This deliciously savory-and-sweet Waldorf Chicken Pasta Salad is the perfect lunch or light dinner and can be used as a hearty side dish. It is combining the best of three different worlds, Waldorf Salad, Grilled Chicken, and Tricolor Pasta for an amazingly flavorful recipe that’s perfect for any gathering.
It’s the perfect weather for a crisp, refreshing salad. I have to tell you this Waldorf Chicken Pasta Salad is one of my most requested at the house during the heatwave. There’s just something about a beautiful Waldorf Salad combined with perfectly seasoned Grilled Chicken and Pasta dressed with a creamy mayonnaise and yogurt dressing.
Have you ever had the Classic Waldorf Salad? Yes? No? If you have not had the chance to enjoy one, you are missing out big time! Some of you may even be asking, precisely what is a Waldorf Salad? What ingredients does it contain?
A Waldorf Salad is a fruit and nut salad generally made of fresh apples, crisp celery, juicy grapes, and walnuts, dressed in mayonnaise-based dressing, and usually served on a bed of lettuce as a starter or even light meal. The apples, celery, and grapes can all be green or multi-colored if desired.
I usually use a slight variation of ingredients to make my Waldorf Chicken Pasta Salad. I like Honey Crisp apples, red and green table grapes, pecans, crisp green celery, perfectly seasoned grilled chicken breast, and a German brand Pasta by a company known as Riesa, the pasta is called, Calici Tri-color Pasta. They remind me of Tulip cups–So adorable.
If you can not find the pasta I mentioned above, no worries, you can use any pasta you and your family enjoy. I’m just one of those people who love unusual European ingredients and always order them when possible off of Amazon or look for them in Specialty stores near our home.
List of ingredients needed to make Waldorf Chicken Pasta Salad
Two- Well-seasoned Grilled Chicken Breasts, diced
Ten-ounces Cooked Pasta, drained
One large Honey Crisp Apple, chopped
One cup Green table grapes halved
One cup Red table grapes halved
1/2 cup sliced Green Celery
1/2 cup or more toasted Pecan halves
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Mayonaisse
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
Kosher Salt, to own taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to own taste
One tablespoon Fresh Mexican Tarragon leaves, optional
Let’s talk a bit about the ingredients mentioned above for Waldorf Chicken Pasta Salad
You can use time-saving options for the chicken by using either freshly leftover grilled chicken, or you can opt to buy a pre-roasted chicken at the market.
You can also opt to use ready-cut fruit and celery in the produce section, including apples.
If at all possible, do not take shortcuts on the fresh lemon juice, concentrated lemon juice usually has a more harsh flavor.
Buy local in-season fruit in possible or organic if affordable.
Toasted Walnuts are usually used in the traditional Waldorf Salad, so feel free to use them instead of pecans if desired.
Do not use Miricle Whip in place of the Mayonnaise; the recipe will not come out as it should.
Waldorf Chicken Pasta Salad
- 10 ounces Cooked Pasta, drained Tri-color or favorite type
- 2 Chicken Breasts Well-seasoned, Grilled and diced
- 1 large Honey Crisp Apple chopped
- 1 cup Green table grapes halved
- 1 cup Red Table grapes halved
- ½ cup Celery sliced
- ½ cup Pecan halves Toasted, may use walnuts instead
- ½ cup Plain Greek Yogurt
- ¼ cup Mayonnaise
- ½ Lemon juiced
- Kosher salt to own taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to own taste
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Mexican Tarragon leaves optional
- Cook the pasta according to directions on package- al dente about 8 minutes, Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water.
- Combine pasta, chicken, apples, celery, and red and green grapes, pecans in a large non-reactive bowl. Toss to combine the ingredients.
- In a glass bowl combine Mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Add the homemade dressing to other ingredients, toss to combine and refrigerate 60 minutes before serving. May garnish with Mexican Tarragon leaves before serving