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creamy chicken pasta salad in a pink mixing bowl with a spatula

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: serves 7-8 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This simple pasta salad has the works! Bacon, crisp peppers, broccoli, feta cheese, grilled chicken, and tomatoes covered in a creamy buttermilk greek yogurt dressing. It’s for those of you who like the “stuff” in pasta salads, more than the pasta itself! Simple, quick, and makes great leftovers.


Ingredients

Scale

Creamy Greek Yogurt Buttermilk Dressing

  • 3/4 cup (180g) plain low fat Greek yogurt*
  • 1 cup (240ml) low fat buttermilk*
  • 2 Tablespoons low fat or regular mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 roasted garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pasta Salad

  • 1 pound dry pasta (we use fusilloni)
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled/cooked and chopped
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups (350g) small broccoli florets
  • 1 orange, green, yellow, or red bell pepper, chopped
  •  1/2 cup (76g) crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 strips crispy bacon, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing first: Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together. Taste, and add more salt/pepper/garlic/whatever you feel it needs. I usually add more roasted garlic and parsley. Stick the dressing in the refrigerator as you prepare the rest.
  2. Make the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, then rinse with cold water to cool. Pour into a large bowl. Add the chicken, tomatoes, broccoli, and pepper. Pour 3/4 cup of the dressing over the pasta salad and gently toss to combine. Add a little more dressing if you’d like. Leftover dressing is great on salads – store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  3. Add the feta cheese and bacon and stir up the pasta salad again. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Chill for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day before serving to allow the flavors to settle. This makes great leftovers! Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Make the dressing a couple days in advance. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. You can make the entire pasta salad a day or two before serving as well.
  2. Dressing: If you don’t have Greek yogurt, sour cream works instead. Buttermilk is key for flavor, but you can use whole milk or lower fat milk if needed. Nondairy milk works in a pinch, too.
  3. Get Creative! Add your favorite veggies like chopped cucumber, squash, zucchini, artichokes, olives, shredded carrots, leftover cooked spinach, diced cucumbers, chickpeas, you get the idea.

Keywords: Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad