A sunny day perfect salad, prepare this cheesy chicken pasta salad by tossing diced bell peppers, black olives, walnuts, pineapple, cooked pasta and chicken with a dressing made by whipping softened cream cheese and mayonnaise together. It’s how the contrasting flavors and textures makes this salad work like magic — the sweetness of the pineapple, the tanginess of the olives, the crunch from the bell pepper and the walnuts… And then there’s the dressing. All that cream cheese! Add all that to the neutral-tasting pasta and chicken, and you’ve got a delicious salad that can be your main meal.
But, wait! You can make this cheesy chicken pasta salad even better by seasoning it with herbed salt.
Ready-to-use herbed salt is available in some regions but if you can’t find it in your area, you can easily make herbed salt at home. See how to make herbed salt.
- 1/4 cup cream cheese (65 grams), softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 cups cooked pasta
- 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken meat (or more, if you like)
- 1/3 cup diced bell pepper
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped pineapple
- 4 to 6 black olives halved
- herbed salt
- ground white pepper
Make the dressing. With a wire whisk, whip together the softened cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the pasta, chicken, diced bell pepper, walnuts, chopped pineapple and black olives with herbed salt and ground pepper. Add the dressing and toss to blend. Taste and add more herbed salt and pepper, if needed.
Chill well before serving.
Note that, after chilling, the pasta may appear dry as the ingredients soak up the dressing. So, you might want to prepare more dressing than the amount specified in the recipe. Just toss in a few tablespoonfuls more of the cheesy dressing before serving the chicken pasta salad.