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Quick & Easy Chicken Pasta Salad

All summer long our family has made this Quick and Easy Summer Chicken Pasta Salad. Any shape of pasta, lots of veggies, fresh grilled chicken, and a favorite Italian salad dressing, make this a fast summer dinner. The perfect cold easy macaroni salad for a picnic, BBQ, cookout, or potluck.

This is the best pasta salad you will make for an easy summer dinner for the family. It is a main dish on a busy weeknight or a side for a family BBQ or cookout. Just grill the chicken, chop up tons of healthy veggies and mix it with Italian dressing.

The Buonpane Italian Pasta Salad for Summer

It was a tradition when our girls became teenagers from their prior favorite of just plain pasta with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. For years our girls love to eat plain cooked pasta with a little olive oil and parmesan cheese.

As they became teenagers we were able to evolve this into the Quick and Easy Summer Chicken Pasta Salad. At first, our girls would pick out the vegetable and push them to the side of the plate, but soon it has become a favorite of their high school years. Now as adults, our girls make this recipe themselves.

chicken and bow tie pasta salad in a white bowl with a fork and pasta on the white counter side view and close up of grilled chicken

I have tried many different ways of cooking chicken for this recipe. Initially I had boiled it as my mother used to but now with our grill in full swing for summer the chicken is usually grilled chicken cut into bite-size pieces.

We have had many summer days sitting on the deck, after a long day working in the yard or going to summer softball events where this Quick and Easy Summer Chicken Pasta Salad has been a big hit.

Chicken pasta salad in a white bowl with a fork on white counter

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The Secret to Quick and Easy Pasta Salad

The easiest part of this summer chicken pasta salad is that I use a store-bought salad dressing, Ken’s Steak House Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing. This has been the family favorite and it makes this dish quick and easy. Adding chopped onions, celery, green or red peppers, and of course as we are Italians chopped black olives, round out the vegetables.

Adding the grilled chicken to the pasta with the dressing makes a light quick easy summer dinner. We have all so served this pasta salad without the chicken as a great side dish for a summer meal.

Chicken pasta salad in a large green serving bowl

How to Make Quick and Easy Summer Chicken Pasta Salad

I first put the chicken on the grill 🐔 to cook. I make a few slits in the chicken breast for even cooking and season the chicken with salt, pepper, basil, and oregano.

I then put the water on to boil for the pasta to cook to al dente or I use my Pasta Boat. For the pasta boat, I use one pound of pasta for 15 minutes in the microwave, water filled to the top line. The family tradition is to use Bow Tie or Farfalle pasta but any shape works.

Chicken pasta salad in a large green serving bowl.

As the chicken cooks, I start chopping all the vegetables that I’m going to add in; green pepper, onion, and black olives. I put the chopped vegetables in the bottom of the bowl and pour half of the bottle of salad dressing on top and mixed.  I love my  Vidalia Chop Wizard and would not make this dish without it. This starts the flavors mixing in the dish.

As the pasta is cooked and drained I add it to the vegetables and mix, but I let the pasta cool by running cold water over the pasta in the strainer before adding.

After the chicken is cooked and cut it into bite-size pieces it is added to the pasta and then salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and more of the dressing to taste. If I’m going to keep this in the refrigerator for a while I saved some of the dressing to refresh the salad later before serving.

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chicken and bow tie pasta salad in a white bowl with a fork and pasta on the white counter

Quick & Easy Chicken Pasta Salad

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  • Author: Crafting a Family Dinner
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish Chicken Pasta
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Italian


A great quick dinner for the summer dinner, or to pack for a picnic. Lots of fresh veggies and grilled chicken, I know your family will love.


  • Box of Pasta Cooked al dente
  • 2 Grilled Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Green Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Onion Small Chopped
  • 1 Can Black Olives Chopped
  • (any veggie you like)
  • 1 Bottle of Ken’s Steak House Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 TLB each Basil & Oregano


  1. Chop all of the veggie Ingredients.
  2. Make the pasta per the direction on the box.
  3. when done rinse the pasta in cold water. Set to drain.
  4. Grill chicken breast till done, 165°F
  5. Chop chicken to bit size pieces.
  6. Mix the veggies with the dressing and spices then add the chicken and Pasta and mix well.
  7. If serving at a later time, same some of the dressing and add just before serving.


This dish is great with or without the chicken. Serve without a protein for a side dish.

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I hope you enjoy this Quick and Easy Summer Chicken Pasta Salad.

Check out this recipe in my post  How to Plan a Kid-Friendly Summer Picnic in Your Own Backyard

Quick & Easy Chicken Pasta Salad in a bowl with a serving spoon, chicken bow tie noodles red tomato and yellow pepper and grilled chicken

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  1. Give me all the pasta! Yum! Looks like you are doing more and more recipes these days! Fun and yummy!

  2. Hi Sue!
    This pasta dish looks fantastic! I love the idea of eating it cold – perfect on a hot summer evening out on the porch. The grilled chicken has to win over the boiled any day. I’m sure it adds great flavor to the pasta salad. Thanks for sharing this recipe at Homestyle Gathering!

    >>> Kim

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