This creamy pasta salad is jam-packed with juicy grilled chicken, a rainbow of colorful veggies, and a light, flavorful homemade avocado ranch dressing. Bring this salad to any picnic and watch it vanish!
Hey there, weekend-ers! Sarah back again from Whole and Heavenly Oven with another fabulous recipe for y’all today! Or to be more specific: My faaaaaaav pasta salad in the universe is HERE to cover all your cook-out needs. Because it’s SUMMER and salad season is in full swing!
Which brings me to this question: Am I the only one in denial that the 4th of July is only 2 teeny-weeny weeks from today? I swear, June is just flying by! So many salads I have yet to make….so much ice cream I still plan to eat.
So are you starting to think about side dishes for the 4th yet? Is it weird that I already am? Possibly, but like I always say: When in doubt, taste in advance. Those are words to live by, guys. 🙂
I’m just gonna put it out there and tell ‘ya that today, I am sharing THE most foolproof, easy-peasy, ultimate pasta salad that you’ve been waiting for your entire life for. Seriously, this salad is no joke! It makes those deli pasta salads look like…well, like deli pasta salads which leaves much to be desired in the flavor department.
Or in other words: You now know what you’re bringing to that 4th of July cook-out when you’re tasked with side-dish duty. Woot!
Let me tell ‘ya what makes this salad so gosh-darn amazing. There’s the juicy grilled chicken of course, which actually makes this salad an entire meal-in-one. (Simply leave it out for a vegetarian option!) There’s a lovely little mini-rainbow of veggies and LOTS of fresh dill. There’s bow-tie pasta which just makes ANYTHING fun to eat….
And then there’s the avocado ranch dressing. The dressing that’s so dang incredible I now want to dip ALL the things in it. Including my fingers because it’s just that good.
SPOILER ALERT: This dressing is actually on the lighter side! We’ve got avocado of course, a nice amount of greek yogurt, just a liiiiitle bit of mayonnaise, tangy buttermilk, a dash of mustard and that’s it! So simple, but seriously guys: You’re gonna want to put this dressing on everything.
It dresses up this salad pretty nicely.
So far I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t fallen in love with this salad. It’s just loaded with so much fresh summery flavor, people can’t help but go back for seconds. This recipe makes a BIG bowlful, but I would not expect any leftovers if I were you. 🙂
Side dish duty = CONQUERED. This pasta salad is undoubtedly going to make you the most popular person at the cook-out. Wiiiiin!
Dilled Avocado Ranch Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken breasts
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 lb bowtie pasta (cooked according to package instructions)
- 1 large sweet pepper, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 (15 oz) can black olives, drained and sliced
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and diced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 Tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Prepare the chicken: Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Slice chicken into bite-sized strips and set aside.
- Prepare the salad: In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients with the sliced chicken. Set aside while you prepare the dressing.
- Make the dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in a food processor. Pulse several times until dressing is smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.
- Assemble the salad: Pour dressing over salad and gently stir to combine. Season salad with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Try my other summer salads next time!