Pasta Salad with paprika marinated chicken, sweetcorn, spinach, spring onion and tomatoes and a zingy lime and mayo dressing. This is the perfect fresh and flavourful summer pasta.
It is no secret that I love a good pasta salad. BLT Pasta Salad and Prawn Pasta Salad are two of my staple summer recipes. Pasta salads are so versatile – they can be made in advance and easily transported. They are great for work day lunches as well as picnics, BBQs, Pot Lucks and those days you just don’t want to cook.
Chicken Pasta Salad
This tasty chicken pasta salad is inspired by the flavours of Mexican Street Corn or Elotes. The chicken is marinaded with lime, paprika and sour cream and is so juicy and flavourful.
Fresh lime juice, sour cream, mayo and coriander come together in a light and tangy dressing which perfectly compliments the sweet and fresh corn and tomatoes. And spinach adds a healthy dose of leafy green.
Sour Cream and Paprika Chicken
Marinating chicken with sour cream is a great way to add some flavour and keep the meat tender and juicy. An acidic dairy product like sour cream or yoghurt slowly tenderises the meat without making it rubbery. The sour cream also adds a flavourful coating to the outside of the meat which really holds all the flavor in when cooking.
The beauty of this sour cream marinade is that you don’t need to leave it for hours – 15 minutes is enough for beautifully juicy and flavour packed chicken.
Greek yoghurt or plain natural yoghurt are both excellent substitutions for sour cream in both the marinade and the dressing for this paprika chicken and pasta salad.
Serving Suggestions and Variations
Chicken and Sweetcorn Pasta Salad makes a great meal on it’s own but is also the perfect side dish for any summer meal, BBQ or picnic.
You can add some crumbled feta or cotija cheese to the pasta salad if you fancy.
Crispy bacon is a great addition.
If you don’t like coriander then chives are a great swap. Parsley would also work.
Make this a vegetarian pasta salad by swapping the chicken for some crunchy paprika roasted chickpeas.
This chicken pasta salad makes a great work lunch – it’s easy to transport and will hold up well in the fridge for 3 days. You may prefer to add the spinach to serve if making in advance as it can get mushy.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
More Easy Summer Salad Dishes:
- Lemon Dill Potato Salad
- Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad
- Mediterranean Halloumi Bulgur Salad
- Easy Homemade Caesar Salad
- Mango, Black Bean & Corn Salad
- Buffalo Chicken Caesar Salad
Chicken Sweetcorn Pasta Salad with Tomato and Spinach
- 2 chicken breasts
- 300 grams short pasta shapes
- 200 grams cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1 tin sweetcorn 198g tin, drained
- 150 grams baby spinach
- 1 bunch spring or salad onions, green and white parts sliced
- 1 small bunch chopped coriander (cilantro) or chives
- 2 tbsp sour cream or greek yoghurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) or chives
- ¼ tsp salt
- pinch black pepper
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl. Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make thinner cutlets and add to the marinade. Make sure the chicken is fully coated in marinade and set aside for a minimum of 15 minutes. (Return to the fridge if marinating for longer than 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse well with cold water to cool.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing by combining the ingredients in a small bowl and whisking together. Add additional lime juice or salt to taste.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the chicken cutlets, shaking off any excess marinade first. Pan fry the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden and fully cooked through. You can also grill the chicken if you prefer.
- Set the cooked chicken on a plate or chopping board to rest and cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl with the sweetcorn, spring onion, spinach and tomatoes. Add the dressing and stir to combine.
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and stir into the pasta, along with some extra chopped coriander. Make sure everything is well combined and evenly distributed.
- Serve and enjoy! I like to add some extra coriander or chives for garnish.