Spring Chicken Pasta Salad with Lemon-Thyme Dressing

4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
10 oz cooked mafalda pasta
3/4 cup chopped red onion
2 stalks celery, diced
1 1/2 cups bite-sized asparagus, steamed (about 12 stalks)
2 (loose) cups watercress
10 cornichons, sliced into coins
zest of 1 lemon

1/3 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon
3 sprigs’ worth fresh thyme
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

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

Tip: Steam the asparagus by adding it to the boiling pasta for the last couple of minutes of cooking.

My thoughts:

In the fall, I made an autumnal chicken pasta salad and realized I had made summer and winter versions previously. So when I realized we didn’t have anything for lunch this week, I thought I’d make a spring version. The appearance of tulips, daffodils, dogwoods and asparagus always signal the end of winter and the promise of warm weather to come. So I try and use asparagus in as many ways as I can!

I love hearty pasta salads for lunches and picnics because then I don’t have to worry about packing bread or crackers, I can just grab the pasta salad and some fruit and go!


  1. Such a lovely salad! Looks really delicious. 🙂

  2. I love that you have picnics so often that you need a battle plan.

  3. Of course! 🙂