Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad with Sesame Dressing

from 3 votes

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.

Top down view of bowl containing Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad with 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.

Closeup view of easy Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad with homemade sesame dressing

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.

Cutting board with shredded red cabbage, diced cucumbers and knife next to small bowls containing lettuce, chow mein noodles, shredded chicken, pasta and mandarin oranges

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.

Olive oil being poured into a clear bowl containing dressing and a whisk

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.

Sesame dressing being poured over salad in large clear bowl

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.

The best Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad with Sesame dressing in various sized serving bowls

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Main Course

Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad with Sesame Dressing

Whip up a 20-minute meal in-a-bowl with a light and refreshing recipe for Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad topped with a quick-fix sesame dressing.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 3 votes
Top down view of bowl containing Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad with Sesame Dressing
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 servings


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.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


Calories: 255kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 48mg, Potassium: 239mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 1166IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg


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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.

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5 from 3 votes

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  1. Hi! This looks delicious. Am I adding those crispy, room temp ingredients to warm pasta? Would running the pasta under cool water briefly be ok?

    1. Totally fine to rinse the pasta but it makes it harder for the dressing to stick because you remove all of the starch :)

  2. Another delicious and easy meal! Leftovers are perfect in my daughters’ lunchboxes for school the next day. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this salad for a party. WONDERFUL. The Mandarin orange gave it a delicious & bright flavor. Everyone loved it.

  4. 5 stars
    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

  5. This looks good ! Instead of chow mein noodles, would you consider incooked ramen noodles a good replacement ?

  6. 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-