This creamy hen pasta salad is completely loaded with goodies: bacon, peppers, broccoli, corn, feta cheese, hen, and tomatoes… all tossed along with a tangy, herby buttermilk Greek yogurt dressing. This massive pasta salad can feed a crowd, and it additionally makes for nice leftovers.
What started a couple of years in the past as a “throw a bunch of leftovers along with some chilly pasta” dinner has turn out to be a summertime staple in my home. Pasta + hen + veggies + bacon + cheese + straightforward. This hen pasta salad is a profitable mixture for positive. And it all comes along with a tangy do-it-yourself dressing that’s practically unimaginable to go up.
It’s the pasta salad for these of us who like a number of STUFF in our salads. 😉
Right here’s Why You’ll Love This Hen Pasta Salad:
- Endlessly customizable—add your favourite greens, strive a distinct cheese, or make it vegetarian
- Creamy, tangy dressing made with low-fat buttermilk and Greek yogurt
- Handy make-ahead recipe, similar to my creamy strawberry feta pasta salad
- Makes a giant batch, excellent to take to a BBQ or different gathering
- Scrumptious leftovers make for a fast and simple lunch or dinner
If it’s a vegetable and you’ve got it available, you must throw it into this pasta salad. Like artichokes, olives, shredded carrots, diced cucumbers, chickpeas, you get the thought! With that in thoughts, right here’s my beginning lineup of elements:
Base Elements in Creamy Hen Pasta Salad
- Pasta: I like fusilloni or rotini greatest right here as a result of the corkscrew form captures a lot of the creamy dressing. Use any brief pasta that’s straightforward to eat (let’s keep away from fettuccini right here!), and has a lot of nooks and crannies to carry onto dressing.
- Chopped Cooked Hen: This may be grilled, poached, rotisserie roasted—no matter you occur to have available. I want grilled or rotisserie.
- Cherry Tomatoes: You’ll love the little juicy pops of taste these give the pasta salad. They’re the most effective elements of this kale pesto mozzarella pasta salad, too!
- Broccoli: Chop recent broccoli florets into small items—no have to prepare dinner it. After I don’t have broccoli available, I normally sub in cucumbers.
- Cooked Corn: Candy, crisp corn scraped off the cob is the tastiest on this pasta salad, however frozen and thawed or canned corn work too.
- Bell Pepper: Crimson, orange, yellow—take your choose from the pack of peppers. (Say that 5 occasions quick!)
- Feta Cheese: Salty, creamy feta cheese crumbles style so good on this salad, however be at liberty to swap in a distinct cheese.
- Cooked Bacon: Crisp and crumbled bacon bits add unbelievable taste to every chunk.
Whereas the pasta cooks, prep the opposite elements and make the salad dressing.
Buttermilk Herb Greek Yogurt Dressing
Now let’s discuss concerning the dressing! Regardless that there’s already a lot to like on this pasta salad, the dressing actually makes the entire dish come collectively. The base is low-fat/nonfat Greek yogurt and low-fat buttermilk. When you can’t discover buttermilk, you need to use entire milk and add an additional teaspoon of lemon juice, however you’ll lose some taste and creaminess. Add a little bit mayonnaise, a drizzle of olive oil, some recent herbs, a squeeze of lemon, a splash of vinegar, and a sprinkle of seasonings. It tastes tangy, creamy, and oh-so-much-better than store-bought dressing. It jogs my memory a little bit of the Greek yogurt sauce that pairs so effectively with these zucchini fritters.
This recipe makes about 2 cups of dressing. It might look like so much, however the pasta soaks up so much because it sits, and there are additionally so many add-ins—this recipe feeds a crowd!
Place the nice and cozy pasta, chopped veggies, and hen in a giant bowl, and pour many of the dressing on prime. Stir to mix and coat every little thing with dressing, then add the crumbled feta and bacon and stir once more. That’s it! There’s extra work in chopping all of the greens than really making this dish.
You may get pleasure from it instantly, however I prefer it greatest after it sits for a pair hours within the fridge. The flavors develop a little bit extra, turning this into pasta perfection.
Success Tip: Save a Little Dressing for Serving
Save the final little bit (a couple of Tablespoons) of dressing to stir into the pasta salad proper earlier than serving, so it tastes additional creamy and flavorful. I’ve been making this recipe for years, and I simply found this little trick. What a distinction it makes! You see, because the pasta salad sits, it absorbs increasingly more of that scrumptious dressing and might start to clump collectively. Give it a little bit refresher to loosen it up, and so as to add one other sprint of taste.
Success Tip: Preserve the Pasta Heat
Don’t let the cooked and drained pasta cool for too lengthy. Heat pasta mixes simpler, and helps the flavors within the dish *pop.* As a bonus, the nice and cozy pasta begins to melt the feta cheese, so the dish is even creamier. So good.
Any brief pasta that’s straightforward to eat, and has a lot of nooks and crannies for holding onto the dressing, is right. I like utilizing fusilloni or rotini in pasta salad as a result of the corkscrew form holds onto a number of dressing. You could possibly additionally use farfalle (bow-tie), tortellini, penne, or macaroni (elbow).
After I’m making pasta salad, I prefer to prepare dinner the pasta a little bit previous al dente. When pasta cools, it turns into a bit chewy and agency, so that you need that additional softness within the pasta. In any other case the complete dish turns into a little bit stiff!
Straight from the fridge, the pasta salad is a bit agency and heavy. I like to recommend taking it out and letting it sit for 20–half-hour earlier than serving. And if in case you have the leftover dressing, stir it in proper earlier than you whip out that serving spoon!
This straightforward pasta salad has the works! Bacon, crisp peppers, broccoli, feta cheese, hen, and tomatoes lined in a creamy, tangy buttermilk Greek yogurt dressing. It’s for these of you who just like the “stuff” in pasta salads, greater than the pasta itself! Easy, fast, and makes nice leftovers.
Buttermilk Herb Greek Yogurt Dressing
- Make the dressing first, so it’s able to go. Whisk all the dressing elements collectively, and maintain at room temperature or cowl and refrigerate till prepared to make use of. Might be made and refrigerated for as much as 2 days earlier than utilizing.
- Have the hen and all your greens chopped, measured, and prepared for step 4, since you don’t need the pasta to chill for too lengthy.
- Cook dinner the pasta: Deliver a big pot of salted water to a boil. (I normally use 1 teaspoon salt.) Add the pasta and prepare dinner till simply previous al dente. See pasta package deal for particular directions. Drain the pasta, and let it cool for simply 3–5 minutes.
- Pour pasta into a big bowl. Add the hen, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, and pepper. Pour many of the dressing over the pasta salad (reserve about 1/3 cup (80ml) to make use of in step 7) and gently toss to mix.
- Stir within the feta cheese and bacon. Style. Season with further salt, pepper, and herbs if desired.
- You may serve the pasta salad instantly, nevertheless it tastes even higher when you cowl and refrigerate it for no less than 1 hour and as much as 1 day. If refrigerating for longer than a couple of hours, let it sit on the counter for 20–half-hour earlier than serving, to assist loosen up the chilly, agency pasta.
- Everytime you’re able to serve it, stir within the reserved dressing.
- Cowl leftovers tightly and retailer within the fridge for as much as 1 week.
- Make Forward Directions: Make the dressing as much as 2 days upfront. See step 1. You may make the complete pasta salad as much as 1 day upfront. See steps 6 and seven.
- Particular Instruments (affiliate hyperlinks): Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is essential for taste. When you don’t have any, use entire or low-fat milk and add 1 additional teaspoon of lemon juice to the dressing. Nondairy milk works in a pinch, however the taste is missing. Add the additional teaspoon of lemon juice if utilizing nondairy, and add extra herbs to style.
- Mayonnaise: Don’t miss the mayonnaise! You may’t style it that a lot, nevertheless it does add a little bit taste. When you determine to switch it with extra yogurt, the dressing tastes additional tangy.
- Totally different add-ins: Be at liberty to swap out any of the greens for different favorites reminiscent of cucumber, artichokes, inexperienced beans, olives, shredded carrots, or chickpeas.
- Can I miss the hen? Sure, you possibly can skip the hen and add extra greens, or change with cooked chopped ham or sausage.
- Up to date model: I initially revealed this recipe in 2014! It wanted a little bit makeover, because the dressing lacked taste. To repair it, I doubled the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and vinegar, added some sugar to steadiness out the flavour, and added dill. It’s extraordinary now, and yields a bit extra so the pasta salad is much more flavorful.
- Serving Dimension: 1 serving
- Energy: 330
- Sugar: 5.3 g
- Sodium: 411.2 mg
- Fats: 14.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 35.3 g
- Protein: 14 g
- Ldl cholesterol: 31.2 mg
Key phrases: hen pasta salad