What could be better on a hot summer day than a cool and refreshing summer salad of roasted chicken, pasta, apple and celery tossed with a delicious mango-curry sauce. Another timeless recipe out of my mom’s recipe box that never disappoints. It is one of our favorites to take to outdoor summer concerts at the Denver Botanic Gardens, along with Tomato and Prosciutto Salad or a watermelon salad. I recommend making the dressing at least 2 hours ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend.

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close up of a portion of Curried Chicken Pasta Salad

Curried Chicken Pasta Salad

  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x


  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound small pasta shells (can also use macaroni)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup mango chutney (see Note)
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I recommend using roast chicken)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (white, light green and some dark green part)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (including leaves)
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) chopped green apple


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, around 10 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  3. Place slivered almonds in a rimmed cookie sheet large enough to hold them in one layer. Toast for around 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Whisk in the curry powder, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cut up any large pieces of mango in the chutney and whisk in. Set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cooled pasta, chicken, almonds, raisins, scallions, celery, and apple (I like to use my hands). Add the dressing and (using spoons this time!) toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 8 hours. (Best to leave almonds out until just prior to serving.)


Note on mango chutney: A widely available brand is “Major Grey’s Chutney”

Make ahead: Dressing can be made 24 hours in advance, covered and refrigerated. Salad can be made earlier in the day, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and stir in almonds just before serving.

  • Author: (By Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Category: main dish salads, make ahead



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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I haves provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.

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