With pasta, chicken, sweet fruit, salty cashews, and a creamy dressing, every bite of this Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad is like a circus of flavors!
You can put pasta salad right up there with pie, Oreos, cheese, and freshly baked bread. In other words, some of my favorite things. It’s easy, hearty, appropriate for lunch or dinner, a full meal or a side dish, you can make it ahead of time, provides left overs the next day, or feeds a lot of people making it perfect for a pot luck, and it’s just delicious. This Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad is no exception!
I’ve brought this pasta salad to so many get togethers and I always leave with an empty bowl – everyone loves it! With spiral pasta, cooked chicken, fresh fruit, salty crunchy cashews, and a creamy dressing, it’s loaded with texture and flavor. Sort of reminds me of a cross between my broccoli salad and chicken salad. Sweet and savory combos are always the best!
Some substitutions that work
1. Almonds instead of cashews
2. Plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise
3. Red onion instead of the scallions
4. Golden raisins instead of the dried cranberries
5. Penne pasta instead of the Rotini – really any short pasta with grooves
As with most pasta salads, the longer all the ingredients mingle, the deeper the flavors. However, I also think with most pasta salads, the longer they’re in the refrigerator, the more they dry out.
For this Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad I recommend either serving it right away, or chilling in the refrigerator for just 1-2 hours. It won’t be at all bad if it chills for longer, it just won’t be as creamy. Either way, though – DELISH.
Trust me, friends. This will become your go-to for every luncheon, baby shower, and summer barbecue!
Other pasta salad recipes we love!
Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad
- 16 ounce package rotini pasta
- 1 cup Ranch salad dressing
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
- 20 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 4 whole scallions, diced
- 1 cup seedless red grapes, sliced in half
- 1 cup seedless green grapes, sliced in half
- 5 ounce package dried cranberries
- 2 cups roasted and salted cashews
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions, then drain and rinse under cold water.
- In the meantime, prep all your other ingredients.
- In a large bowl whisk together the Ranch and mayonnaise. Add in the chicken, pineapple, celery, scallions, red grapes, green grapes, cranberries, and cooked pasta; toss to combine so everything is coated.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving stir in the cashews.