Chicken, broccoli and mangetout pasta salad

By Annabel Karmel, May 16, 2008

With the warm weather approaching it is great to have a simple salad recipe that you can throw together in less than 15 minutes. Broccoli is king of the superfood vegetables, being rich in antioxidants and containing beta-carotene, vitamin C and a range of B vitamins, iron, zinc and folic acid. It also helps to strengthen the immune system and is a major force in fighting various forms of cancer.

The key is not to overcook it as you will lose a lot of the nutrients. Pumpkin seeds are rich in omega 3 oils and give a delicious crunchy texture to this salad. The dressing has a Japanese flavour with the delicious mix of rice wine vinegar, honey and soy sauce.

I find that this is popular with adults and children and you can make your own variations to this salad, maybe adding some halved cherry tomatoes or some tinned sweetcorn. You could also use toasted pine nuts (simply cook for few minutes in a dry frying pan, stirring until golden) instead of the pumpkin seeds. This salad keeps well provided you keep the dressing separate until ready to serve, so it is great for picnics or your child’s lunchbox.

Makes two portions

110g (4oz) pasta spirals
55g (2oz) small broccoli florets
30g (1oz) mangetout, cut into matchsticks
3 tbsp sunflower oil
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp clear honey
2 tsp soy sauce
110g (4oz) cooked chicken, thinly sliced
30g (1oz) pumpkin seeds (or use toasted pine nuts)


  • Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, adding the broccoli 2 minutes before the end of the cooking time and then the mangetout 1 minute later.
  • Drain and immediately rinse well with cold water. Drain well again.
  • Alternatively you can steam the broccoli and mangetout separately for a few minutes until tender.
  • Whisk together the oils, vinegar, honey and soy sauce in a large bowl. Add the pasta and vegetables and toss to coat, then cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • Just before serving, add the chicken and toss again, then sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds (or toasted pine nuts, if you prefer).

Annabel Karmel is a bestselling author of 16 books on feeding babies, children and families, including Favourite Family Recipes, published by Ebury. For more information, visit

Last updated: 4:43pm, June 8 2008