One of my go-to recipes is a Chicken & Cucumber Pasta Salad that I posted way-way back. I’ve tweaked it and played with it many times, and you can too, though the reason I thought to post it now, is because it’s a great way to use up left-over Thanksgiving Turkey. The Asian flavors make it so drastically different, you won’t even recognize that ceremonial bird.

Chicken and Cucumber Pasta Salad

Holidays aside, one of the reasons I make this recipe so often is because it’s one that travels well. Just keep the dressing separately and dress right before you serve it. The other major advantage, which I appreciate even more these days (with my brother’s vegetarian girlfriend and a Kosher sister-in-law), is the ability to serve a meat version and a no-meat version. I just keep the meat in a separate container and allow the meat-eaters to add meat to theirs, while the vegetarians love this dish just as much, without the meat.

dressing packing Chicken and Cucumber Pasta Salad

Chicken and Cucumber Pasta Salad to go shredded chicken

Chicken or Turkey Pasta Salad


  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Pasta Salad:

  • 1 box (1 lb) dry pasta (any shape)
  • 3 cups shredded chicken or turkey
  • 2 large cucumbers, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallion
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds


1. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together and set aside. (I usually do this the night before just to get it out of the way.)
2. Cook pasta as instructed on the box. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
3. Toss together pasta, chicken or turkey (is using), cucumber, cilantro, scallion, and sesame seeds. Dress and toss. Serve immediately.

*If you are making it ahead of time or packing to bring, it can all be done a day ahead. Just don’t combine them until you’re ready to serve it.

Chicken and Cucumber Pasta Salad 5

posted by jessica at 10:47 AM Filed under Fusion, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.