Summer Chicken Pasta Salad

4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
10 oz cooked radiatore pasta
3/4 cup chopped red onion
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
2 mini cucumbers, chopped
15 cornichons, chopped
zest of 1 lemon

1/3 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon
1 teaspoon juice from the cornichon jar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, pasta, cornichons, onion, celery and zest. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over the salad and stir to evenly distribute all ingredients.

My thoughts:

I’ve been in a picnic foods sort of mood lately. It must be summer. This is a great salad to take to a picnic because it is more of a complete meal than just plain chicken salad thanks to the addition of the pasta. No need to bring bread! I know that some people are mayo-at-a-picnic phobic but that was really only a concern when people were making their own mayo. Commercial mayonnaise holds up just as any other food would at room temperature and follows the same food safety guidelines.

Anyway! I had some leftover shredded carrots from another recipe so I tossed them in. Normally I just dice a carrot or leave it out all together but I liked the shredded. It ended up distributing itself better than I think diced would have so you didn’t end up with bits of just chicken and pasta at the bottom of the bowl. I’ve also been enjoying cornichons a lot lately so I used them instead of my usual caper or pickle. I think every cold salad needs a pickle note; don’t you?I know some people don’t “need” a recipe for chicken and pasta salad but this one was so unexpectedly tasty, I had to share. Enjoy!

Check out my spring (with asparagus and lemon-thyme dressing), autumn (with apples and apple cider dressing) and winter (with sun-dried tomatoes and bacon) chicken pasta salads as well!


  1. I just made this receipe and it is so good. I had never heard of cornichons. Thank you for introducing me to them. This will become my summer salad!

  2. Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it and tried cornichons!

  3. Twinkle Terrior

    This is what I am making for Mothers Day !! Thank you !!!

  4. Twinkle Terrior

    Making it this w-end !! THX