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.

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad - Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!!

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.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad - Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!!

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.

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad - Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!!

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 - Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy!! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!!

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, place in a large bowl, and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Carefully add the sauce, noting that it may bubble up in the first few seconds.
  5. 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.
  6. Add chicken and sauce from the pan to the bowl of pasta.
  7. 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.
Only Eats

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Post is brought to you by Fisher. The recipes, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own. #ThinkFisher

27 comments on “Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad”

  1. The deli counter winds up being full of extra oils, salts, and sugars. And I usually prefer the way my version tastes anyway! I pretty much use the deli counter to buy deli. That’s it.
    This salad looks amazing. I love the bits of crunch thrown in with the dressing, not to mention those great chunks of chicken!

  2. Averie – I’m drooling over here! I love the colorful array of vegetables and nuts in this dish. This would be one of those dishes that I make and enjoy throughout the week. Thank you!

  3. I’ll look at the deli counter salads for ideas and then make something similar at home–it’s usually the sauce/dressing that needs some healthful tweaking. This looks great–I’ve been on a chili-lime-cilantro kick with my salads this past week so it’s time to mix it up again. Gotta give this a try!

    • Nothing wrong with a chili-lime-cilantro kick :) But this is a totally different flavor profile and a great changeup!

    • It rained all day–final phase of landscape project derailed. This recipe brightened up dinner though–so colorful and flavorful with plenty of crunch. I used up the last of my fresh ginger and found some black sesame seeds hidden in the freezer. We loved it (always do!) and have leftovers for a quick lunch tomorrow.

      • Thanks for trying the recipe and the ginger and black sesame seeds would be perfect! Great recipe to use up those random bits you have on-hand and both of those things I know would be great in here! Sorry about the rain…ugh!! I hate it when Mother Nature stands in the way of progress!

  4. I never buy deli salads because I always fear how long they’ve been sitting around.  I love this salad all it’s beautiful 
    colors especially that purple cabbage…gorgeous…can’t wait to make this and eat it throughout the week for lunches.

  5. This looks healthy and delicious! Edamame is becoming one of my favorites, love how you added it in this salad, great idea!

  6. Love it!  Beautiful healthy salad!!  Perfect for summer!!

  7. As always love all the colors, the flavors, the texture, and the photos are so perfect that I would make this now and eat it for breakfast!

  8. Sounds like a great flavor combo.

  9. This salad looks so refreshing on a hot day! I love easy salads like this that come together quickly and taste fabulous. Can’t beat it for a quick weeknight meal or side dish! 

  10. I’m becoming repetitive: I am loving your savory recipes! Seriously every one you make I want. This one especially!!

  11. You are rocking the savory recipes, Averie! I just realized I missed a whole bunch! Catching up! This salad looks fantastic. I need a salad that can be a meal on it’s own. Pinned! 

  12. This chinese chicken pasta salad looks so light and refreshing – perfect for summer!

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  14. This chicken pasta salad looks amazing! I love all the great flavors in here!

  15. This sounds really nice. Always looking for new recipes to try. Thanks for sharing.

    Simon

  16. This sounds lovely. Going to give this a go. thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Simon

  17. This is so delicious! I omitted the chicken and added mandarin oranges. I also didn’t have any peanuts so just used almonds. It’s easily the prettiest salad I’ve ever made too :)

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