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Salad | July 10, 2023

Mango Chicken Pasta Salad with Tarragon Lime Dressing

Plates and Palates, my favorite local cafe in Bountiful, UT was the inspiration for  Mango Chicken Pasta Salad with Tarragon Lime Dressing. This pasta salad is a combination of flavors from two of my top picks at Plates and Palates: the Mango Avocado Chicken with Basil Dressing and the Lemon Bowtie with Tarragon Dressing. It’s like two salads got married and had the perfect baby!

What is the perfect pasta salad? For years pasta salads were only a savory affair, now the trend has leaned to the sweeter side, pairing pasta with fresh fruit. I love this trend, and this pasta salad has so many of my favorite ingredients included! The honey, lime, and tarragon dressing is also a stand-alone favorite and can be used over tossed greens, a bit of fresh grated cheese and sliced veggies as well.

Did you do a double take (or read) when you saw the name Plates and Palates? It’s not Plates and Pilates (what everyone thinks it’s called until they realize its a restaurant, not a workout studio).  “Plates” (as we affectionately call it now) is locally owned and operated by Jared, Justin and Nina Christensen.

Their cafe has been a popular lunch spot for girlfriends in Davis County since 2004. When they first opened, I remember we made a pact as friends to frequent this place to help it stay in business (a serious sacrifice, I know).

Now, almost 20 years later, if you don’t get to the restaurant by 11:30 on most days, you  have to wait in line for a table. It used to be unheard of to find men in this restaurant, but now, the secret is out, and Plates is also a favorite place for guys to meet for lunch.

The Christensen’s make all of their salads and dressings in the shop each day. My usual combo is a half green (usually Pear and Pecan with Sweet Red Wine Vinaigrette) along with half of one of their pasta salads. My favorite pasta salads are the Mango Avocado Chicken with Basil Dressing or the Lemon Bowtie with Tarragon Dressing.

This salad is my creation, a combo of the two, with a little bit lighter version of their dressing. You know how I love sweet and savory together!  I love the way the flavors blend in this Mango Chicken Pasta Salad with Tarragon Lime Dressing . Perfect for your next summer gathering!

Oh, and if you are in Bountiful, make sure to stop by and have lunch or take-out from Plates. They treat everyone like family… you’ll be feeling like a local in no time, and I just might see you there 🙂

This recipe originally posted in 2018, updated with new content and photos July, 2023

5 from 11 votes

Mango Chicken Pasta Salad with Tarragon Lime Dressing

This delicious salad was inspired by one of our favorite local Bountiful restaurants. Pasta, fruit, chicken and a light, sweet, homemade dressing

Course brunch, Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Keyword copycat recipe, dressing, Fresh fruit, pasta salad
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cool time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12
Author A Bountiful Kitchen



  • 3/4 pound bow tie pasta
  • 2 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 3 cups red seedless grapes
  • 1 ripe mango cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups celery chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion chopped (green part of the onion only)
  • 1-2 avocados ripe but still firm, cut into chunks
  • Slivered almonds toasted (optional)


  • 1 1/4 cups regular mayonnaise not low fat
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dried tarragon or 1/4 cup fresh tarragon chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta as directed on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water.


  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients. If using fresh tarragon, place ingredients in a blender and blend until tarragon is finely chopped.


  1. In a large bowl, combine pasta and chicken; mix with half of the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Most of the dressing will be absorbed into the cooked pasta.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine grapes, mango, celery, and green onions.

  3. To assemble: Mix three-quarters of the grapes, mango, celery, and green onions with the pasta and chicken. Toss with additional dressing. Just before serving, top with avocados, almonds, and the remaining grapes, mango, celery, and green onions.

Recipe Notes

  • I think tossing the pasta with the dressing and letting it rest in the fridge allows the flavors soak into the pasta. If you don’t have time for that, just mix up the salad and let the pasta sit in the dressing for at least a half hour. Then proceed as directed.
  • If you want make a fresh basil-lime dressing, just sub 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves for the tarragon.
  • I made this up with 1 lb pasta originally, but thought the veggie to pasta ratio was a bit on the heavy side for the pasta, so I reduced the amount of pasta in this recipe to 3/4 lb.
  • Did I mention Plates and Palates caters? If you are not the cooking type, you can purchase a whole BOWL of salad for your next gathering. 

49 thoughts on “Mango Chicken Pasta Salad with Tarragon Lime Dressing

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Recipe Rating

  1. Besides sounding like a winner, it is beautiful. I have never heard of this little restaurant. Thank you for a good recommendation and for the recipe.

  2. Oh my goodness, that looks incredible! Great photo by the way. This looks like a must try.
    Thanks for sharing. I just found your blog at Skip to my Lou, I'll be back.

  3. I tried this recipe tonight and it was fabulous! Thank you!

    P.S. Have you ever tried the Shrimp and Spinach salad (w yams, pistachios, and grapefruit) at Plates and Palates? It is fabulous! I tried to make something similar but didn't even come close.

  4. Kimberli-I haven't ever even seen that salad on the menu! I've been going there for so long I don't really look closely at the menu. Maybe it's seasonal? Ok, next time. I'll try it. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  5. I just had their Lemon Tarragon pasta salad this weekend at an event and it was amazing! I was searching for the recipe and found your post, so I'm going to give it a try!

  6. I was treated today with 2 salads from plates and palates, one of them being the Lemon chicken tarragon pasta. I thought it was one of the most delicious salads I've tried in a long time. I was looking on the internet tonight for a creamy lemon tarragon dressing so I could try to create a similar salad at home. I love to entertain and try new recipes on my friends. I was thrilled to find your recipe. Thanks so much! I can't wait to try it and my next adventure will be a trip to Bountiful to plates and palates!

  7. oh, i LOVE going there when i go home!!! i am in LOVE with the coconut cake…oh my word!! thanks so much for sharing this!! i can't wait to try it! and yes, i will be going to eat lunch in btown when i come home in may!!!

    1. You're very welcome! I love tarragon in home made chicken noodle soup too. Next time you make a batch, try ABK recipe for this. You'll love the tarragon 🙂 Thanks for alway being so kind to leave a comment!

  8. Hi Si, Do you know how many side servings this would make? I need to take a pasta salad to a mission farewell and I wondered if I should double this..

  9. I made this light fresh salad tonight for dinner. I had never used or purchased tarragon prior to your recipe. I tasted the fresh herb before tossing in the blender-now I know tarragon has a licorice taste. Thank you.

    1. You’re welcome Jodi and thank you for sharing! The tarragon adds a really nice flavor that complements the mango and lime. It’s one of our favorite salads to have in the summer. Thanks for reading ABK,


  10. Hello Si,

    I am putting this recipe on my family menu this week. It looks like a great healthy summery meal. Thank you, Si.

    PS I sent you a message via Facebook messenger. Do you use Facebook messenger?


    1. Hi Katy, this recipe is perfect for summer and I know your family will love it. I haven’t used Facebook messenger recently, but I do check my direct message inbox. I’d love to answer any questions you have. Feel free to leave me a message on my Facebook page and thanks for reading ABK!


  11. I loooove that lemon tarragon salad at Plates & Palates. *drool* Can’t wait to try this. If you have a copycat recipe for the lemon version, I would die for it!

    1. Thanks Lindsey, it’s one of my favorite pasta salads too. I haven’t made the lemon version yet, but I love the flavor combination of the Mango Avocado and Lemon Bowtie together. If you love any Plates and Palates salads, I know you’ll love this recipe. Thanks for reading ABK!


  12. I love this salad! Excited to try it. Have you ever had the apricot/almond blondes they make? I would love to get that recipe! Maybe they are apricot/pistachio. So yummy.

    1. Hi Ilene, I know you’ll love this salad. I haven’t made a recipe for their blondies yet, but they are yummy. Thanks for reading ABK!


  13. 5 stars
    I made this for my grandsons 1st birthday on Saturday. It was so yummy and a big hit! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for sharing Celeste! It’s always a bit hit in our home as well. Thanks for reading ABK,


  14. Saw this on your Instagram recently and bookmarked it. Finally made it last night and it is so so so good! Definitely saving it for parties! Eating leftovers for lunch as I type and I can’t stop! Yum!

    1. Hi Kalyn, thanks for sharing! I’m so glad you found this recipe. It’s great for parties and especially good as leftovers. Thanks for reading ABK,


    1. Hi Jolynn,

      If you are allergic to mangos, I would try substituting mandarin oranges, folded in, or cut oranges, peaches (make sure they are not too juicy), or even apricots. let us know if you use a substitute you love!
      thanks for reading ABK,

    1. Thanks Kelli. This is a fan favorite in our home. Definitely on my top to salad recipe list!
      Thanks for reading ABK

  15. This looks so yummy – I love Plates and Palates! Can this be made without the chicken? How many servings does this make?

  16. 5 stars
    This is one of the best salads I’ve ever made and eaten! I’ve taken it to a few events and am always complimented and asked for the recipe.

    1. Martha,
      Thanks so much! I have had the same experience taking this salad to events!
      Thanks for reading ABK,

  17. 5 stars
    I ate this salad at Plates and Palates when I was visiting Utah several years ago. I loved it so much I did a google search for the recipe not expecting to find it and I was so happy to find it here on ABK! I love the unique blend of flavors in this salad. It is my favorite to take to a potluck. Make this salad. You will be so happy you did!

    1. I’m so glad you found my recipe, Jill! And I agree, the flavor combination is what really makes this salad SO good. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

  18. 5 stars
    Made this last night subbing chickpeas for the chicken, and using the basil in the dressing instead of the tarragon. It was so good, and I’m excited about the planned-overs for dinner tonight! My husband said “Put this on the repeat list!” 🙂

    1. I love your substitutions, Alicia, especially if you’re going for a more vegetarian dish. And it’s hard for anyone not to love this salad, the flavors are too delicious! Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

  19. 5 stars
    My mom made this for my first baby shower 8 years ago and we still make it for almost every event – it is such a crowd pleaser and I ALWAYS get asked for the recipe. It is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, and I love that it has chicken in it too, making it more hearty than a typical pasta salad.

  20. 5 stars
    I LOVE Plates and Palates and this recipe is spot on. Every time I make it, people want the recipe. Thanks for always figuring out all the yummy recipes from great places and sharing them, so I can share the food and enjoy it at home.

  21. I too live in Bountiful and love Plates and Palates. When my daughters come visit, it is where they love to go. This recipe is a home run. The very best copycat recipe! The secret to this recipe is the distinct dressing. It also is the perfect party salad or Sunday dinner salad because it can be made ahead of time. Making it ahead, gives the pasta a chance to pick up all the amazing flavors of the ingredients.

  22. 5 stars
    This is a great salad and would be a perfect salad for a luncheon or for company. The only thing I changed was to omit the mayonnaise (since my family doesn’t really like mayonnaise) and doubled the other dressing ingredients. It makes a light, fresh dressing that really went well with the other salad ingredients.