Pasta Salad with Chicken, Green Olives, and Ramp Vinaigrette / Photo by Kerri Brewer / Katie Workman /

The saltiness from the olives and the onion-ey garlicky-ness of the ramps makes a seriously flavored dressing.  A powerhouse pasta salad for sure.

I made a double batch of this for an office potluck lunch and it got – it’s fair to say – rave reviews.  There was a bit leftover, and three people ran back to their desks to get plastic containers to divvy it up. Everyone has things that make them feel great – people running for plastic containers to take home my leftovers is high up on my list.

This incredibly flavorful and easy to make pasta salad is perfect for a buffet or a potluck lunch.

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Pasta Salad with Chicken, Green Olives, and Ramp Vinaigrette / Photo by Kerri Brewer / Katie Workman /

This is a pasta salad with a substantial ratio of chicken to pasta, which means more protein and more interest.  And also, more pasta salad!  Poached chicken is easy to make, but you can use grilled or roasted chicken, whatever you have, whatever you like, and just shred that up.

How to Make Poached Chicken:

  1. Place the chicken breasts broth in a small pot, and add water to cover the chicken by 1-inch.  Season with salt and pepper. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.  Cover the pot, lower the heat so that the liquid stays at a gentle simmer, and cook until the chicken breasts are cooked through about 8 to 12 minutes, depending n the thickness of the chicken breasts.
  2. Remove from the heat and remove the chicken from the liquid. When cool enough to handle, shred into bite sized pieces.  The liquid is now a light chicken broth which can be strained and used in other recipes.
Pasta Salad with Chicken, Green Olives, and Ramp Vinaigrette / Photo by Kerri Brewer / Katie Workman /

Don’t have rampsYou can use scallions, and if they are nice fat scallions, definitely use about half.

How Do I Use Ramps?  More Ramp Recipes to Play With:

More Pasta Salad Recipes!

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Pasta Salad with Chicken, Green Olives, and Ramp Vinaigrette

Chicken salad meets Spring. This pasta salad is heavy on the chicken.
Yield: 12 People
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ramps about 40, cleaned, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces – leaves and bulbs both
  • 1 pound rigatoni or other chunky pasta
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
  • 2 ½ pounds boneless chicken breasts poached (see recipe intro) and cubed
  • 1 cup roughly chopped Picholine or other green olives


  • In a medium sized skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté a little more than half of the ramps for about 15 minutes until very tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse under cool water.
  • While the pasta and ramps are cooking, in a food processor or blender, make the vinaigrette. Combine the rest of the ramps, vinegar, olive oil, honey, Dijon, salt and pepper. Puree.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cooked ramps, cooked and cooled pasta, vinaigrette, chicken cubes, and olives, toss very well to combine thoroughly. I find it best to use hands for this to really get the sautéed ramps well distributed, but if that doesn’t appeal, of course you can use a spoon. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 445mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 765IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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