The Most Addicting Chicken Pasta Salad EVER!

This homemade Chicken Pasta Salad is an easy meal that is reminiscent of an old-fashioned deli-style salad you’d find at your local grocery store. Filled with chicken, pasta, broccoli, and cheddar cheese, it will become your new picnic and potluck “go-to”.

bowl of chicken pasta salad

Your New “Go-To” Chicken Salad Recipe

This easy pasta salad recipe is a staple everyone needs in their recipe box. It’s the perfect lunch, a huge hit to share at a potluck, and a great recipe the whole family will love.

This favorite pasta salad is the perfect combination of tender chicken, fresh veggies, tender pasta, and a deli-style creamy dressing. Best of all, if you use a rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, or pull a batch of Instant Pot shredded chicken out of your freezer, you can have this favorite pasta salad recipe ready in just 20 minutes!

What You Will Need to Make This Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

  • 2 cups shredded chicken breasts
  • 2 cups small shell pasta
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1 medium red onion, diced very fine
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups mayo (I used avocado oil mayo)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

How to Make Cold Chicken Pasta Salad

close up of bowl of chicken pasta salad with broccoli

Cook the pasta according to package directions until the noodles are al dente. 

Once it’s done cooking, rinse it with cold water until cool. (You can add a few ice cubes to the strainer as well, to speed up the cooling process.)

While the pasta is cooking, wash the broccoli and chop it into small florets. Dice the onion (a handheld chopper makes this super easy) into very small, fine pieces.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayo, sugar, and apple cider vinegar until well combined.

Next, combine chicken and cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese, broccoli, and onion, mixing until it’s all combined.

Finally, pour your homemade dressing over the salad mixture and stir until everything is well coated.

This is an awesome dish to make ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, as the flavors meld together and it tastes EVEN better the next day!

Sometimes, I make a big batch on a Sunday afternoon for the sole purpose of packing it as a lunch during the week. I eat this salad for three days in a row and am still sad when it’s gone. It is THAT good.

How to Serve This Simple Pasta Salad

forkful of chicken pasta salad with broccoli and red onion

While this creamy pasta salad with chicken is a complete meal in itself, you can also serve it as a main dish with yummy sides.

  • Place a scoop on a bed of lettuce or spring mix and surround it with cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumber slices.
  • Stuff the cold pasta salad into a croissant or fluffy roll and serve with potato chips
  • Serve alongside fresh fruit – red grapes, sliced apples, and pear wedges are perfect.

More Easy Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love!

Chicken Salad with Broccoli & Pasta

Print Recipe
Everyone needs a "go-to" chicken salad and this will be yours.   Whip up a batch for a quick meal or a potluck.  This gets more delicious the longer it sits...if it lasts that long!
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:8 mins
Total Time:23 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 2 cups small shell pasta
  • 1 head broccoli chopped into small florets
  • 1 medium red onion diced very fine
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups mayo I used avocado oil mayo
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Rinse with cold water until cool. (I usually add a few ice cubes to the strainer as well, to speed up the cooling process.)
  • While the pasta is cooking, wash the broccoli and chop into small florets.  Dice the onion, using a handheld chopper if you have one, into very fine pieces.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the mayo, sugar, and apple cider vinegar until well combined.
  • Place the cooled pasta and shredded chicken into a large bowl and mix until combined.  Add the cheddar cheese, broccoli, and onion to the same bowl, mixing well.
  • Pour the mayo dressing over the salad mixture and stir until everything is well coated.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Course: Salad
Servings: 8
Author: Mealtime Medley

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