Creamy bow-tie noodle pasta mixed with shredded chicken, fresh berries, baby spinach, and creamy lemon poppy seed dressing in a low profile bowl

Summer Pasta Salad with Chicken and Berries

Bow tie pasta, tender chicken, sweet berries, fresh basil, toasted almonds, and baby spinach are tossed together in a creamy, decadent, honey poppy seed dressing to make the ultimate Summer Pasta Salad.

Prep: 30 minutesTotal: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings (1 1/4 cups per serving) 1x


For the salad:

  • 6 ounces regular or gluten-free pasta of choice, cooked according to package directions and cooled
  • 2 cups loose-packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups berries of choice (if using strawberries, slice them)
  • 2 green onion, ends trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup diced red onion
  • 2 cups cooked and diced or shredded chicken, cooled
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted (omit for nut-free)
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

For the dressing:

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise (use vegan mayo for egg-free)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 of a medium lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds 
  • Fine salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss gently to combine.
  4. Serve right away or place in the refrigerator until ready to serve, tossing gently just before serving.
  5. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


To toast almonds on the stovetop:

  1. Place a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add sliced or slivered almonds to the hot skillet, and then cook for 6-8 minutes or until they give off a toasted aroma. Make sure to watch them closely and stir often to avoid burning.
  3. Once almonds are fragrant and golden brown, transfer them to a plate to cool.

To toast almonds in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  2. Place the almonds on a small sheet pan.
  3. Toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning.
  4. Once almonds are fragrant and golden brown, remove from the oven and transfer them to a plate to cool.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 355
  • Fat: 21 g
  • (Sat Fat: 3 g)
  • Sodium: 220 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 30 g
  • (Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 10 g)
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Cholesterol: 59 mg


© The Real Food Dietitians
Recipe By: Stacie Hassing