25 Best Chicken Noodle Salad Recipes (Summer 2022)
Whether it’s a family barbecue, a potluck with friends, or you just want to have a side dish that feeds a crowd, take a look at these chicken noodle salad recipes.
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One of my recipes for a summer bbq is a cold noodle salad. They’re refreshing, filling, and let’s face it – they’re always a hit. When the party is over, you can bring home the leftovers and serve it as a light dinner the next night or as a side for the family.
- Large mixing bowl (seriously, even if you think you have a large enough bowl – size up. Serving is one thing, but mixing it all together always requires a large bowl. Every single time.)
- Serving spoons
- Saran wrap or a lid to keep it covered in the fridge. If you’re looking for a greener option than plastic wrap, try these beeswax wraps.
Cooking Tips for Cold Noodle Salads
When it comes to cooking the pasta, make sure you rinse it with cold water after straining. This stops the cooking process and prevents the noodles from going mushy.
I also recommend cooking the noodles al dente for the same reasoning. Remember, the noodles will absorb some of the sauce or oils you add.
Food Safety Tips
If it’s a cold pasta salad that includes mayo, peanut sauce (or any creamy pasta salad), make sure you keep it refrigerated before serving. You don’t want it sitting at room temperature too long.
If it’s being served outdoors, don’t let it sit in the sun for too long. You can buy neat serving bowls like this one that keeps it cool with ice under near (or you can simply place a serving bowl under a bowl of ice).
Other food safety tips at a bbq would be to keep the serving spoon in each bowl for the specific dish (don’t use the spoon for the chicken salad to scoop up the roasted vegetables and vice versa.
Toppings for Chicken Noodle Salads
You can jazz up your dish and create festive salads with a variety of garnishes and toppings to make your dish pop out at the party. Obviously not every topping would suit every salad but you’ll be able to mix and match most of them.
Here are some of my personal favorites:
- green onions
- sesame seeds
- lime wedges
- nuts (like peanuts, cashews, almonds)
- bean sprouts
- fresh mint
Gluten Free Pasta Salad Options
If you’re looking for a gluten free alternative for your cold noodle salad, you can try these:
- Rice noodles (these go great in Asian noodle salads
- Rice ramen noodles (I like the Lotus brown rice and ramen variety)
- Gluten free spaghetti noodles (they’re available at most grocery stores)
- Gluten free elbow macaroni noodles
- Soba noodles (made from buckwheat)
Most gluten free alternatives taste like the real deal. Long gone are the days when gluten-free meant tasting like cardboard. In Canada, Catelli has great gluten free options and Barilla has great options in both the US and Canada.
You can also use chickpea-based pasta for a high protein noodle salad (although chickpea pasta tends to be a little grittier).
Another option is to use vegetables as noodles as Randa Nutrition did with this Thai Chicken Veggie Noodle Salad.
Variaties of Cold Pasta Salad Recipes
There’s a told of chicken noodle salad recipes out there, but if you feel like whipping something up yourself. Here are a couple of great recipe ideas to start as a base. Feel free to play around and use whatever remaining ingredients you have on hand.
Asian Noodle Salads
These salads are often Thai noodle salads, Chinese mandarin salads, or anything that has a sweet, nutty, flavor that can leave you with a kick (thanks to many of them having a medium heat). It’s my favorite summer pasta salad.
- sesame oil
- soy sauce
- green onions
- brown sugar
- garlic powder
- peanut dressing
- fish sauce
- hoisin sauce
- noodles (rice, soba, ramen)
- lime juice
- boneless chicken breasts
- red pepper, bok choy, peas, and other crunchy veggies.
Macaroni Chicken Salads
This noodle salad typically replaces the ham with chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken works perfectly for this) in the creamy base. It’s a classic summertime meal.
- mayo (or Miracle Whip)
- white vinegar
- shelled peas
- cubes of cheddar cheese
- sweet pickle relish
Zesty Salad Noodle Salad Recipe
This is a great dish that has so much flavor and can be customized to work to your tastes.
- your favorite acid (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, etc)
- olive oil
- herbs and spices like oregano, basil, garlic (and I mean multiple cloves of garlic – that is if you love it as much as I do), etc
- yellow onion
- peppers, cucumber, or any vegetable of choice
- leftover chicken (skinless chicken breast is my go to but you can use chicken thigh meat too)
Chicken Noodle Salad Recipes
Here are some easy recipes I put together from the top bloggers on the web. These dishes are tried and true fan favorites. Whether you use them as the main dish (aka star of the show) or as a side you bring to a friend’s special occasion – you will definitely find something for your tastes.
Add in plenty of fresh veggies, like red bell pepper, green bell peppers, English cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, broccoli, etc to give it a burst of color (and a ton of nutritional value).
You’ll find these delicious recipes are great options, even for last minute invitations, or surprise guests.
I hope all these tips helped you craft the best chicken noodle salad. Enjoy the recipes below.
Also, we would love to hear what your go-to noodle salad is in the comments.
Don’t forget to join the Party Food Favorites community on Facebook. We would love to have you join and share your favorite recipes (and get inspired by others).
If you’re looking for another dish to bring to a celebration check out these 18 Unique Charcuterie Board Ideas That aren’t Meat and Cheese.
25 Best Chicken Noodle Salad Recipes
From Asian noodle salads to creamy macaroni salads here are the 25 best chicken noodle salad recipes to kick off summer celebrations.
Chinese Chicken Salad
The secret to this Chinese Chicken Salad is the dressing and the crunchy ramen topping. A colorful mixture of flavor and texture tossed together with a sweet and tangy dressing is perfect for meal prep or an on-the-go lunch.
Chicken Macaroni Salad (Easy and Delicious) | Maple + Mango
Chicken Macaroni Salad! 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.
Lemon Tarragon Pasta Salad
Inspired by the incredible Plates and Palates recipe, this Lemon Tarragon Pasta Salad with chicken is the ultimate pasta salad side dish! Loaded with zesty lemon and herby tarragon, this salad is refreshing and filling. Perfect for meal prep, make a large batch and save it for lunches throughout the week!
Cold Sesame Noodles Chicken Salad
Cold sesame noodles with chicken is a delicious way to re-purpose leftover chicken. Great for a picnic or beach day!
Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
The BEST Macaroni Chicken Salad
This creamy pasta salad is perfect for summer BBQs, a special occasion, or even just a recipe to add to your favorite lunch recipes, along with our delicious shrimp macaroni salad!
Chicken Pasta Salad
This Chicken Pasta salad is full of flavor and easy to make! Make for potlucks, parties, or even to go with lunch and dinner.
Vietnamese Chicken Salad with Rice Noodles
Here you can learn how to make Vietnamese Chicken Salad with yummy Rice Noodles using this recipe.
Ramen Noodle Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing
Today we're making an inspired dish I like to call ramen noodle salad with orange sesame dressing.
It's loaded with red cabbage, carrots, edamame and chicken and is just packed with flavor. It'll be your new favorite salad, for sure!
Award-winning Thai Chicken Noodle Salad
This award-winning Thai chicken Noodle Salad, is a delicious cold noodle salad, made with grilled chicken, vermicelli noodles and spicy peanut lime dressing.
BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Zucchini & Corn
This BBQ Chicken Pasta Salad is loaded with fresh summer vegetables, chicken and tossed in a light dressing with a hint of barbecue flavour for an easy, delicious meal perfect for picnics!
Italian Pasta Salad
Italian pasta salad is one of my favorite cold pasta salad dishes! Fresh and colorful vegetables, cheese, salami, and Italian vinaigrette are tossed with your favorite pasta to create an unforgettable dish for just about any summer occasion.
Greek Chicken Pasta Salad
Greek Chicken Pasta Salad is the perfectly refreshing and filling summer meal with its medley of vegetables and tangy lemon garlic dressing.
Pesto Chicken Pasta Salad
Tender white chicken morsels, fresh veggies, black olives all wrapped in a flavourful pesto sauce.
5 Herb Chicken Pasta Salad
Made with fresh herbs, your favorite pasta, and marinated grilled chicken you are going to love this chicken pasta salad recipe.
Italian Tortellini Salad
Italian Tortellini Salad - Simple to make and since it's a cold dish, perfect for holiday parties.
Chicken & Broccoli Pasta Salad is A Family Favorite recipe!
Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Salad is a simple & easy salad that’s great served cold. A family favorite recipe- great for leftover chicken!
Thai Chicken Soba Noodle Salad Jars
These Thai Chicken Soba Noodle Salad Jars are a delicious summer meal prep idea and a fun twist on a cold noodle salad.
Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe
This simple chicken pasta salad can be made with leftovers and still turn out a sumptuous side dish for pasta lovers!
Fajita Pasta Salad
This fajita pasta salad is a delicious vegetable filled salad recipe that's high in protein and makes a great BBQ side dish.
Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad
Loaded with chicken, pasta, bacon and veggies this creamy chicken pasta salad is tossed in a rich ranch mayo dressing for the perfect meal to satisfy a crowd.
Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad - Spend With Pennies
Pack a little extra heat (and a lot more flavor) into your summer cookout with this easy to make Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad!
BBQ Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
BBQ Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad – completely drool-worthy and summertime eating at its best! This easy pasta salad recipe is brimming with the most delicious ingredients… Salty bacon, creamy avocado, bright tomatoes, hearty pasta, lean grilled chicken, and the most luscious homemade buttermilk ranch dressing!
Greek Chicken Salad with Zucchini Noodles
This Greek Chicken with Zucchini Noodles is a beautiful and delicious take on a traditional Greek Chicken Salad! Loaded with fresh vegetables, tasty marinated grilled chicken, and a creamy and zesty homemade salad dressing!
Bruschetta Pasta Salad
This Bruschetta Pasta Salad is a perfect summer side dish. Loaded with tomatoes, basil, parmesan cheese and noodles this salad is a must make dish!