Poppy Seed Pasta Salad is an easy, make-ahead dinner that’s perfect for hot summer nights when you don’t feel like heating up the kitchen. It’s also great for packing up for picnics, barbecues, potlucks, and beach days!
My Poppy Seed Pasta Salad recipe is loaded with chicken, grapes, Craisins, green onions, and toasted almonds.
What’s the Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing Secret Ingredient?
Why is grated onion different from chopped onion?
More Summer Recipes with Poppy Seeds:
Cook’s Note – Poppy Seed Pasta Salad:
- For a lower fat version of the creamy poppy seed dressing, use plain Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. If you do so, you will need to increase the sugar to cut through the tang of the yogurt. I suggest starting with 3 Tablespoons of sugar, and adjusting for taste from there.
- Leftover rotisserie chicken would be perfect in this recipe. I didn’t have any on hand so I seasoned chicken tenderloins in the oven, and cut each into bite-sized pieces.
- If you’re serving this pasta salad as a main dish, then it will serve 6-8 people.
- If you’re serving this pasta salad as a side dish, it will serve 12-16 people.
A word about the serving bowl.
I served this Poppy Seed Pasta Salad in my favorite salad serving bowl pictures below. I love it because it’s BIG, plus I can mix the pasta salad and serve it in the same bowl. Plus, it’s pretty to look at. 🙂
Cook’s Tools – Poppy Seed Pasta Salad:
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- CREAMY POPPY SEED DRESSING:
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup half-and-half
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon grated white onion
- 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
- PASTA SALAD:
- 1 lb. bow tie pasta
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 cup sliced green grapes
- 6 oz. package Craisins
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- 6 green onions, green and white parts sliced thin
- MAKE CREAMY POPPY SEED DRESSING: Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend on high until combined and slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Chill dressing for 1 hour.
- MAKE PASTA SALAD: Cook pasta as per package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Transfer pasta to large serving bowl. Add chicken, grapes, Craisins, almonds, green onions, and all of creamy poppy seed dressing.
- Stir until pasta is coated in dressing, and all other ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Cover and chill at least 3 hours before serving.