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Balsamic Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

Balsamic Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

I love all the colors and flavors of this quick and easy dish and serve it often in summer. Everyone loves it! Leftover grilled shrimp makes a tasty substitution. —Terry McCarty, Oro Grande, California
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min. YIELD:8 servings


  • 3 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
  • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 Jones Dairy Farm Dry-Aged Bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • 1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water; transfer to a large bowl. Add the chicken, tomatoes, onion, bacon and Gorgonzola cheese.
  • 2. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, basil, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1-1/3 cup: 408 calories, 20g fat (5g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 323mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 2g fiber), 28g protein.

Reviews for Balsamic Chicken Pasta Salad

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cedwards59 User ID: 8889178 250148
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2016

"I loved everything about this salad except the amount of brown sugar in the dressing. Will cut it in half next time. I really enjoyed the tang of the balsamic vinegar and feel about half as much sugar would allow for an even balance of sweetness and tanginess. I will happily share this recipe with friends and family, as it is not the average run of the mill pasta salad! Very Good!"

cbenne12 User ID: 7424916 235463
Reviewed Oct. 23, 2015

"This was fabulous! Will definitely be making this again and again. I will say, it was better warm than cold."

sjmdam User ID: 4248228 231286
Reviewed Aug. 16, 2015

"very good light refreshing summer salad.. we enjoyed it!"

Dilli User ID: 7204156 229284
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2015

"Do you use the mini bow tie or the regular size? I tried the regular and they seemed a little too large. The salad was delicious and very definite one for a summer dish. Everyone liked it."

NDachshund2 User ID: 4919910 210929
Reviewed Jul. 29, 2013

"This recipe was light and great for a warm summer night as the main meal."

Punkyjoe81 User ID: 3773046 165594
Reviewed Jul. 22, 2013

"We loved this pasta salad! My husband raved about it even though he isn't a huge fan of gorgonzola. He requested I make extra next time so he can bring it to work for lunch!"

blue_eyes998 User ID: 5762850 184089
Reviewed Jul. 9, 2013

"This was delightful! I swapped and doubled feta for Gorgonzola, and threw in some sugar snap peas from the garden which was a great addition. This recipe's a keeper."

joycerm53 User ID: 703299 100769
Reviewed Jul. 7, 2013

"This is delicious! It is quick and easy, and my family loves it! I love to make it ahead and bring it to the lake for that first dinner after we arrive and get settled. Simple and Delicious!"

ANGEL2BE48 User ID: 6756644 115734
Reviewed Jul. 6, 2013

"5 Star Rating and then some... everyone at my party loved it. I would highly recommend this dish. You won't be disappointed."

jnjrok User ID: 1992251 165593
Reviewed Jul. 4, 2013

"Simply delicious, made as per recipe, nice combination of flavors. Not for those that dislike the taste of gorgonzola or blue cheese"

chargord User ID: 377953 185943
Reviewed Jul. 2, 2013

"Just finished making this and it tastes really good, and I'll definitely make it again. Next time I'll probably use less dressing and I'm going to add some sliced olives to this when I serve it this time. Very good though!"

jnjrok User ID: 1992251 182645
Reviewed Jul. 1, 2013

"Delicious!!! My end product looked much more brown than pictured due to the balsamic vinegar, but the taste was wonderful. You do need to like the taste of gorgonzola or blue cheese to start with."

debralou User ID: 2812256 185941
Reviewed Jul. 1, 2013

"The dressing was very bland and too sweet. I ended up draining off as much as I could and added a little homemade Italian dressing. Made all the difference in the world! I also used tri-color spiral pasta vs the bowtie pasta. I liked the combination of veggies, although I subst. a combination of radishes and green onions for the red onion because I didn't have any. I would make this again, but not exactly as written. As I said before, the dressing almost ruined the otherwise wonderful combination of pasta and veggies. Luckily my dressing counteracted the sweet remnant from the recipe's dressing."

edl274 User ID: 2973607 125489
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2012

"Good flavor. I used bleu cheese crumbles since it was on sale and therefore $2 cheaper than the Gorgonzola; served it separately since some family members don't like it. Reduced olive oil to 1/8 cup and increased basil a bit. I personally think the bleu cheese makes it, but I know for some it ruins the salad."

kmschilling User ID: 3411997 114694
Reviewed Sep. 5, 2012

"This is a unique salad that I find people either love or hate. Hard to find gorgonzola cheese at times so we use blue cheese crumbles."

KathyGraves User ID: 4545968 170441
Reviewed Sep. 4, 2012

"This recipe is a keeper. The flavor is very different than in most pasta salads. I did use 1/2 feta and 1/2 blue cheese in place of the gorgonzola."

swinny User ID: 1858482 165592
Reviewed Sep. 4, 2012

"I did use shrimp and everyone liked it for a Labor Day cookout."

lildawnp User ID: 6215327 167334
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2012

"Great Recipe...I altered it just a tad...I put one tablespoon of brown sugar, and added toasted pecans to the salad. Gorgonzola and pecans go well together! Great recipe... definitely a winner!!"

judymck User ID: 4775536 183841
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2012

"I thought this recipe looked familiar. I made it a year or so ago and it is great! I used less garlic and brown sugar. I also added frozen green peas for a little color. Great!"

icls User ID: 2941241 181750
Reviewed Sep. 1, 2012

"Tasty and light. Perfect for lunch or dinner on a hot day. I substituted fresh shrimp for chicken, otherwise made it according to the recipe and wouldn't change anything else. We got 5 servings from this recipe. People do go back for seconds."

JEANIEL User ID: 4193559 106098
Reviewed Aug. 31, 2012

"I don't like Gorgonzola cheese, I plan on using some other cheese, maybe little chunks of mozzerlla."

fredaevans User ID: 6360805 165589
Reviewed Aug. 31, 2012

"As one review notes, Gorgonzola can be a bit strong for some tastes. Love it personally, but I'll do 50-50 with Feta. Lightly blanched veggies also 'perk up' this dish."

starryellie User ID: 6178767 144701
Reviewed Sep. 16, 2011

"Too much of a gorgonzola flavor for me. Gorgonzola is hit or miss for me, and this has a strong flavor of it. I would try this recipe again using feta cheese. I liked the previous reviewer's idea of adding some other vegetables, so that may also be an addition for next time."

goodcook14 User ID: 4123316 182643
Reviewed Jul. 28, 2011

"This salad is amazingly awesome!! The brown sugar in the dressing adds a whole new good. I added sliced zucchini and yellow squash to the chicken that I sauteed and also some Italian seasoning, salt,pepper and a splash of worchestshire sauce to the pan to liven up the chicken. I added a few chopped calamata olives also to use them up!! I make a very similar dressing or marinade for sliced tomatoes but this ROCKS!!"

snackcake User ID: 4580851 185933
Reviewed Feb. 22, 2011

"Made this as written added peas as well,next time i will put more grape tomatoes and proably leave out the cheese. Really like the dressing! thanks for sharing!"

tdholt User ID: 1251630 100136
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2010

"Made this salad for Thanksgiving supper and got very good reviews and many asked for the recipe."

sawyer5 User ID: 5245738 115732
Reviewed Aug. 2, 2010

"This salad was great! Made it on a hot day for lunch, very yummy and easy! I varied the ingredients slightly to what I had on hand, and the dressing was delicious!!"

RD2Cook User ID: 1012768 184087
Reviewed Aug. 2, 2010

"Highly disappointing. The flavor of did not live up to all of the yummy ingredients it uses. It was bland, surprisingly. It makes ALOT, so I felt like I couldn't waste it by throwing it out, so I found myself doctoring it up everytime I'd serve up a bowl to try to improve the flavor. Not worth the effort."

cookarika User ID: 2924093 185931
Reviewed Jul. 25, 2010

"I liked the pasta a lot better without the dressing. It was too strong. If I make it again I will not use very little or no dressing."

Clovergirl User ID: 3765500 182641
Reviewed Jul. 22, 2010

"This recipe really makes a large amount. I used grape tomatoes but really didn't like them in the salad. Next time I will try using Green Peas instead--as someone else suggested. Instead of using Balsamic vinegar and the olive oil, I substituted 1/2 cup of White Balsamic Vinagrette salad dressing."

lmh126 User ID: 2148575 181748
Reviewed Jul. 21, 2010

"My husband & I like this recipe. I would recommend it be fixed as written & then decide to leave something out. Everything together makes a great combination even if you don't like an ingredient. We don't like Gorgonola cheese ourselves, but I defy anyone to be able to say they can taste anything more than a hint of it in this recipe. I never tell my husband what's in anything new until I know if he likes it first."

millie k User ID: 2925616 185924
Reviewed Jul. 20, 2010

"This sounds great, but is there another cheese to substitute for the gorgonzola/feta? We're not too crazy about either."

lazyjcafe User ID: 1762141 183835
Reviewed Jul. 2, 2010

"This salad is a staple at all our family gatherings. Everyone loves it! The complex flavors blend beautifully after refrigerating for a couple of hours. I use rotisserie chicken and Barilla Plus bowtie pasta (for the omega 3's). I've also used orzo, since it was what I had on hand. Excellent recipe!"

kimkenney User ID: 2674505 165586
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2010

"This recipe was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS! My husband and I really enjoyed this fantastic salad. I will definitely make this again."

s_pants User ID: 174050 185923
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2010

"Wow! This is wonderful!!!! My husband is a man of few words (and even less about food), but after eating a few bites, he leaned over and said, "You can make this again". Now, that's a compliment."

angelasandoval User ID: 2401339 183833
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2010

"Although we enjoyed this, we thought the dressing was slightly too sweet for our tastes...will cut the brown sugar down next time I make it. Used Feta instead of Gargonzola because I had Feta on hand...worked well."

blakesl User ID: 5048596 184084
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2010

"This is a great recipe. Very easy to make and tastes delish! I love making this great for the summer ."

paulashley User ID: 4118010 144700
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2010

"We make this pasta weekly during the summer, but instead of tomatoes we use sweet green peas. It is so amazing! A great prepare ahead dish, so yummy :)"

bbclark1979 User ID: 4238479 115730
Reviewed Nov. 15, 2009

"The flavors in this recipe are bright and lively. I've used other pasta varieties with equal success. I use canned chicken and more cheese. I shared this recipe at work and it is now a popular addition to many of our recipe boxes."

Sharon1512 User ID: 943906 182639
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2009

"This recipe is awesome! I am so thankful to the subscriber who shared it. I just can't get enough of it, and I always choose to make it when company comes for lunch, or for dinner! I also use grape tomates, b/c my husband does not like tomatoes and it makes it easier for him to pick them out. (I just cut them in half) Everyone who I serve it to asks for the recipe. It really is soooo delicious, no wonder it won $500 in the july/aug 2009 issue!"

Albany_NY User ID: 216692 167287
Reviewed Jun. 17, 2009

"This is like bait and switch. I wanted to see the recipe- and I've BEEN a SUBSCRIBER for years, but it blocked me.

I'll know not to look here again.

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