This chicken macaroni salad is a delicious cross between a creamy pasta salad and a chicken salad. Super easy to throw together and a great way to use up leftover chicken! This recipe is basically a template so play with it and have fun! (you can find some ideas in the “Possible Variations” section of the post).
For the salad:
- 1 pound uncooked macaroni (454 g)
- 3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken (approx. 2 large chicken breasts)
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion or sliced green onions
- Optional: 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (e.g. chives and parsley)
For the dressing:
- Cook macaroni: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and immediately rinse under cold water until the pasta is cooled. Drain well and set aside.
- Make dressing: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth.
- Combine: Place the cooked and cooled macaroni in a large mixing bowl along with the remaining salad ingredients. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve immediately or refrigerate for at least an hour first to help the flavors meld together.
- Chicken: Any type of cooked chicken works (roasted, poached, grilled, etc.). This salad is a fantastic way to use up leftover cooked chicken (or plan on cooking up extra for this reason!). As a shortcut, you can also just purchase a rotisserie chicken.
- Bouillon powder: I like to use this delicious homemade bouillon powder. It’s a staple in my spice drawer and adds amazing flavor to this salad.
- Macaroni: You can swap the macaroni out for any short cut pasta you like (e.g. farfalle, orecchiette, cavatappi, rotini, etc.)
- Storage: Keeps in the fridge for up to 3-4 days stored in an airtight container. Don’t leave it out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Keywords: chicken macaroni salad, macaroni salad with chicken, chicken pasta salad