Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad loaded with spinach, mandarin oranges, craisins, almonds and parmesan cheese, tossed together with a light and healthy creamy citrus dressing.

Spinach, chicken, crainsin, mandarin oranges, and slivered almonds in a glass bowl.

I’m trying to be better at making meal plans for the week, but it’s hard during the summer months when our schedule is so much more relaxed. We play hard, and I often forget to make a dinner plan.

We’ve been going to the pool a LOT. My two littles are becoming awesome little swimmers, thanks to our favorite puddle jumpers. They want to jump off the diving board again, and again and again, which means lots of treading water for me!  Baby also loves to be in the water with us–but that’s to be expected when it’s 110 degrees outside, right?!

A bowl filled with Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad.

By the time dinner time comes around I’m panicking for something quick, easy and healthy. Also something that my kids wont complain about eating 🙂 . Usually I throw together a simple wrap for dinner, or a fresh pasta salad, like this Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad.

It’s “hearty” and filling from the noodles and chicken, and the dressing is awesome. It’s a creamy citrus dressing that’s totally healthy and delicious. This one is always a winner with my family, and I love how quickly it comes together.

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Recipe

Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 25 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces farfalle pasta white or whole wheat
  • 2 cups cooked chicken , chopped
  • 4 ounces baby spinach leaves , stems removed
  • 11 ounce can mandarin oranges drained
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 green onions , chopped
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds toasted

Dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurts , or mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • Zest and juice from 1 orange
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Make the dressing by combining all ingredients and whisking until smooth. You could use a blender to get it really smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Place the cooled, drained pasta in a large bowl. 
  • Add ¼ cup of the dressing to the pasta and toss to combine. 
  • Add in the chicken, spinach, mandarin oranges, craisins, green onion, parmesan cheese and toasted almonds. 
  • Drizzle dressing over the top (to taste, you may not want to use it all), and toss everything to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

*Nutrition information does not include the dressing.

Nutrition

Calories: 370kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 31gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 206mgPotassium: 582mgFiber: 7gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 3336IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 196mgIron: 3mg

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Nutrition Facts
Healthy Chicken Pasta Salad
Amount per Serving
Calories
370
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
10
g
15
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
15
%
Cholesterol
 
67
mg
22
%
Sodium
 
206
mg
9
%
Potassium
 
582
mg
17
%
Carbohydrates
 
42
g
14
%
Fiber
 
7
g
28
%
Sugar
 
19
g
21
%
Protein
 
31
g
62
%
Vitamin A
 
3336
IU
67
%
Vitamin C
 
30
mg
36
%
Calcium
 
196
mg
20
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?!

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this as lunch for work. Combined everything except spinach and extra dressing then put the mixture on top of spinach in the morning and added dressing at lunch. It was delicious and an interesting flavor profile. Love your recipes!