Peri Peri Chicken Pasta Salad
Creamy pasta salad with a peri peri mayonnaise topped with a succulent juicy blackened chicken. This chicken pasta salad is sure to be a hit at your next pot luck.
The chicken in this pasta salad is marinaded with a mixture of orange and lemon juice and coated in a delicious mix of herbs and spices. This creates a great crust on the chicken when you grill it. If you have time, leave the chicken to marinate for 6 hours. But even 30 minutes in the marinade will add some great flavor to the chicken.
The peri peri chicken can be cooked on the outdoor grill, under a broiler or on a griddle pan. It needs to be cooked on a high heat to ensure it gets the a smokey flavor and a crispy exterior, it won’t need long to cook so be careful not to overcook it as you want the inside to stay juicy and succulent.
As with our Hawaiian Chicken Pasta Salad with Grilled Pineapple recipe you want to cook the pasta for longer than the packet suggest. This is to ensure the cooled pasta is cooked through and doesn’t have the undercooked feel.
When pasta cools the starch go through a process called retrogradation, the starch molecules rearrange and can give cooled pasta a undercooked taste. By cooking the pasta for longer it will seem too soft when hot, but as it cools it will return to the perfect al dente texture.
Side: Serve this chicken pasta salad as part of a buffet at a outdoor party. Or divide it up into mason jars and take it on a picnic. Either way a crisp green salad will work well.
Wine: This peri peri chicken pasta salad is definitely a party dish, as it works so well with a variety of drinks. Serve it with a well chilled Vinho Verde, the light fresh wine works well with the spice and is perfect for a summer party. Alternatively this works well with a chilled amber ale or a dry apple cider.
Peri Peri Chicken Pasta Salad
- 3 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (more if you like it spicy)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 Tbsp cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 lb dried macaroni (450g)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (to serve)
- Mix the sweet paprika, oregano, salt, smoked paprika, black pepper and chili flakes together in a small bowl.
- Spoon half of the spice mixture into a ziplock bag or lidded plastic container.
- Crush in the garlic cloves and then add the juice and zest of half of the lemon and orange.
- Pour in the olive oil, seal the bag and squish it all together until you have a thick paste.
- Cut the chicken into small chunks and add it to the bag. Mix well together and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
- Take the remaining spice blend and add the mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese together the juice of the half the lemon and orange. Stir well until smooth and then place in the fridge until needed.
- Pre-heat your grill or griddle and once it is hot, cook the chicken pieces for 5-6 minutes until cooked through and charred. Set the chicken aside to cool slightly.
- Bring large pan of water to a boil, salt it generously and then cook the pasta for 2 minutes longer than the packet suggests.
- Drain the pasta and with cold water until cooled.
- Whilst the pasta is cooling finely dice the red bell pepper.
- Pour the mayonnaise mixture through the the pasta.
- Add in the bell pepper and the cooked chicken.
- Serve immediately garnished with parsley and refrigerate until needed.
- Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before you serve it.