Are you looking for a simple and delicious healthy pasta salad recipe?
This Satay Chicken Pasta Salad is one of best healthy pasta salad recipes I’ve ever come across. It’s a delicious and colorful main-dish salad that gets its distinct flavor from a simple dressing inspired by Thai peanut sauce.
What makes this pasta salad healthier?
It uses light Asian vinaigrette salad dressing instead of full fat dressing or mayonnaise, colorful crunchy carrots and red bell peppers that are bursting with vitamins and minerals, lean diced cooked chicken breast for a boost of protein to keep you feeling fuller longer and lots of fresh basil, which is a terrific way to add vibrant fresh flavor without added fat or salt.
You could also substitute your favorite whole grain pasta for the white pasta for an added fiber boost if you wanted. The last time I made it with gluten-free brown rice pasta with good results.
Every time I make this salad it’s a big hit. Even people who didn’t think they would like it, have gone back for seconds. (The ultimate testimonial for a winning recipe in my opinion.) It’s so good, I chose it as the recipe for my first fall interactive cooking demonstration last month.
- 8 ounces uncooked bow tie whole grain pasta
- 1 cup lite Asian vinaigrette salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons Asian Seasoning Mix
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 medium carrots, peeled
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- ½ cup dry-roasted peanuts, roughy chopped
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil, roughly chopped
- 3 cups diced cooked chicken (about 1 lb)
- Additional chopped peanuts for garnish (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot. Drain the pasta and rinse it well under cold running water. Once pasta is cool, transfer it to a large mixing bowl and set it aside.
- Meanwhile make the dressing. Whisk together the vinaigrette, Asian seasoning mix and peanut butter in small bowl and set it aside.
- Cut the carrots into skinny julienne strips.
- Cut bell pepper lengthwise into skinny ¼-inch strips.
- Cut carrots and bell pepper strips crosswise into 1-in. pieces.
- Add the chicken, carrots, bell pepper, chopped peanuts,chopped basil and dressing to the pasta and mix well.
- Garnish with additional chopped peanuts, if desired.