Copycat Hug-Hes Chicken Pasta Salad

This Copycat Hug-Hes Chicken Pasta Salad, is the BEST pasta salad you will ever try. It is so simple to make, inexpensive, and tastes delicious. It's the perfect, light spring or summer dish.

I love pasta salad. It is probably one of my most favorite foods. It’s quick, simple, full of flavor, and goes with just about everything.

I have always been a fan of pasta salad, but there is this little cookie shop in Utah, that sells the BEST pasta salad I have ever tasted.

Literally a pasta salad that I dream about, it is so dang good. I decided, I just need to figure out how to make this, because I could save some serious money.

That’s exactly what I did, and I have to say, this salad is spot on. I even like it better because it’s less expensive, and I can have the huge bowl of it, all to myself.

It also makes a great side dish, lunch, or main dish. We bring it to barbecues, but I also serve it for lunch or dinner.

Pretty much I eat it for dessert, as well, because it is just that yummy.

the best way to shred chicken:

I am a chicken boiler. I prefer to grill them, but I always get nervous to grill when my husband is gone, because I never know if the grill is really turned off? Probably a strange fear, but it’s a big enough fear, that I boil my chicken.

I also hate trying to shred my boiled chicken, because it is a little on the tough side. So, to solve all my chicken shredding problems, I usually blend my chicken in my blender or food processor.

I just push the pulse button a few times and within about 10 seconds, all my chicken is shredded.

You could also use a hand mixer, but I usually go for the blender, because it keeps it all in the blender, and no chicken is flying about.

why do should I rinse my pasta in cold water?

The starch in the hot water, is what helps your sauce stick to your pasta. However, for cold dishes, you don’t want your pasta sticking together, or have the sauce fully absorbed.

That’s why when you make cold pasta dishes, you will want to rinse your noodles in cold water, but not when you make hot pasta dishes.

Keep that spaghetti sticking to the sauce.

(It’s also a quicker way to cool down the noodles so you can eat the salad sooner. Really it’s a win win.)

could i use any pasta variations?

You could definitely use any pasta you have on hand. The restaurant used bow tie and colored rotini, but my grocery store only carried green rotini.

You could definitely switch up your pasta to what you have on hand, but we recommend pasta that is easier to stab with a fork (not so much spaghetti or fettuccine).

Here are a few other pasta types that would work great for this recipe:

  • Cavatappi
  • Fusille
  • Rigatoni
  • Penne
  • Shells
  • Macaroni

You can also add any vegetables to this recipe, that you love. It’s a great recipe to sneak in extra veggies, with your kids (and husband).

add a little extra heat:

This recipe calls for a bit of tobasco sauce. I am not a spicy food fan (also pregnant so heartburn is always on the verge).

However, in this recipe, the tobasco sauce just adds a small kick of flavor, not so much heat or spice. You could easily add more, and make it more spicy, or red pepper flakes, if looking to increase the heat.

watch how to make another delicious pasta dish, here:

Did you know we have a Youtube Channel? We have hundreds of simple and delicious recipes, your family is going to love. We take you through each recipe, step by step, and show you exactly how to make them.

Our Spaghetti Pasta Salad is always a hit at any pot luck or barbecue. Watch how to make it, here:

looking for more pasta salad recipes? here are a few of our favorite:

Serves: 8-10

Copycat Hug-Hes Chicken Pasta Salad

15 minPrep Time

15 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
  • 2 1/2 cups bowtie pasta (cooked)
  • 2 1/2 cups tri-color rotini pasta (cooked)
  • 1 cup broccoli (chopped)
  • 2/3 cup carrots (chopped)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • Dressing:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons tabasco sauce


  1. In a large bowl, combine your chicken, pasta, broccoli, carrots, and kidney beans. Mix until fully combined.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together your sugar, red wine vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and tabasco sauce.
  3. Pour the dressing mixture over the pasta mixture, and toss.
  4. Store in fridge for 30 minutes (We prefer to have the dressing sink into the pasta and vegetables, so they taste less like vegetables, and more like the dressing).
  5. Serve cold.


Fourth of July
dairy free
egg free
soy free
seafood free
treenut free
sesame free
mustard free



5138 cal


335 g


498 g


57 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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Comment on this Recipe

9 Responses to “Copycat Hug-Hes Chicken Pasta Salad”

  1. Jessica
    This salad is to die for at the restaurant and it’s the norm to drown the salad in dressing! If you’re not from Northern Utah and haven’t been eating this salad your whole life, it may not be your thing. I have eaten this for 25 years or more and the more dressing the better! Love a good copy cat recipe since I no longer live near a Hug Hes Cafe 😭

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