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Easy Cold Chicken Pasta Salad – Perfect Summer Recipe!

chicken pasta salad
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Are you looking for a quick and delightful meal that’s sure to impress? Look no further than this Cold Chicken and Pasta Salad, a recipe that offers a delightful twist on the traditional pasta salad. What sets this dish apart are the caramelized onions, which infuse the salad with a unique, irresistible sweetness and depth of flavor, making it the tastiest chicken pasta salad you’ll ever try.

While it’s a joy to make and enjoy year-round, this salad is particularly fantastic during the summer months. Whether it’s a family lunch, a backyard barbecue, or a light, satisfying dinner on a warm evening, this chicken and pasta salad is always a hit.

Why Will You Love this Recipe?

  • Smokey Richness from Caramelized Onions: The smoky flavor of caramelized onions adds a delightful richness and complexity that will transform your notion of pasta salad. The sweetness and smoky aroma enhance each bite, setting this dish apart from the usual salad fare.
  • Satisfying and Filling: Unlike lighter salads, this hearty combination of pasta and chicken ensures that you stay full and energized for longer.
  • Nutritionally Balanced: This salad ticks all the boxes for a well-rounded meal. With a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables, it provides a variety of nutrients needed for a healthy diet.
COLD chicken pasta salad easy recipe

Recipe Variations

  • Pack in More Veggies: If you’re looking to boost the nutritional content even further, consider adding a variety of colorful vegetables. Bell peppers, spinach, or arugula can add crunch and freshness, while roasted carrots or sweet potatoes can introduce a lovely sweetness that complements the caramelized onions beautifully.
  • Vegan Delight with Smoked Tofu: For a plant-based alternative, replace the chicken and smoked cheese with smoked tofu. Smoked tofu not only retains the smoky flavor that makes this salad special, but it also adds a satisfying texture and protein content suitable for vegans.
How to make chicken pasta salad

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chicken pasta cold salad

Easy Cold Chicken Pasta Salad

Author: Laura Bais
This cold chicken and pasta salad is particularly delicious because of the addition of caramelized onions, which add a unique aroma and sweetness to the dish. You can serve the salad cold or warm, as you prefer. The recipe is easy and fun to make!
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 1628 kcal



  • 1.1 pounds chicken breasts
  • Salt pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme (to season the chicken)
  • 3 tablespoons oil

Caramelized Onion

  • 2 onions
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Other Ingredients

  • 6 ounces sweet corn
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 3.5 ounces smoked cheese
  • 14 ounces fresh pasta + salt for the water
  • 7 ounces sour cream
  • teaspoon salt


  • Cut the chicken breasts into steaks and season, then fry in oil.
  • Meanwhile, peel the onions, slice them into thin strips, and set aside until the chicken is done.
  • After removing the chicken, add onions to the same oil. Reduce the heat. Add the spices listed, sauté for a few minutes, then add the vinegar. Continue to sauté for about 4-5 minutes.
  • After cooking the pasta in salted water, add the drained caramelized onions, then the cream and salt. Stir well.
  • Cut the chicken into cubes and add to the pasta. Let it cool while you prepare the vegetables.
  • Cut the cucumber, smoked cheese, and tomatoes into cubes, drain and rinse the corn.
  • Transfer the ingredients to the pot with the pasta and chicken. Stir well and let it cool before serving. You can also serve the salad warm if you prefer. Enjoy your meal!


Serving: 1servingCalories: 1628kcalCarbohydrates: 156.8gProtein: 95.5gFat: 69.8gSaturated Fat: 23.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10.7gMonounsaturated Fat: 24.4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 412.7mgSodium: 1695.3mgPotassium: 2361.7mgFiber: 5.8gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 2626.7IUVitamin C: 38.9mgCalcium: 563.7mgIron: 9.3mg
Keyword caramelized onions, chicken pasta, chicken pasta salad, cold salad, Pasta Dish, summer, summer recipe

Before diving into the nutritional details, please review our Nutritional Disclaimer page for important context and clarifications.

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