Whip up a 20-minute meal in-a-bowl with a light and refreshing recipe for Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad tossed with a quick-fix sesame dressing.
My mom Noni’s Chinese Chicken Salad is legendary in our family. It was a weeknight favorite when my siblings and I were growing up and always a welcome sight on the dinner table.
It starred crisp Romaine lettuce, shredded rotisserie chicken, a homemade sesame dressing, and our fave addition: crispy rice noodles. They added a touch of crunch and were always fun to snack on pre-dinner.
I’ve recreated my mom’s iconic salad, and included my boys’ favorite addition: pasta!
Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad stars all the best flavors and textures, from crisp cucumbers and juicy Mandarin oranges to tender chicken and crunchy lo mein noodles.
While store-bought sesame dressings are great in a pinch, this homemade spin makes this pasta salad a year-round favorite. It’s just four simple ingredients, but each of which pack a flavor punch.
Put it all together and you have yourself a tried-and-tested Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad recipe that comes together in minutes, can be prepped in advance and is a guaranteed winner for taste-testers of all ages.
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For the pasta salad:
- 8 oz. uncooked pasta, such as bowtie or rotini
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or chopped chicken breasts
- 2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
- 2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup diced cucumbers
- 1 cup Mandarin oranges
- 1/2 cup crispy chow mein noodles
For the dressing:
- 3 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Make the pasta salad:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and add it to a large bowl.
- To the bowl, add the chicken, Romaine lettuce, red cabbage, cucumbers, Mandarin oranges and chow mein noodles.
Make the dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- While whisking, stream in the olive oil until combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine then serve.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
Delicious! Followed recipe exactly and dressing was perfect with it. Simple to prepare. Thanks!
You are so welcome, Janet! I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe!
Another delicious and easy meal! Leftovers are perfect in my daughters’ lunchboxes for school the next day. Thank you!
You are so welcome, Melissa! I’m thrilled to read this!
Made this salad for a party. WONDERFUL. The Mandarin orange gave it a delicious & bright flavor. Everyone loved it.
I’m so thrilled to read this, Sheila!
I am eating 5 star before I even make it. I know it will be that good! So make ahead, so great as leftovers, so terrific for summer time change. Ditto for the sweet corn and bacon pancakes. Thank you
This looks good ! Instead of chow mein noodles, would you consider incooked ramen noodles a good replacement ?
The Chinese chicken pasta salad sounds yummy. Considering it for a pot luck, so should I not mix the dressing into the salad until meal time-
Definitely! Keep the salad ingredients and dressing separate then toss before serving :)