Meet your new favorite pasta salad! This one is packed with chicken, vegetables, and buffalo sauce for a nice kick. My light buffalo chicken pasta salad has it all: protein, carbs, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you satisfied for the perfect well rounded lunch or dinner. This also makes the perfect meal prep lunch, since it gets better in the fridge! Each serving is a generous 2 cup portion. This pasta salad might be “light,” but the taste says otherwise!
What you’ll need to make light buffalo chicken pasta salad
- orecchiette or small shell-shaped pasta
- to keep this gluten free, I use this chickpea based pasta Shells (eatbanza.com)
- chicken breast
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- kosher salt
- red onion
- buffalo sauce
- for dairy free, I recommend this one: Buffalo Sauce
- plain non-fat yogurt
- for dairy free, I used cashew yogurt: Dairy Free Yogurt
What makes this chicken pasta salad “light?”
A few factors “lighten up” this recipe:
- buffalo sauce is naturally low calorie as a condiment
- using yogurt to stretch the buffalo sauce
- no use of oils
- using 4 servings of pasta, but spread over 6 servings of this recipe (since we add the chicken and vegetables, the serving size is a whopping 2 cups, even though it’s only about 2/3 of a standard serving of pasta)
Perfect for meal prep lunch
This chicken pasta salad makes for the perfect lunch meal prep. It is easy to portion into six large servings (2 cups each!) and is packed with all of the key macronutrients: protein, fiber, carbs, and fat! This salad is built to keep you full and satisfied. And at just under 400 calories per serving and 4 WW points, it is a great meal to fit into your day and lifestyle.
This chicken pasta salad is also ideal for lunch meal prep because it requires no reheating, which is convenient for everyone. Simply portion out your serving, throw it in your lunch bag, and when it’s time for lunch, simply enjoy. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
In addition, this recipe is super adaptable: if you are dairy free, use the recommendations I have linked above. Otherwise, use your favorite buffalo sauce and any yogurt that works for you! You can also use any pasta that you enjoy, or what works for your dietary needs.
How to make light buffalo chicken pasta salad
First, preheat the oven to 425F. Combine the garlic powder, paprika, onion powder and salt in a small bowl. Cut the chicken breasts into 6 equal sized pieces, and coat them with the seasoning blend. Arrange parchment paper on the baking sheet, and spray with olive oil spray. Place the seasoned chicken breasts on the baking sheet, along with the chopped red onion. Roast for 20 minutes and then set aside.
In the meantime, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions, then drain. Cut the carrots, celery and scallions. Add the cooked pasta, cooked, chopped chicken breast, cooked red onion, celery, scallions, and carrots to a large mixing bowl. Combine the buffalo sauce with the yogurt, and top the salad. Toss to combine.
Light Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
- pasta pot
- sheet pan lined with parchment paper
- large mixing bowl
- 8 oz chickpea pasta orecchiette or shells, I used Banza ChickPea pasta
- 2 lbs chicken breast, cut into 6 thinner pieces
- 1.5 tsp onion powder
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 red onion, large, chopped
- 1.5 cups carrots, chopped
- 1.5 cups celery, chopped
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce, used: Primal Kitchen
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt, I use cashew yogurt for dairy free
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt in a small bowl to form the seasoning blend.
- Slice the chicken into 6 thinner pieces, and season with the seasoning blend on all sides.
- Arrange the chicken on the baking sheet to one side.
- Chop the onion and add it to the baking sheet. Spray the top with more cooking spray.
- Bake at 425F for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are tender, and the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- In the meantime, bring a large pot with salted water to boil.
- Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, and drain when cooked.
- Chop the scallions, carrots and celery. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the pasta, chicken, cooked onions, carrots, celery, and scallions to a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine the buffalo sauce and the yogurt.
- Pour over the salad components, and toss to combine. Taste for seasoning.
- 4 WW points
If you enjoy the flavors of this recipe, you might also enjoy these recipes:
And check out my other new pasta salad recipe: