Spinach Chicken Pasta Salad made with rotisserie chicken, pasta, fresh spinach & tangy oranges then tossed with an easy teriyaki vinaigrette! Perfect summer salad with incredible flavor everyone loves!
Making this pasta salad with spinach and chicken is so simple and perfect for those warm spring or hot summer days, it is so delicious and refreshing! This teriyaki pasta salad is packed with amazing flavors and can be made as a complete meal!
Easy Chicken Pasta Salad with Spinach
I don’t know about everyone else, but I have a hard time cooking dinner when it is hot outside. Nothing sounds good and turning on the oven is out of the question. It is why I love this pasta salad recipe! It involves minor heat, is light and chilled, and fills my family up! They are also perfect for summer potlucks and backyard BBQ’s, they are filling and feed a crowd well. One of the best things about pasta salads is how adaptable they are. You can make them according to the recipe or you can adjust them to reflect your own tastes, leave out what you don’t like and add in what you do!
Spinach Chicken Pasta Salad Ingredients
Chicken: You will need 2 cups chicken, cooked and diced. You can use canned chicken, rotisserie from the store or plan ahead and grill some extra for dinner earlier in the week and use the left overs. I like to make things easy on myself and I used canned chicken for this recipe, but whatever you choose will be great!
Pasta: Using 1 16-ounce box of pasta will be a great base to this pasta salad recipe. I love bowtie pasta, I like that it is small and soaks up the many flavors well.
Spinach: Adding in about 4 ounces of fresh spinach makes this cold pasta salad nice and hearty.
Onions: Adding in 1 bunch of green onions, chopped, adds a nice texture to this pasta dish.
Craisins: To add in some lovely tart flavor, throw in 6-ounces of Craisins.
Oranges: You need 3 11-ounce cans of mandarin oranges for a great citrus blast of flavor.
Parsley: Using 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley for a nice earthy taste in this salad.
Pumpkin seeds: For a nice nutty crunch, include 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds in this salad.
Teriyaki Dressing Ingredients
Vegetable oil: You will need 1 cup of vegetable oil, the better the quality the better the taste!
Teriyaki sauce: Use 2/3 cup teriyaki sauce to make this dressing super flavorful.
Vinegar: Adding in 1/3 cup vinegar is a great balance of flavors in this recipe.
Sugar: For a bit of sweetness, use 3 tablespoons of sugar.
Salt and Pepper: To add some seasoning, add in 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper.
Easy step by step on how to make Spinach Chicken Pasta Salad
In a small bowl or a jar, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. If you are using a jar, simply put the lid on and shake well. Put in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cook the pasta according to the package until it is al dente, you do not want it cooked all the way. Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water, pour pasta into a large bowl.
Then, rinse and dry the spinach.
Chop or shred the chicken. If you are using canned chicken, fluff it up a bit with a fork. If you are preparing the chicken now, cook it and season it to your liking. Avoid any major flavor seasonings, just a basic salt/pepper/garlic salt would work well with the other flavors in this recipe.
Next, dice and chop the green onions and parsley into small pieces.
Proceed to drain the cans of mandarin oranges, get as much of the liquid out as possible.
Now, combine all the ingredients into the bowl with the cooked pasta.
Start with the chicken, spinach and onions. Toss to combine well.
Then, add in the craisins, oranges, parsley, and pumpkin seeds.
Proceed to pour the teriyaki dressing over the pasta salad and mix to combine.
Serve cold and enjoy!
What do you serve with chicken pasta salad?
If you are looking to make this a full meal and include side dishes with this pasta salad, there are several great options that would go great with this dish! Try some amazing roasted vegetables, or this delicious creamed corn we absolutely love! We also love any reason to enjoy some cheesy bread sticks, give these a try! Another light and refreshing dish that would pair great with this pasta salad is Caprese pops!
Spinach Chicken Pasta Salad
- 2 cups Chicken cooked and diced/shredded
- 16 oz Bowtie pasta cooked, drained & chilled
- 4 oz spinach rinsed & patted dry
- 1 bunch of green onions chopped
- 6 oz Craisins
- 33 oz mandarin oranges three 11-oz cans
- ½ cup Parsley fresh, chopped
- ⅓ cup Pumpkin seeds
Teriyaki Dressing Ingredients
- 1 cup light olive oil
- ⅔ cup Teriyaki sauce
- ⅓ cup Vinegar
- 3 tbsp Sugar
- ½ tsp both Salt and Pepper
- In a small bowl or a jar, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. If you are using a jar, simply put the lid on and shake well. Put in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook the pasta according to the package until it is al dente, you do not want it cooked all the way. Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water, pour pasta into a large bowl.
- Chop or shred the chicken. If you are using canned chicken, fluff it up a bit with a fork. If you are preparing the chicken now, cook it and season it to your liking. Avoid any major flavor seasonings, just a basic salt/pepper/garlic salt would work well with the other flavors in this recipe.
- Proceed to drain the cans of mandarin oranges, get as much of the liquid out as possible.
- Now, combine all the ingredients into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Start with the chicken, spinach and onions. Toss to combine well. Then, add in the craisins, oranges, parsley, and pumpkin seeds.
- Proceed to pour the teriyaki dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine. Serve cold and enjoy!
What else can you put in chicken pasta salad?
There are a wide variety of pasta salad recipes, this one is nice because it is so versatile. If you do not enjoy one of the ingredients, simply leave it out. Some other tasty options you could add are cherry tomatoes, cooked chunks of bacon or even some parmesan cheese. If you want to make this a meatless meal, you can swap the chicken for chickpeas.
How long is chicken spinach pasta salad good for?
Pasta salad is good for 3-4 days if kept stored properly in the fridge. Freshest is best, so enjoy it as soon as you can for the best results.
Can you freeze left over chicken pasta salad?
You can indeed! Store it in an airtight container or freezer safe ziplocked back for up to 2-3 months. Defrost by putting in the refrigerator for a few hours before enjoying.
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Spinach Chicken Pasta Salad is made with a simple teriyaki vinaigrette that is so great for summer dinners! This chicken pasta salad is loaded with fresh spinach, tangy oranges and tart cranberries.