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Salad | April 14, 2023

Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad

If ever there was a perfect combination of sweet and savory in one salad, this Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad is it! Who wouldn’t love this combination of ingredients? Teriyaki chicken, crunchy honey roasted nuts, sweet Craisins, crisp cucumbers, mild green onions, and tart mandarin oranges to name a few…

Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad

I’m so ready for spring and salads. It has been the longest winter ever in Utah, and I’m ready to move on from comfort foods and embrace salads and bbq meals!

Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad has been a long time favorite in our home. I first made this salad back in the early 2000’s when I was given a copy of the “Favorites” cookbook written by Grace and Jane Ivory. Their family owns Ivory Homes and have been builders in the state of Utah for decades.

ingredients to make teriyaki bowtie pasta salad

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t love this salad. It’s a dish people never seem to tire of, and I get receipt requests every time I make it for the past 20-plus years. I made a few adjustments over the years including switching out the water chestnuts for fresh cucumbers (see recipe notes) and sometimes adding fresh oranges and cashews instead of canned mandarins and honey roasted peanuts! I also have a favorite bottled teriyaki sauce I like to use which I now most often find at Trader Joe’s.

how to make the best teriyaki pasta salad

Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad is perfect for a buffet. It’s colorful and can be served as a main dish or as a side dish and can also be made ahead. Follow recipe directions for make ahead! This recipe serves 10-12 as a main dish or about 18 as a side dish.

Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad

Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad is perfect for everything from spring parties to barbecues, wedding or baby showers.  If you are looking for a salad that’s more savory than sweet, and filled with veggies, try our Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetable Pasta Salad .

Savory Teriyaki Vegetable Pasta Salad
Savory Teriyaki Vegetable Pasta Salad

To make Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for a big crowd, try this recipe for 100. I know it will become a family favorite of yours,  just as it has in our family. Thanks Ivory family for sharing this recipe!

This recipe was originally posted in March of 2010 and has been updated with new photos and recipe adjustments in 2019 and 2023.

How to make Teriyaki Pasta Salad
4.94 from 32 votes

Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad

Adapted from the "Favorites" cookbook, A Collection of Ivory Family Recipes. This pasta salad is sweet and savory and just the right blend of pasta and greens. It is everyone's favorite pasta salad and so easy to make!

Course Dinner, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword pasta salad
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
cool time 1 hour
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10


  • 16 oz Bowtie pasta, regular or mini size, cooked al dente and drained
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt


  • 2/3 cup vegetable, canola oil or light olive oil
  • 2/3 cup teriyaki sauce* see recipe notes
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar or honey to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 large chicken breast halves or about 3 cups total chicken breast
  • 10-12 cups baby spinach
  • 1 6 oz bag Craisins
  • 3 11 oz cans mandarin oranges, drained well or two large oranges, peeled, and chopped into one inch pieces
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds*
  • 1 small can honey roasted cashews or peanuts (about 2 cups)



  1. The day before serving salad, or early on the same day, marinate the chicken in a Ziplock bag or shallow dish in one cup of the teriyaki sauce. This step is optional, but the chicken will have better flavor if marinated ahead of time. 

Make Dressing:

  1. Blend dressing ingredients together in blender or food processor. Refrigerate until ready to assemble salad.

For Salad:

  1. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water and 2 tablespoons salt until al dente, drain and set aside. 

  2. Mix about 1 cup of dressing and the cooked pasta in medium bowl and marinate for two hours in refrigerator. Meanwhile, prepare remaining salad ingredients. If you prefer the pasta to have a lighter color, do not marinate, just toss with a little olive or canola oil after cooking and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Cook the marinated chicken in oven or on bbq grill. Let cool and slice. 

Assemble Salad:

  1. Gently combine remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl, reserving a few of each of the ingredients for on top of the salad.

  2. Toss the salad ingredients with about 1/2 cup of dressing, add pasta and toss gently.

  3. Place the pasta salad on a serving platter or in a large bowl, top the salad with the reserved ingredients, drizzle with additional dressing and sprinkle with nuts just before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • I like to marinate the chicken in about 1 cup of teriyaki sauce overnight  or for at least 2 hours 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.
  • Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki is my favorite pre made teriyaki sauce.  It can be found on Amazon, or at most grocery stores. Usually in the Asian section. Trader Joe’s carries their own store brand  “Soyaki” which also works well!  If using Soy Vay or Trader Joe’s Soyaki, reduce the amount of teriyaki sauce to 1/3 cup.  The Soy Vay brand is very thick and concentrated so less is needed. Make sure to shake the bottle well before using, the sesame seeds tend to float to the top of the bottle. 
  • This salad may also be made a day or two ahead of serving. Cook the pasta and chicken and store in separate Ziplock bags in refrigerator. Make dressing and refrigerate as well. Chop all of the following: green onions, parsley, cucumbers and place in separate containers or bags. Drain the mandarin oranges and place in bag. When ready to serve, assemble as directed. 
  • This recipe was originally written with the use of water chestnuts. I usually add a cucumber for crunch instead of water chestnuts, which are more costly and often difficult to find. Make sure to seed the cucumber to keep extra moisture out of the salad. 

52 thoughts on “Teriyaki Spinach Pasta Salad

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Recipe Rating

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is a family favorite! I took it to a recent family reunion and everyone was asking for the recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this pasta salad today, it turned out delicious!

    I followed the recipe exactly. My sister Roxanne told me about Si’s website a few years ago, I love that a bountiful kitchen has great recipes and helpful tips. Thank you Si!

  5. 5 stars
    Made this for a block party and it was a hit! The bowl was empty and everyone loved it! Thanks for the yummy recipe!!

  6. I was just wondering if you could make a direct pin for this recipe for Pinterest. When I click on your “pin” button it just brings me to your Pinterest account and you have so many posts on your account that I can’t find the recipe on there. I an super excited to make this though! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    We made this for a family bridal shower this month and it was a hit!
    It’s a great substantial salad with the pasta and chicken.

  8. 5 stars
    This is the recipe my family requests I bring to every single gathering. I lost the recipe this year and everyone was so disappointed I couldn’t bring this dish on 3 separate occasions this summer. Now that I’ve tracked down the recipe again it’s already on the schedule for this weekend and two other upcoming events. Not exaggerating. We eat this all. the. time.

    1. Hi Carly,

      I have made it both ways and like both. I would say that I use sugar most often in this recipe. Hope you love it as much as we do!

  9. 5 stars
    My family loves this!! I serve it as a main dish and it is hearty enough to feel satisfying (and perfect in those hot summer months when we want something light and fresh!)
    This recipe is a keeper

  10. I made this salad for my brothers wedding luncheon and it was a hit. Always great recipes thank you!!

  11. 5 stars
    We just moved to a new neighborhood and I’m expanding my friend group. I invited some women over for lunch, and made this. It was a huge crowd pleaser. Easy to prep ahead of time. Filling. And so delicious.

    I even had some texting me after for the recipe. So new friends were made also over this salad.

  12. 5 stars
    Love this pasta salad recipe! It’s one of my favorites, and I especially love that the dressing isn’t creamy based like many other pasta salads (not a Mayo fan). It’s great to make even the day before and just add the spinach and dressing later so it doesn’t get wilted.

  13. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this recipe at my next big family gathering. I have it bookmarked in my ABK cookbook.

  14. 5 stars
    I make this every single year for our family reunion. It’s known as “The Pasta Salad” and we simply cannot go without it. When Si was on her mission the site was down the day I needed to make this and I was frantically searching the internet for the recipe. It all worked out in the end because three of my sisters in law had the recipe printed out and were able to text it to me- it is a go-to recipe of theirs now too! Best pasta salad ever. Thanks for the great recipe, Si!

  15. 5 stars
    This salad was so yummy and easy to make ahead and then throw together at Girl’s Camp. It was a big hit!

  16. I shouldn’t admit this, but I make this and eat it multiple times a day for days… it’s just so good!

  17. 5 stars
    This is one of our family favorites! We make every summer for a family reunion, it looks beautiful and is so yummy it’s always a crowd pleaser!

  18. 5 stars
    This has become a family favorite. I make this for every big family gathering and there is never any left over!

  19. 5 stars
    Si, this is the recipe that introduced me to you!💞 I was watching Studio 5 one day, long ago and this was the recipe you were demonstrating and I knew we’d be fast friends!😆😋 I’ve loved this recipe for years and like you said, I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t LOVED this salad AND asked for the recipe! I’ve also made the “big batch” version since it seems like I’m always feeding a crowd (YW camp, YSA, PTA, family reunions etc.) Thanks so much for ALL your recipes and sharing them and parts of your life. You are such wonderful person!🥰

  20. Ok, I haven’t had time to make this yet, but I saved it and it’s going to be in my summer salad rotation for sure!

  21. 4 stars
    This is one of our favorite summer salads. I first had it at a bridal shower. My daughter happened to be sitting by the food and we just kept helping ourselves to more. So refreshing and tasty!

  22. 5 stars
    I love this recipe!! Someone made this for our wedding luncheon years ago and I never got this recipe. When I found this recipe I made the salad right away! My whole family enjoys it!

  23. 4 stars
    We tried this for a baby shower and it was such a refreshing addition to the usual salads that show up. I love the noodles and especially the teriyaki elements. It felt a little soggy at times, so I want to try it again and see if I can assemble it in a way that the pasta soaks up more sauce and flavor and leaves less juice behind in the bottom of the bowl.

  24. This salad checks all of the boxes. It is filling, has a variety of flavors, can be eaten year round, looks beautiful, doesn’t have weird ingredients or take too long to make. I could go on and on!

  25. 5 stars
    I made this salad for my son’s wedding reception. It was so good! So many people asked me for the recipe. We will make this salad again and again!

    1. Lisa, I am glad that you enjoyed this recipe and it turned out to be a hit! Thanks for reading ABK!

  26. 5 stars
    Love this salad for gatherings in the summer time (and using the Costco chicken so no need to heat up the house even more)

  27. Yes-this is our family’s favorite salad recipe. This spinach bow tie chicken recipe has been served at both our daughters’ wedding and baby showers. Since our daughter is vegetarian, i just delete the chicken and add goat or feta cheese. It has been served at reunions, luncheons and just our family. Delicious is what I hear & please can I have the recipe. Thank you for sharing this fabulous recipe, Si. 👍

  28. 5 stars
    This is such a great crowd pleaser recipe. I make it many times for potluck and always a hit. I even made this for lunch at YW camp and all the girls really enjoy it.

  29. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious. I always use a rotisserie chicken. It’s my go to for a crowd and everyone always loves it. Serve it with French bread or rolls.