Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta Salad

5 from 5 votes
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Honey Mustard Pasta Salad with chicken, spring veggies, and fresh herbs tossed in a creamy honey mustard dressing. This make-ahead friendly pasta salad is packed with nutritious ingredients and perfect for entertaining.

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Honey mustard pasta salad with chicken, asparagus, arugula, and radishes styled in a wooden salad bowl.
Read more: Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta Salad

Happy first week of SPRING!

It’s been a long winter here in Colorado, and I am so ready for warmer temperatures and longer stretches of sunshine.

This pasta salad is heavily inspired by spring produce – asparagus, radishes, peas, arugula, tarragon, and chives!

While it’s a fantastic contender to bring to any spring gathering (just like this reader-favorite Healthy Creamy Pasta Salad), it’s also a great weekday lunch option.

It holds up beautifully for leftovers, and is packed with protein and fiber to keep you full and fueled. (You can further pump up the protein by using a chickpea or lentil-based pasta!)

Another perk lies in its versatility – if you dislike or can’t find any of the veggies, there are plenty of suitable swaps.

For more of my favorite spring-y recipes, also check out this Asparagus Avocado Salad and Pesto Tortellini Salad.

How to Make Honey Mustard Pasta Salad

This pasta salad only requires a little slicing and dicing on the frontend, and comes together in roughly 30 minutes.

The asparagus and peas get a quick blanch in the pasta water to keep things streamlined (and minimize dishes!).

You can eat this pasta salad cold right out of the fridge or enjoy it at room temperature, and it’s perfectly portable for lunches and gatherings.

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls arranged on a wooden board.
  • Pasta: You can use any pasta shape you like! If making gluten free, I suggest a chickpea, lentil, or rice-based pasta.
  • Chicken: You can either grill, bake, or sauté the chicken ahead of time, or use rotisserie chicken for ease.
  • Asparagus: I like to slice the asparagus at a diagonal into 2-inch long pieces, which will cook very quickly. Asparagus is an excellent source of fiber and folate.
  • Peas: You can use frozen or fresh peas! I actually prefer frozen, which retain their vibrant green color better than fresh.
  • Arugula: Peppery arugula beautifully balances the creamy dressing. Since arugula is a tender green prone to wilting, I suggest waiting to mix it in until right before serving.
  • Radishes: Wonderfully spicy and crunchy, use any variety of radish available at your grocery store or farmers market.
  • Herbs: I love using a mix of tarragon and chives to really double down on fresh, aromatic flavor.
  • Mustard: Look for a grainy mustard, or any variety of Dijon that you like.
  • Vinegar: I suggest apple cider vinegar, however you can also use white vinegar.
  • Honey: A little sweetness helps balance the bite of mustard.
  • Mayo: I like using an avocado oil-based mayo, such as Chosen Foods brand, for extra heart-healthy fats.

For a complete list of recipe ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

Honey mustard pasta salad with spring veggies styled in a large wooden serving bowl.

Recipe Variations

  • Make Vegetarian. Swap the chicken for 1 can of navy beans or chickpeas!
  • Use a Different Dressing. If you’re not a fan of honey mustard, the dressing for this Healthy Creamy Pasta Salad is light and so tasty! Alternatively, a light Caesar salad will also be lovely here.
  • Make Vegan: Omit the chicken (or again, swap for beans!), and use your favorite vegan mayonnaise (I like Primal Kitchen brand).

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Boil Pasta in a large pot of generously salted water until al dente.

Step 2: Add Asparagus and Peas to pot during the final minute of boiling pasta. Drain, and rinse with cold water.

Pasta being boiled in a large white pot, and asparagus and peas being added during the final minute.

Step 3: Shave Radishes and add to a bowl of ice water – let chill for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Prepare Dressing by combining mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a jar or bowl; whisk to combine.

Sliced radishes being added to a gold bowl of ice water, and honey mustard dressing being mixed in a white bowl.

Step 5: Combine Pasta Salad Ingredients in a large bowl.

Step 6: Drizzle with Dressing and toss to combine.

All of the pasta salad ingredients being added to a large wooden serving bowl, and dressing being poured overtop and tossed.

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • Make-Ahead. Up to 1 day in advance, cook and cube the chicken, shave the radish and store in an ice bath, and slice the asparagus.
  • Store: Refrigerate pasta salad in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Prior to enjoying leftovers, add a spritz of lemon juice or drizzle to EVOO to wake up the flavors and help rehydrate the pasta, as needed.

Recipe Tips and Tricks:

  • Use the Veggies You Have. One of my favorite things about this honey mustard pasta salad is that you can make it with just about any veggie. Swap in your favorites, or use what’s in season. Other good options are green beans, zucchini, and/or tomatoes.
  • Don’t Overcook the Asparagus. Stringy, mushy asparagus is not enjoyable. Make sure to only boil it for 60 seconds before draining and rinsing!
  • Fresh Herbs Are Best. While you may be tempted to use dried herbs in a pinch, fresh herbs are essential for making this simple pasta salad shine.
  • Keep a Creamy Element. The creamy dressing really helps bring all of the ingredients together. If you prefer something lighter and olive oil-based, I suggest adding a smattering of feta cheese.
Salad tongs tossing pasta salad in a large wooden serving bowl.

More Spring-Inspired Salad Recipes:

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. And don’t forget to follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

5 from 5 votes

Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta Salad

Honey Mustard Pasta Salad with chicken, spring veggies, and fresh herbs tossed in a creamy honey mustard dressing. This make-ahead friendly pasta salad is packed with nutritious ingredients and perfect for hosting.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

Equipment

  • Large stockpot or Dutch oven
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

  • 1 lb. pasta of choice
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and sliced at a diagonal into 2-inch long spears
  • 1 cup frozen green peas (no need to thaw)
  • 1/2 thinly shaved radishes (from 1 bunch)
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 3 cups cubed or shredded chicken (about 12 ounces)*
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste

Honey Mustard Dressing

  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise (I use avocado oil mayo)
  • 3 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. each cracked black pepper and kosher salt
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Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. During the final minute, add asparagus and peas to the pot. Drain pasta, asparagus, and peas, and rinse with cold water for 1 minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  • While pasta boils, place radishes in a bowl of ice water and let chill for 10 minutes. (This helps them get crispier!) Drain and add to bowl with pasta.
  • Prepare Honey Mustard Dressing by combining all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl; stir with a whisk.
  • To the bowl with pasta and vegetables, add remaining pasta salad ingredients (arugula, chicken, chives, and tarragon). Season everything generously with salt and black pepper.
    Pour Honey Mustard Dressing overtop and toss to combine. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

  • For the chicken, use grilled or sauteéd chicken breasts, or shredded rotisserie chicken for ease.
  • Make-Ahead. Up to 1 day in advance, cook and cube the chicken, shave the radish and store in an ice bath, and slice the asparagus.
  • Store: Refrigerate pasta salad in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Prior to enjoying leftovers, add a spritz of lemon juice or drizzle to EVOO to wake up the flavors and help rehydrate the pasta, as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 610mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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5 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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3 Comments

  1. Jen Zo says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is the definition of Spring. Bright and beautiful. I used shrimp instead of chicken and threw it in the water with the pasta and veggies to cook. Simple and easy clean-up. Winner-Winner… springtime pasta dinner!

  2. Jennifer Barton says:

    5 stars
    Jamie has outdone even herself on this one! Made a double batch for Easter and it paired perfectly with the ham (I just left out the chicken). The recipe was very flavorful and fitting for our 80 degree spring temps. We had leftovers and it kept beautifully for several days. I would still make the day of for an event even though it took time away from guests. Will be repeating every Easter! Thanks again for being so amazing and creating healthy AND delicious recipes.

  3. Trudie says:

    5 stars
    So delicious and herbaceous! Truly tastes like spring. 10/10