Spruce up your picnic basket with this Tarragon Chicken Pasta Salad! Pasta, celery, grapes, red onions and walnuts are tossed with bites of tender, juicy chicken breast. Holding it all together is a creamy dressing that features lots of fresh tarragon!

A large blue serving platter is topped with pasta salad.

Tarragon Chicken Pasta Salad

During the summer, I love a good pasta salad! One quick search here on the blog will show you that I have more than a few that I can’t get enough of. You can also scroll down to the very bottom of this page where I have some of my very favorites listed!

With all of that being said… I think that this tarragon chicken pasta salad recipe might just be my favorite. There’s something about that way that fresh tarragon pairs with creamy chicken dishes that just wins me over every single time! It’s herbaceous, bold, and delightfully unique.

The varying flavors and textures in this pasta salad are what make every bite so satisfying. Tender chicken and pasta combined with crunchy walnuts, juicy grapes, crisp celery and onions come together beautifully. My very favorite part is the creamy tarragon dressing that holds it all together!

The ingredients for tarragon pasta salad are in separate bowls.

Ingredient Notes

Take a quick look at just how simple these ingredients are! For the exact measurements, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

For the salad

  • Bow Tie Pasta – You can swap this with another short pasta if you like! Macaroni also works well.
  • Celery – Make sure you rinse it well before chopping since there’s usually dirt or other residue from where it was farmed.
  • Grapes – Purple grapes are my favorite, but green grapes are great if that’s what you already have on hand.
  • Chicken Breast – I love having leftover chicken breasts for recipes like this one. Usually, I’ll make some baked chicken breasts at the start of the week and keep them in the fridge so I can reach for them whenever I need to. You could also use a Rotisserie Chicken.
  • Red Onions – I don’t recommend using any other onions. Red onions have the best bold flavor that compliment everything here perfectly.
  • Walnuts – Feel free to swap these with slivered almonds if you’d like. Pecans also work well.

For the dressing

  • Mayonnaise and Sour Cream – You can use low fat or regular versions of these.
  • Parmesan Cheese – For the very best flavor and texture, use freshly grated parmesan cheese!
  • Lemon Juice – Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the way to go.
  • Fresh Tarragon – Try not to swap this with any other herb. It’s the star of the show!
  • Seasonings – Garlic powder, salt and pepper is all you need. I like to use flake sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper when I can!
Dressing is being poured on top of a pasta salad in a bowl.

How to Make Tarragon Chicken Pasta Salad

This easy pasta salad comes together in no time! For more precise step by step instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.

  1. Add everything to a bowl. Add the cooked pasta and all other salad ingredients to a big bowl. Give it a good toss to combine.
  2. Make the dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until smooth. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Chill. Pour the dressing over the salad and give it another good toss to thoroughly combine. Cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for half an hour.
  4. Serve. Serve the pasta salad with more walnuts and tarragon on top.
  5. PRO TIP: Make sure to let the pasta salad chill prior to serving! It’s best served cold and it also gives the flavors a little extra time to develop.
A serving of pasta salad is being lifted from the platter.

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A large blue serving platter is topped with pasta salad.

Get the Recipe: Tarragon Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

Tarragon chicken pasta salad is a refreshing and flavorful dish that combines cooked chicken, pasta, fresh herbs, and often grapes or other fruits. A creamy dressing made with mayonnaise, tarragon, and sometimes lemon juice or vinegar binds the salad together. It's a perfect dish for picnics, potlucks, or a light lunch or dinner.
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  • 1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 celery stalks, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced seedless grapes
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and pepper


  • 1 large mixing bowl


  • In a large bowl, add the pasta, celery, grapes, chicken, onion and walnuts. Toss to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, parmesan, sour cream, lemon juice, tarragon and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss again to combine with the dressing.
  • Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with additional chopped walnuts and tarragon on top, if desired.
Calories: 396kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 258mg, Potassium: 306mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 231IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 101mg, Iron: 1mg