Poppy Seed Chicken Pasta Salad with grapes is a summertime staple and the best pasta salad to take to a gathering! Spiral pasta, grapes, almonds, green onions, and chicken are covered in an easy and super creamy poppyseed dressing.
For more delicious poppy seed recipes be sure and try my strawberry spinach salad with strawberry yogurt poppy seed dressing or these coconut lemon poppy seed muffins.
Poppy Seed Chicken Pasta Salad with Grapes
It's not a secret that I love pasta salad recipes! This poppy seed chicken pasta salad is my latest pasta salad obsession. So much texture, crunch, flavor, and creaminess.
Spiral shaped pasta, juicy red grapes, chunks of tender chicken, crunchy almonds, and green onions are covered in a ultra creamy poppy seed dressing. You will love this pasta salad recipe! It's creamy, sweet, and delicious.
It's the perfect thing to take to a summer gathering, bbq, or family & friends hang out. It's also hearty and filling enough to be served as lunch too.
What You'll Need
This poppy seed chicken pasta salad with grapes comes together with simple ingredients. The dressing is so easy thanks to the bottle of poppy seed salad dressing which is a delicious short cut.
- Rotini Pasta - I love the spiral pasta but you can use any similar sized pasta. The spiral pasta soaks up all the dressing perfectly and it's the perfect size.
- Red Grapes - Slice the grapes in half before measuring them.
- Cooked Chicken - I use a rotisserie chicken for this recipe but you can use any cooked chicken you have. Even canned chicken works well too.
- Sliced Almonds - Sliced or slivered almonds can be used. If you don't like almonds then try using chopped pecans.
- Green Onions
- Poppy Seed Salad Dressing - I love the Brianna's poppy seed dressing.
- Mayonnaise - For best flavor and richness use the real, full-fat mayonnaise. Lite mayonnaise can be used if wanted.
- White Wine Vinegar
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make Poppy Seed Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe
Making this poppy seed chicken pasta salad with grapes is pretty simple. There are a few steps, and you will need a few dishes, but the final outcome is well worth it.
- Cook the Pasta : Cook the rotini pasta according to package directions. If you like al dente then cook according to that time. I prefer a softer pasta so I usually cook for about 2 minutes past al dente. Don't forget to add some salt into the boiling water to help flavor the pasta.
- Cut the Chicken, Grapes, & Green Onions : While the pasta is boiling cut up the chicken, slice the grapes in half, and slice the green onions. I love to use a Rotisserie chicken for this recipe which makes it really easy. You can even chop it up the day before so the chicken is all ready to go.
- Make the Easy Dressing : Combine the easy, 3 ingredient (plus salt & pepper) poppy seed dressing. Use a good quality poppy seed dressing for this. I love the Brianna's brand.
- Combine it all Together : Pour the creamy dressing over the pasta salad and mix it all together. Serve it right away or if you want a cold pasta salad then let it refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving.
Tips For Success
Here are a few extra tips and helpful hints that will make this poppyseed chicken pasta salad turn out amazing!
- Add Salt to Your Boiling Pasta Water : This is the #1 tip and it's something that lots of people forget but also something that will make the biggest difference in the final taste of your pasta salad. Once the water is boiling add your dry pasta and some salt! I use around 1-2 teaspoons but you can use any amount you want. Just add some salt!
- Use a Really Good Poppy Seed Dressing : I think the poppy seed dressing from Brianna's is the best and that is what I use every single time.
- If You Make It Ahead of Time : If you make this ahead of time (like the day before OR morning of) then be sure and add some additional poppy seed dressing or mayonnaise to moisten it back up before serving. I like to make it about an hour before serving, that way it has time to chill in the fridge for an hour.
- Use a Rotisserie Chicken : This makes preparing the pasta salad so easy! You can even chop up the chicken the day before and let it refrigerate until you are ready to make the pasta salad.
We love this chicken pasta salad recipe as is but there are lots of ways to change it up or make it different depending on what you prefer.
- Add More Grapes : I love the crisp juicy grapes in this salad so I always add little bit more than what is called for.
- Want Less Pasta : If you prefer less pasta in your pasta salads then don't cook all of the pasta. I think the amounts and ratios are perfect with the full box of pasta, but you can easily adapt to what you prefer.
- Use a Different Shaped Pasta : I love rotini pasta in pasta salad recipes so I think that is the best one to use. But if you like a different pasta, or maybe you want to use what you have in your pantry, that will work just fine too.
- Use a different nut : You can substitute any nut for the almonds. I like to use sliced almonds or slivered almonds but chopped pecans would also be a great choice.
Can I Prepare Chicken Pasta Salad Ahead of Time?
Because pasta salad recipes tend to dry out in the fridge I would suggest not making this the day before.
This chicken poppy seed pasta salad can be eaten right after making it.
If you prefer a colder salad you can refrigerate it for up to 2 hours before serving.
If you do choose to make it the day before or morning of the day you need it, then you may have to moisten it back up slightly with more poppy seed dressing or mayonnaise.
More Pasta Salad Recipes
Poppy Seed Chicken Pasta Salad
- 1 box (16 oz) rotini pasta
- 2 cups halved red grapes
- 2 cups cooked diced chicken
- 2/3 cup sliced almonds
- 2/3 cup sliced green onions
Easy Poppy Seed Dressing
- 1 cup creamy poppy seed salad dressing
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook noodles according to package directions. Don't forget to add some salt to your boiling water.* I like softer pasta in pasta salads so I cook about 2 minutes past the al dente time. If you prefer al dente, the be sure and cook for the amount listed on the box for al dente noodles.
- When noodles are done cooking, drain in a colander and rinse them in cold water.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked and cooled pasta, grapes, chicken, almonds, and green onions. Stir together.
- In a small bowl combine all the poppy seed dressing, mayo, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine together.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and mix together until well combined. You can either serve it right away OR if you prefer a colder pasta salad, refrigerate it (covered) for up to 2 hours before serving.
- Store leftovers, in a covered container, for up to 4-5 days in the fridge. You may have to moisten up leftovers with additional poppy seed dressing or mayonnaise.