For the last few months with the warmer weather approaching, I’ve had summer recipes on the brain. One of the recurring themes is how to convert meals I love into something I can still enjoy when it’s hot. The first thing that occurred was curry – although we don’t like hot food, we love the flavours and spices in Indian dishes and so a chicken tikka pasta salad was born. I’m sure I haven’t invented the idea but this is the best one I’ve ever tasted.
The tikka marinade is mild, aromatic and fragrant. I did have what I thought was a brilliant inspiration to try the marinade with coconut milk instead of the yogurt but it just wasn’t as good – trust me, stick with yoghurt! You can cut the marinating time to 3 hours if you’re short on time but, if you can, I would recommend leaving it overnight for maximum flavour. Cooking the chicken with all its marinade gives you super tasty and tender chicken for the salad.
The mix of vegetables and prepping in the salad may seem random but it all contributes to the end result. Red pepper adds sweetness (as well as a bit of colour), the grated carrot gives texture and freshness and the ribboned cucumber tops it all off with a cool refreshing touch.
If you like Indian flavours this is almost certain to make its way into your favourites – I like to make a big pot of it and put some in the fridge in lock & lock tubs for lunch or tea the next day. It also goes well with my Onion and carrot mini bhajis.
As I’ve said in the notes on the recipe card you can use most plain yoghurts to make the marinade. A couple of years ago when I was doing a slimming programme, I bought myself an Easiyo yoghurt maker and I’ve never bought ready made yoghurt again. Easiyo is thick, delicious and there is a huge variety of flavours and styles of yoghurt available. If you buy a lot of yoghurts then check it out – it’s much cheaper, ridiculously easy to do and there are lots of bulk buy deals for the mixes available.
So as always please let me know what you think via the comments or by using the Contact me form or feel free to tag me in your social media posts! Enjoy DDx!Print
Chicken tikka pasta salad
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
A tasty pasta salad with chunks of tender marinated tikka chicken, sweet grated carrot, red pepper and cucumber ribbons.
- 320 g yoghurt (see notes)
- 4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons korma curry powder
- 1 tablespoon dried ginger
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 large bunch fresh coriander, chopped (plus extra for garnish if required)
- 4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, ribboned
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 400 g of any short pasta (I used penne)
- 6 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- Put all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- Add the chicken chunks and mix until the chicken is all coated. Cover with cling film and marinade in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours but preferably overnight for maximum flavour.
- Put the pasta in a pan of lightly salted cold water and cook according to the packet instructions.
- Meanwhile heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan. Add the marinated chicken (with all the marinade) and the onion and fry, stirring frequently, until cooked through.
- Drain the cooked pasta and run cold water over it to cool.
- Put the prepared vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add the pasta, cooked chicken and the light mayonnaise. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and mix everything together well. Serve with some extra chopped coriander and some of my onion and carrot mini bhajis!
- You can use any relatively plain yoghurt you like in the marinade – I’ve even used vanilla before and it worked fine!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Serving Size: Per serving
- Calories: 915.23kcal