This Quick Asian Spinach Salad is packed with spinach, pasta, crunchy bean sprouts, carrots and water chestnuts, with protein from rotisserie chicken for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Warm months call for light eating, and this easy salad with rotisserie chicken is a go-to at my house. It has a wonderful sesame dressing for an Asian flavor profile and is incredibly easy to throw together.
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This salad is easy to customize, and starts with already-cooked chicken so there’s no cooking necessary. It’s a great way to use leftover chicken and veggies in an Asian-inspired dish.
How to Make Asian Spinach Salad
You’ll first want to cook the bowtie pasta for the salad so it can cool a bit before you toss everything together.
Tip: Add a drop of oil to your pasta water. This will prevent your pasta from sticking together when you strain it.
When your pasta is done cooking, cool it down quickly with an ice bath or by rinsing under cold water.
Meanwhile, you can prep the remaining ingredients. To toss the salad, I recommend tongs or two large serving utensils to make sure everything is well-coated in the delicious dressing.
If you don’t have every ingredient for this Asian spinach pasta salad, no worries. Here are some simple swaps you can make:
- Another kind of short pasta, like rotini or shells will all work in place of bowties.
- You can swap baby spinach for another green like chopped kale, arugula or butter lettuce.
- If you can’t find beansprouts, you can use chopped cucumbers for the same crunchy effect.
- You can use any leftover chicken or protein to replace rotisserie chicken. This salad is also great with diced grilled lemon pork chops the day after a summer barbecue.
- Feel free to add any other herbs you like. Fresh basil or oregano are all delicious in this Asian salad.
This salad is best the day it’s made. However, you can store the undressed salad in an airtight container for up to two days. Just before serving, you can add the dressing and coat.
If you leave the dressed salad in the fridge, the spinach will wilt.
More Salad Recipes to Try
Here are more of our favorite refreshing and vegetable-packed salad recipes to try next:
- Chicken Satay Noodle Salad has spaghetti and rotisserie chicken in a savory peanut dressing.
- Pasta Caprese Salad has the Italian flavors of fresh tomato and creamy mozzarella with pasta for added texture.
- Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Chicken Taco Salad from Pressure Cooking Today is a crunchy salad loaded with juicy chicken, black beans and fresh veggies.
Looking for something to go with your salad? Try my homemade BBQ Pork Bun Recipe (Baked Char Siu Bao) with marinated and grilled pork tenderloin and fluffy homemade roll dough to make a traditional Chinese dim sum meal at home.
Quick Asian Spinach Salad
- 12 ounces bowtie pasta
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1 8- ounce can sliced water chestnuts drained
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
- ½ cup Asian toasted sesame dressing
- Chopped cilantro and sesame seeds for serving optional
- Cook pasta according to package directions (add a drop of vegetable oil to the cooking water, optional). Once pasta is tender but firm, strain the pasta and then soak it (in the strainer) in an ice bath to cool it quickly. Remove from water and strain again to remove any water.
- Add cooked pasta, spinach, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, carrots and chicken to a large bowl and use tongs to mix together.
- When ready to serve, add the dressing and toss to mix together. Add additional dressing to taste. Top with cilantro and sesame seeds if desired.