This Avocado Pasta Salad is full of tender cooked chicken breast, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, red onion, arugula, pasta + all deliciously tied to together with a creamy, herby avocado green goddess dressing. Packed with protein + veggies, this will be your go-to pasta salad recipe that is sure to delight any crowd!

Pasta salad with chicken and vegetables smothered in dressing on a serving dish along with two wooden serving spoons. Serving dish is on a countertop and surrounded by ingredients for the dish.

This chicken avocado pasta salad is not your average pasta salad, TNNers. Sure, it is veggie-packed + bonkers delicious like all TNN recipes, but this beauty it is also loaded with protein from cooked chicken…making it the perfect meal or side dish for those beautiful warm weather months!

While I am a girl who loves to make veggies shine in her recipes, I have to be honest that the real star of this pasta salad is the creamy, dreamy herby avocado green goddess dressing. It is super easy to make, is packed full of flavorful fresh herbs, luscious avocado and you *might* find yourself eating it directly out of your food processor or blender with a spatula (speaking from personal experience, here). Truly, I could slather this dressing on just about anything! Chicken, fish, potatoes…you name it! Or, you could use it as a delicious dip for other veggies, crackers, you name it.

Okay, so once you’ve taken the 5 minutes required to make that insanely delicious green goddess dressing, you are going to pour it over chunks of cooked chicken, a half pound of cherry (or grape!) tomatoes, diced cucumber, ribbons of red onion and…TWO cups of arugula (+ some more avocado for good measure). Oh, and of course cooked pasta! Now, I love how the dressing clings to cavatappi in this salad, but you can use whatever small shaped pasta you like best (including gluten free). Mix it all together and dig in! This salad is just full of incredibly contracting textures, ticks of all the flavor boxes off, and is just wildly satisfying. Again, make it for your own lunch or bring it as a hearty side to a potluck or BBQ.

Oh! And not only can this avocado pasta salad easily be made gluten free, but it is naturally dairy-free too. And if you need it to be vegetarian or vegan, you can simply omit the chicken or consider replacing the chicken with freshly cooked or canned chickpeas!

Ingredients for Herby Green Goddess Avocado Pasta Salad with Chicken all sitting together on a counter prior to cooking.
Ingredients: (dressing) avocado, flat parsley leaves, chopped chives (or 2 scallions), additional fresh herbs of your choice (such as basil, dill, or cilantro), clove garlic (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder), fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil), water, kosher salt, ground black pepper; (pasta salad), small shaped pasta (such as farfalle, fusilli,or cavatappi), cooked chicken breast (or rotisserie chicken), avocado, cherry or grape tomatoes, English cucumber, red onion (or 4 scallions), baby arugula (or other tender greens), salt and pepper

How to make the avocado green goddess dressing:

If you are a visual person, here is a picture guide for how the recipe should look at each step. Be sure to grab the exact measurements for the ingredients by scrolling down to the recipe card below.

Ingredients for Green Goddess dressing measured out and sitting a countertop before being prepared.
Gather all ingredients for dressing.
Ingredients for Green Goddess dressing in a blender before being blended. Blender is on a countertop wiithout lid.
Place all the ingredients in a blender.
Blended Green Goddess dressing in a clear blender on a countertop. Blender does not have a lid.
Blend until smooth. If its having trouble blending, add additional water a little at a time until you get a creamy, thick consistency. The dressing can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. To prevent browning, squeeze some extra lemon juice on top then place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the dressing before refrigerating.

How to make the avocado chicken pasta salad

Cooked pasta in an uncovered Dutch oven on a countertop.
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package instructions. Drain then set aside to cool. Do not rinse with water—the dressing won’t coat the pasta as well.
Chopped onions, chicken, avocado, cucumber, and small tomatoes in a glass bowl. Bowl is surrounded by a Dutch oven filled with cooked pasta, a dish containing prepared dressing, and a bowl of arugula.
Add the chicken, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion to a large bowl.
Dressing from a bowl on the countertop has been poured on top of the pasta salad ingredients prior to mixing. The glass bowl of pasta salad ingredients is sitting on a countertop and a bowl of arugula sits next to it.
Once the pasta is cool, add that to the bowl. Spoon over about half of the avocado dressing.
A glass bowl containing mixed and prepared pasta salad sitting on a countertop. A small bowl of prepared dressing and a bowl of arugula sit next to the pasta salad.
Toss to coat. Reserve the remaining dressing to add additional later if you need it.
Prepared pasta salad in a glass bowl topped with arugula leaves prior to mixing. The bowl of pasta salad is sitting on a counter and a small bowl containing dressing sits next to it.
Add in the arugula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Prepared pasta salad combined with arugula. The bowl of pasta salad is sitting on a counter and a small bowl containing dressing sits next to it.
Toss to coat. Taste and add more dressing, salt, and pepper as needed. To serve, spoon the pasta salad onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs, if desired. This pasta salad is best served soon after it’s made, since avocado tends to get brown as it sits. If you aren’t concerned with a little browning of the avocado, you can refrigerate it for a few hours before serving and leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You could also make the components a day ahead and then toss everything together right before serving.

Recipe testing notes + suggested adaptations

  • Vegetarian or vegan? Just omit the chicken in the recipe or replace it with cooked chickpeas. It will be just as delicious!
  • Gluten-free? Use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
  • Use any other type of pasta you like in this recipe, such as whole-wheat, bean-based, or whole-grain. Just be sure to cook it according to the package instructions.
  • Add extra veggies. Lots of vegetables would be great mixed into this pasta salad: cooked asparagus, peas, sautéed zucchini, cooked broccoli, spinach, kale, and more.
  • Cook the chicken however you like best. I like to use this method, but will chop the chicken instead of shredding it for this recipe. 
  • Use rotisserie chicken if you prefer! 
  • This pasta salad is best served soon after it’s made since avocado tends to get brown as it sits. If you aren’t concerned with a little browning of the avocado, you can refrigerate it for a few hours before serving and leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You could also make the components a day ahead and then toss everything together right before serving.

Other fresh, flavorful + veggie-packed salad recipes you have to try!

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A plate containing prepared pasta salad with vegeteables and dressing on a plate along with a fork. The plate is on a table and is surrounded by ingredients for the pasta salad.
Pasta salad with chicken and vegetables smothered in dressing on a serving dish along with two wooden serving spoons. Serving dish is on a countertop and surrounded by ingredients for the dish.
5 from 2 votes

Herby Green Goddess Avocado Pasta Salad with Chicken

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Salad, Side Dish
This Avocado Pasta Salad is full of tender cooked chicken breast, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, red onion, arugula, pasta and all deliciously tied to together with an easy + herby avocado green goddess dressing. Packed with protein + veggies, this will be your go-to pasta salad recipe that is sure to delight any crowd!

Ingredients
 

Avocado Dressing

  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1 cup flat parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped chives , or 2 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup additional fresh herbs of your choice, such as basil, dill, or cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Pasta Salad

  • ½ pound small shaped pasta, such as farfalle, fusilli,or cavatappi
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast, diced. You can use rotisserie chicken if you prefer.
  • 1 medium firm but ripe avocado, diced
  • ½ pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • ½ large English cucumber, diced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced, or 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups baby arugula, or other tender greens
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

For dressing

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. If its having trouble blending, add additional water a little at a time until you get a creamy, thick consistency.
  • The dressing can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. To prevent browning, squeeze some extra lemon juice on top then place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the dressing before refrigerating.

For pasta salad

  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to package instructions. Drain then set aside to cool. Do not rinse with water—the dressing won’t coat the pasta as well.
  • Add the chicken, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, and onion to a large bowl.
  • Once the pasta is cool, add that to the bowl. Spoon over about half of the avocado dressing and toss to coat. Reserve the remaining dressing to add additional later if you need it.
  • Stir in the arugula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then toss again. Taste and add more dressing, salt, and pepper as needed.
  • To serve, spoon the pasta salad onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs, if desired.
  • This pasta salad is best served soon after it’s made, since avocado tends to get brown as it sits.If you aren’t concerned with a little browning of the avocado, you can refrigerate it for a few hours before serving and leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
    You could also make the components a day ahead and then toss everything together right before serving.

Notes

Notes
  • Vegetarian or vegan? Just omit the chicken in the recipe or replace it with cooked chickpeas. It will be just as delicious!
  • Gluten-free? Use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
  • Use any other type of pasta you like in this recipe, such as whole-wheat, bean-based, or whole-grain. Just be sure to cook it according to the package instructions.
  • Add extra veggies. Lots of vegetables would be great mixed into this pasta salad: cooked asparagus, peas, sautéed zucchini, cooked broccoli, spinach, kale, and more.
  • Cook the chicken however you like best. I like to use this method, but will chop the chicken instead of shredding it for this recipe. 
  • Use rotisserie chicken if you prefer! 
Calories: 357kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 348mg, Potassium: 650mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1463IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 2mg