Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad

Loved reading all of your thoughts about Spring! Winner of the "Bliss" cookbook is Leanne, who said:

"My very favorite thing about Spring is the parallel it draws from Winter---Winter allows the rain and snow, for a couple of months, from dark, threatening clouds. Then, as if nothing ever happened, we rise to a perfectly sunny, cloudless day. A lovely, clean slate from the seemingly neverending cold. Forgiveness.It is my favorite time of year."

Beautifully said, Leann!

Spring always steers me in the direction of salad instead of soup. Found this recipe years ago in the cookbook "Favorites". It's another local cookbook, put together by the Ivory family. If you live in our neck of the woods, the Ivory Homes name is familiar. I talked to one of the authors right after she finished this book and she told me it was a compilation of family and friend recipes they had used and grown to love over the years. They originally printed the cookbook for giving to family, and quickly had requests for so many they decided to do a second printing. Ten years later, they are still printing and donating the proceeds to the Make A Wish Foundation. It's available here.
I made this salad last week, much to my son's dismay. Fruit in pasta salad? They hate it.
I love it.
They would, on the other hand, rather eat a frozen (breakfast) burrito (yes, for dinner). Personally, I would rather gnaw my hand off, than eat one of those burritos.

Happy Spring!

Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad
adapted from Favorites, A Collection of Ivory Family Recipes

16 oz Bowtie pasta, cooked al dente

2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 bags fresh spinach (about 8 cups)
1- 6 oz bag craisins
3- 11 oz cans mandarin oranges, drained
2-8 oz cans sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped, green part only
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 small can honey roasted peanuts or cashews (about 2 cups)
2-3 cups cooked chicken, cut into slices

Blend dressing ingredients together in blender or food processor. Mix dressing and cooked pasta in medium bowl and marinate for two hours. Combine rest of salad dressing (except nuts) in large salad bowl, add pasta and dressing and toss gently.
Add nuts just before serving.

-I like to marinate the chicken in about 1 cup of teriyaki sauce overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the chicken and discard the sauce. Broil the chicken for about 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before adding to salad.
-"Very Very Teriyaki" is my favorite sauce. If using this brand, reduce the amount of teriyaki sauce to 1/3 cup. Make sure to shake the bottle well before using.
_ I usually skip marinating the pasta after it is cooked, I like the pasta to be lighter in color, and the chicken to have a darker color.


  1. This looks sooooo tasty. I am always happy to find a new and delicious salad. Thanks!!

  2. I'm trying this yummy looking salad for a party tomorrow night. Hopefully, it is a success! Yours looks beautiful.

  3. made this as the main course in a boxed dinner the other night, and it was seriously delectable "girl food" (several comments like, "my kids/husband wouldn't like this, but i love it!"). perfect for a party with women. i doubled the batch and came out with 30 take-out containers filled about 3/4 full. thank you for the recipe!

  4. Si, I can't believe I never knew you had a blog. You served us this amazing salad at a Mueller Park Jr High luncheon and I have been making it ever since. Everyone loves it and always wants to have the recipe. Sometimes we say it is a small world and other times it's right under our nose and we don't realize it. My neighbor the other day was telling me about your blog and when I got on, I couldn't believe that it was yours. I have never been able to remember your name and I live right here in Bountiful. I am going to try your other recipes. Thanks for sharing about 12 years ago, many people have enjoyed this recipe. Cyndi Corey

    1. Hi Cyndi!
      That must have been one of the teacher luncheons I did back when one of my older kids were attending MPJ? It is a small world, and I love connecting with people through ABK! Thanks for the nice note. Oh, and if you are looking to make this recipe for a large group, you can search the name of the recipe with 100 after the name and it will bring up the most recent post. Helpful info if you are using this recipe for serving a large group.
      Happy cooking!


Tell us how you really feel...