetables I used or improvise and toss in your favorites. If you’re missing a couple of the veggies or nuts I used, that’s likely okay. Go with what you have.
It’s healthy, perfect for summer parties, potlucks, picnics, or busy weeknights.
It makes a big batch which is great for planned leftovers and lunches.
Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad
This is a fast and easy recipe the whole family will love, ready in 20 minutes, and it's one of the best pasta salads I've eaten in ages. There are so many wonderful flavors quintessential Chinese chicken salad flavors: Soy, sesame, rice wine vinegar, honey, lemon and it keeps the chicken perfectly moist, tender, and coats the pasta and vegetables beautifully. There's texture galore from all the veggies and nuts. It's versatile because you can serve it warm or chilled for a cold pasta salad making it great for picnics and parties. Use the vegetables I used or improvise and toss in your favorites. If you're missing a couple of the veggies or nuts, that's likely okay. Go with what you have. It’s healthy, perfect for summer parties, potlucks, picnics, busy weeknights, and it makes a big batch which is great for planned leftovers and lunches.
Yield: serves 8 generously
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: about 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 8 ounces rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar may be substituted)
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil for sauce + 1 tablespoon for cooking chicken
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 cup purple cabbage, sliced thin
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 1/2 cup edamame, cooked and shelled
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced small or shredded
- 1/2 cup yellow or orange bell peppers, diced small (another color may be substituted)
- 1/2 cup chow mein noodles (add dry, don't cook)
- 1/2 cup Fisher Natural Sliced Almonds
- 1/4 cup peanuts
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced thin (about 2 green onions using both green and white)
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, place in a large bowl, and set aside.
- To a medium bowl or large measuring cup, add the honey, rice wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, salt, pepper, and stir to combine; set sauce aside.
- To a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon sesame oil, add chicken, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, flipping intermittently so all sides cook evenly. Cooking time will vary based on thickness of chicken breasts and sizes of pieces. Chicken should be about 90% cooked through.
- Carefully add the sauce, noting that it may bubble up in the first few seconds.
- Allow sauce to bubble at a medium-fast boil for about 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened and reduced some, and chicken is cooked through. Stir sauce and flip chicken intermittently throughout. You'll still have quite a bit of sauce in the pan after 5 minutes which is good because there's a lot of pasta and vegetables to coat.
- Add chicken and sauce from the pan to the bowl of pasta.
- Add the cabbage, sugar snap peas, edamame, carrots, bell peppers, chow mein noodles, nuts, onions, sesame seeds, and stir well to combine. Dish can be served warm immediately or can be served as a cold pasta salad. Will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve cold or reheat gently prior to serving if desired.
Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
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