This chunky Broccoli Chicken Pasta Salad combines broccoli salad and chicken salad into one delicious dish that can be eaten on it’s own or perfect as a side.
My family really loves pasta and vegetables, and with this easy recipe it’s simple to give them what they want. Chock full of broccoli and pasta and covered in a mouth watering dressing, our Broccoli Chicken Pasta Salad is a smash hit!
Broccoli Chicken Pasta Salad CAN BE MADE IN ADVANCE and kept covered in the fridge for up to 24 hours. This gives you free time to get everything else together!
This recipe is TOTALLY versatile. If you have leftover veggies you need to use up, add them to this dish. Cauliflower, corn, celery, or peppers make great add-ins!
Ingredients for Broccoli Chicken Pasta Salad
- Broccoli – save time by buying a bag of fresh broccoli florets.
- Chicken – rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken breasts are perfect for this recipe.
- Pasta – cook al dente according to package direction. We love to use farfalle (bowtie) pasta!
- Celery – adds flavor and crunch.
- Scallions (green onions) – adds mild onion flavor without overwhelming.
- Sweetened Dried Cranberries – raisins are a great substitute if you don’t have the cranberries.
- Mayonnaise – we used regular mayonnaise, but we’ve also made this addictive dressing using light mayonnaise. We don’t recommend fat-free mayonnaise because it doesn’t combine as well with the other ingredients.
- Sour Cream – regular sour cream makes a smooth and creamy dressing. Light sour cream can be substituted to reduce the calories and fat without much difference in the taste.
- Dijon Mustard
- Sugar – granulated white sugar for sweetness. Honey or agave work well too.
- Spices – kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning
For the dressing, we used a tasty and addictive combination of mayonnaise and sour cream to keep the dressing light and fluffy. Then we added a little Dijon mustard, sugar and spices to give the dressing loads of flavor.
How To Make Broccoli Chicken Pasta Salad
First, set a large pot of water to boil and start the pasta cooking to al dente. This is where the pasta is cooked, but is still a little bit firm when you bite into it. When the pasta is done, drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Next, prep the salad ingredients. Dice the cooked chicken into 1/2-inch pieces, cut florets from a head of broccoli (trimming off the stems) or trim the steps from pre-cut florets. If the florets are large, half or quarter the florets to 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces. It’s easy to dice the celery by slicing the ribs lengthwise into quarters first. Thinly slice the green onions , using the green part only. Last, measure out the chopped pecans and cranberries.
Toss all of the salad ingredients with the pasta until evenly distributed.
In a small bowl make the dressing. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, sugar and spices until smooth and creamy. We love this stainless steel mini whisk ,at less than $10, when the recipe calls for a small bowl. Add salt a pinch at a time until the dressing is to your liking. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss until all of the pasta and chicken are coated with dressing. This delicious side or main dish is now ready to go.
Add more salt and pepper to your tastes. We have found that some mayonnaise brands taste saltier than others, so we salt to taste rather than using a certain amount of salt as a recipe ingredient. Also, some pasta will absorb more salt from the salted cooking water than others, so use a light hand when adding salt. You can always add more at the end.
Want More Pasta Salad Recipes?
Best Broccoli Chicken Pasta Salad
- 1 pound pasta cooked according to package directions
- 3 cups diced cooked chicken breast 1/2-inch pieces, about 2 pounds uncooked)
- 3 cups broccoli florets cut into 1/2- inch to 1-inch florets
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 3 medium scallions thinly sliced, green only, about 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain.
- In large bowl, toss together pasta, chicken, broccoli, celery, onions, cranberries and pecans.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and black pepper until well combined. Add salt to taste.
- Pour dressing over pasta mixture and toss with a wooden spoon until pasta is evenly coated with dressing. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy now or store covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.
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