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Chicken and Pasta Salad with Cabbage

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1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup creamy honey mustard salad dressing
1/4 cup honey mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 (16 ounce) box gemelli pasta
6 cups cubed rotisserie chicken
6 cups chopped red cabbage
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) package frozen baby peas
2 cups cubed Havarti cheese
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

Chicken and Pasta Salad with Cabbage

This fresh and colorful main dish salad is a great way to use leftover or rotisserie chicken.

  • Serves 8
  • Easy

About This Recipe

Pasta salads can be kind of boring. That’s why I like to mix it up with adding more unusual ingredients, like cabbage and peas. and nuts and seeds. This recipe for Chicken and Pasta Salad with Cabbage is one of my favorites.

I love main dish pasta salads. Every time I make one I change it up a little bit. If you think you’re too busy to cook and you have to order take-out a couple of times a week, make a pasta salad. All you have to do is take it out of the fridge and dish it up – it’s like having a fast food outlet in your fridge!

Except it’s better for you.

And it tastes better.

Chicken Pasta Salad with Cabbage

You can put any ingredient you like in these salads. Don’t like cabbage? Use some chopped zucchini! If you aren’t a fan of bell peppers, use some lightly cooked green beans instead. If you’re a vegetarian, omit the chicken and bacon and add more veggies or some grilled tofu. And if you can’t eat wheat, try one of the fabulous rice-based pastas on the market.

This recipe is based on Cabbage and Pasta Salad with Salmon and Bacon, which was based on Cabbage Tortellini Blue Cheese Salad, which was based on a layered salad recipe. See what I mean?

I make these cold salads even in the dead of winter. It’s nice to have some freshness and color when it’s so cold and gray outside. If you don’t want to eat something cold, do what my hubby does – he microwaves his portion until it’s warm. He says it makes the salad more flavorful.

This healthy and colorful salad is the perfect antidote to the late winter blues. Make it today and enjoy it for the next four days. Yum.

Why this recipe for Chicken and Pasta Salad with Cabbage works:

  • I always use rotisserie chicken when I make salads. The chicken is reliably tender and flavorful. I have had some bad luck cooking chicken breasts for salad. This is more expensive, but worth it.
  • Try to make this salad when the chicken is still warm. It will absorb more flavors from the dressing.
  • Same with the pasta. Add the pasta while it’s hot to the dressing and it will absorb flavor.
  • The mustard in the dressing helps tenderize the chicken too.

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook the pasta.


Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, salad dressing, mustard, and lemon juice in a large bowl and whisk to combine.


Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes. Drain well and add to the dressing in the bowl.


Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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