If you love the combination of sweet and savoury, then this Hawaiian chicken pasta salad with pineapple, bacon and corn is for you! If not, leave the pineapple out and you’ll still have a delicious, filling pasta salad.
I always cringe at the amount of mayonnaise I see in many pasta or potato salad recipes! You can usually substitute at least half of this quantity with plain yoghurt for a dressing that is a little lighter and fresher, but still deliciously creamy.
Keep the summer vibes going and cook this easy meal on the barbecue instead of the stove, if you like. See recipe notes below for details.
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If you love the combination of sweet and savoury, then this Hawaiian chicken pasta salad is for you! If not, leave the pineapple out and you’ll still have a delicious, filling pasta salad.
In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 180ºC (360ºF) fan bake. Line an oven tray or roasting dish with baking paper. Trim any excess fat off the chicken thighs and season all over with salt and pepper. Dice bacon. Cut pineapple into half rings. Shuck corn and microwave for 4 minutes.
Spray a large chargrill pan with cooking oil spray and bring to a medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook for 3 minutes each side, until golden brown. Remove onto the prepared tray and cook for 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes, until al dente. Finely dice capsicum and red onion. Remove kernels from corn by running a knife down the sides.
Return chargrill pan to a medium-high heat and cook bacon and pineapple, approximately one minute each side.
Drain pasta and place in a large bowl together with the bacon, corn, capsicum, onion, cheese and spinach. Drizzle over dressing and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide warm pasta salad between individual serving bowls. Slice chicken and place on top, together with grilled pineapple.
WINE MATCH: Go for a Riesling.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Ensure aioli and bacon are gluten-free. Use gluten-free pasta.
INGREDIENT NOTES / SWAPS: Mayo could be used instead of aioli. Use any type of bacon you like. Tinned pineapple rings are a good alternative to fresh pineapple - choose your preferred quantity. Canned corn kernels can also be used (use a 400g/14oz can). Spring onions can be used instead of red onion.
ALTERNATIVE COOKING METHOD: The chicken, bacon and pineapple could be cooked on the barbecue instead of the stove. You can skip cooking the chicken in the oven but you will need to chargrill it for quite a bit longer - make sure it is cooked all the way through. If it’s easier, cook the bacon in whole strips then dice after cooking.
STORING AND REHEATING: Pasta salad can be eaten cold or reheated in the microwave. Chicken and pineapple are best heated - use the microwave or frying pan.