Cilantro Avocado Pasta & Chicken Salad

Customizable and higher protein pasta salad.

2-3 servings

Time: 30 mins

By Ethan Chlebowski

This pasta salad adds in chicken and replaces the classic mayo dressing with a yogurt base for a higher-protein, lower-fat recipe. Experiment with the dressing, vegetables, and aromatics for different flavor profiles, just like I demonstrate in this video.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Pasta salad components

    • dried macaroni noodles
      227 g1/2 lb
    • chicken
      , cooked
      227 g1/2 lb
    • corn
      100 g
    • cherry tomatoes
      , quartered
      75 g
    • cilantro
      , minced
      30 g
    • hatch chiles
      , minced
      30 g
    • red onions
      , diced
    • avocados
      , diced
  • Yogurt lime dressing

    • yogurt
      , non-fat, plain
      100 g
    • kewpie mayo
      20 g
    • lime juice
    • salt
      a spoonful
    • cayenne pepper
      a spoonful
    • garlic powder
      a sprinkle
    • msg
      a sprinkle


Step 1: Prep the pasta & the chicken

Add your pasta to a pot of , salted water. Overcook the pasta by 3 or 4 minutes more than the package instructions indicate. This way, the pasta will have the perfect chewiness in the salad, instead of hardening when it cools down.

  • After the pasta is cooked, drain it and spread it out on a baking sheet to cool.

Take your cooked chicken (whether poached, baked, or grilled) and dice it into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2: Prepare the vegetables & the dressing

or grill your corn, then slice the kernels off. Slice your onion, quarter the cherry tomatoes, cube the avocado, and mince the cilantro and hatch chilies.

For the dressing, add the yogurt, mayo, lime juice, cayenne, garlic powder, and MSG to a container and mix until combined. Give it a taste and adjust as needed.

Step 3: Assemble & serve

In a large bowl or container, combine the cooked pasta, chicken, vegetables, and dressing until everything is well coated. Add the dressing to your preference. For best results, let the salad rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. It's even better if left overnight. Enjoy.



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