Creamy Spicy Pasta Salad with Chicken

A high protein pasta salad made with bowtie pasta, seared chicken breasts, fresh vegetables and a low-calorie spicy yogurt dressing! Perfect as a quick and easy lunch or dinner, this creamy spicy pasta salad is also ideal for entertaining, picnic, potluck or even lunchbox.

Spicy chicken pasta salad in a glass bowl.

About the recipe

A spicy chicken pasta salad with that looks and tastes creamy (without actual cream in it) is the best and most delicious way to make kids (and grownups) eat their veggies! If you’re looking for healthy pasta salad recipes for weight loss, this is definitely one.

Greek yogurt and mint are always a delicious combo with chicken, whether it is a chicken marinade as in Baked Hariyali Chicken Legs or a healthy pasta salad dressing. In this recipe, we pan-sear the chicken (or use leftover roast chicken), add crunchy veggies and drizzle the creamy herb salad dressing on top.

This EASY, CREAMY, SPICY CHICKEN PASTA SALAD is heavenly, especially during those hot months when you crave something chilled and yummy. Without spending much time in the kitchen.

Some salads serve as sides while some can be eaten as a wholesome meal. This kid-friendly pasta salad has every aspect of a balanced meal- protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. So it qualifies as a quick and easy dinner, packed lunch, picnic or potluck salad.

The yogurt dressing for this salad is very easy to make and bursting with flavors. (Similar to most of my sauces and chutneys like Thai basil pesto, roasted garlic pesto, green mint chutney and avocado chutney.)

It is also a healthy recipe you can make with leftover chicken- roasted, boiled or baked. I make this salad often with baked thin-sliced chicken breasts. Simply because they’re so easy to make (hands-free, no-mess) and it is also the healthiest way to eat this salad.

Salad Ingredients

Pasta: Farfalle (bowtie) or fusilli (spiral) are best suited for a pasta salad, especially one with a creamy dressing as the dressing clings on to the grooves and curves of the pasta, making it very flavorful. Like the fusilli in Italian pasta salad with balsamic dressing.

Chicken: Chicken breasts are marinated with spices, pan-seared/grilled and diced.

Vegetables: Salad vegetables like bell peppers, celery, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, onions and carrots can be used.

Spicy yogurt dressing

This herb salad dressing gives a characteristic creamy flavor to the pasta salad. It is made of basic ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Mint leaves
  • Almonds
  • Chillies
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Himalayan pink salt
close-up view of creamy spicy pasta salad in a glass bowl.

How to make creamy spicy chicken pasta salad

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Cook the pasta al dente, drain and rinse in cold water. Toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

While the pasta cooks, prep the vegetables and rest of the ingredients.

Cook the chicken: Season the chicken with chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, lemon juice and salt. Pan-fry the seasoned chicken breasts in oil. Chop them into bite-sized cubes.

Make the dressing: Blend all ingredients in a food processor.

Toss the chicken, vegetables and pasta together. Add half of the spicy yogurt dressing and toss well.

Add the other half and toss again. Garnish with green onions. Serve the salad immediately or chill and serve later.

Recipe tips

  • The yogurt dressing tastes even better if you roast the garlic and almonds. Dry-roast chopped garlic and almonds in a pan on low flame for 5 minutes and cool before blending.
  • If you love citrus flavors, add some lemon zest.
  • Half of mint can be replaced with cilantro for variation.
top view of high protein pasta salad with spicy yogurt dressing in a glass bowl.

Common questions about this high protein pasta salad

Do you rinse pasta for a cold pasta salad?

Yes, rinsing helps cool down the pasta so it stops cooking. It also keeps the pasta from sticking together, since rinsing removes the starch that’s clinging onto the pasta.

How do you keep pasta salad moist?

The mint yogurt dressing retains moisture naturally so it keeps the pasta salad juicy and creamy. You don’t even require oil for this dressing.

How do I make pasta taste better?

The spicy yogurt dressing makes all the difference in a pasta salad. Yogurt, mint and garlic are a great combination with pasta and chicken and they come together as a yummy salad.

If you’re looking for more creamy recipes with yogurt like this, honey mustard coleslaw recipe will blow your mind!

Looking for more salads?

More pasta recipes you might like

More chicken recipes

If you’re looking for simple pan-seared chicken, you might love balsamic chicken with rosemary sauce and lemon coriander chicken with yogurt mustard sauce.

half of the creamy dressing being poured on chicken pasta salad in a glass bowl.

Creamy Spicy Chicken Pasta Salad recipe

High protein pasta salad with spicy yogurt dressing! Make this creamy spicy pasta salad for a quick lunch/dinner. (Also ideal for picnic, potluck or even lunchbox.)
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine International
Servings 4
Calories 382 kcal

Ingredients
  

Spicy yogurt dressing

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves tightly packed
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 or 2 green chilies jalapeno or serrano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt Himalayan pink or regular (note 1)

Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts about 150 grams/5 oz each
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for searing

Pasta salad

  • 1 cup uncooked pasta farfalle or fusilli, preferably
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup celery chopped
  • 1/4 cup cucumber thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 3 tablespoons green onions for garnish

Instructions
 

Cook pasta

  • Cook pasta al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with olive oil.

Cook chicken

  • While the pasta is cooking, season the chicken and chop the vegetables. Mix chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, lemon juice and salt. Rub the chicken with the spice mix.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan and sear the chicken breasts on medium-high heat. Cook covered for 3 to 4 minutes on one side, flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. (note 2)
  • Remove from heat and let it cool. Chop into bite-sized pieces.

Creamy yogurt dressing

  • Blend all the listed ingredients for the dressing and blend until smooth.

Pasta salad

  • Mix the vegetables, chicken and pasta in a large salad bowl. Drizzle half of the yogurt dressing and toss everything together. Add the remaining dressing and toss again. Garnish with green onions. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled. (note 3)

Video

Notes

  1. Himalayan pink salt gives better flavor to salads (see: chana dal salad with turmeric, veggie pasta salad). You can substitute with regular salt if unavailable.
  2. Cooking the chicken covered will let the chicken “sweat” and makes it tender and juicy. You can also cook chicken using the juicy baked chicken breast recipe.
  3. Make-ahead option: This pasta salad doesn’t keep well. You can leave it in the refrigerator overnight, not any longer. It is not suitable for freezing, either.
  4. Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume it the next day.
  5. Vegetarian option: Substitute the chicken with boiled eggs or cubes of pressed tofu cooked with the same seasoning.
 
Creamy Spicy Pasta Salad with Chicken

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12 thoughts on “Creamy Spicy Pasta Salad with Chicken”

  1. Anna-Marie Longueira

    Good day.
    Thank you for the amazing recepies. I am diabetic and a little picky. For example I cannot for the life of me get yoghurt into my mouth, I despise it 100000%. What can I use in place of the yoghurt?

    1. Hi Anna Marie, thanks for stopping by.
      You can replace yogurt with cashew cream. Soak cashews in hot water for 15 minutes and blend into a smooth paste. This is an equally delicious and healthy alternative to yogurt.

  2. Nice recipe. I used ready-made roast chicken, shredded. It neede d an element of sweetness though so i added dried cranberries. Next time I would add some cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and pineapple chunks.

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