July 1, 2011

Queen Cuisine – Mandarin Chicken Salad (amazing!)

Need an inexpensive, delicious, colorful, unique, easy-to-make salad? Here. You. Go. This Mandarin Chicken Salad is ALWAYS a hit, whenever I make it. I don’t wanna brag, but it’s true. I just made it for our family barbecue this past weekend and it didn’t disappoint, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you!

Photo of the salad at our family barbecue last weekend. Let me point out the thrifty center pieces my Mother-in-Law made. It’s a mason jar, with glass stones in the bottom, water and sliced limes! Add your favorite flowers from your garden. Wish I would have gotten a better picture of the centerpiece.

INGREDIENTS

Dressing

1 teaspoon finely chopped, peeled fresh gingerroot
1/3 cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 envelope Lipton® Recipe Secrets® Onion Soup Mix
2 teaspoons sugar
1 garlic clove, pressed

 

Salad

8 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta
1/2 cucumber, scored, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach leaves
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments, drained
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

 

DIRECTIONS

1. DRESSING – First, make your dressing. Finely chop up your fresh ginger root, I like using a micro-planer (like a little grater) to get it super fine.  Combine all the dressing ingredients – gingerroot, vinegar, orange juice, vegetable oil, sesame oil, soup mix, sugar and garlic (use garlic press to break it up or chip finely); whisk until well blended. Cover; refrigerate until ready to use.

2. For salad, slice up your chicken breasts into small cubes. Cook ’em up in a stir fry pan with a little olive oil. Or you can grill the whole breasts and slice ’em up afterward. Set aside.

3. Cook pasta according to package direction; drain and rinse under cold running water. Dump your cooled pasta into a big, pretty bowl.

4. Peel the cucumber, remove seeds and dice it up. Dice up bell peppers. I used orange and yellow bell peppers for my salad because my store didn’t have red ones (what?) but I think I actually prefer the color and taste so I might go with this in the future. Dice red onion finely. I left the red onion out the last time because my store was also out of red onion when I went to get ingredients. I also might leave it out in the future because the salad still tasted great and my husband doesn’t like onions.

5. Add cucumber, bell pepper, onion, spinach, mandarin oranges, chicken and almonds to pasta.

6. Pour your delicious dressing over salad; toss it up. Serve immediately. But I also think it tastes delicious the next day too. 🙂

Yield: 12 servings Nutrients per serving (11/2 cups): Calories 210, Total Fat 9 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Carbohydrate 21 g, Protein 11 g, Sodium 210 mg, Fiber 2 g

Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your recipe ideas. Oh and I need help with a NY steak strip recipe for an upcoming Grillathon, there is $5,000 at “steak” for local charity.

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(Thanks, Pampered Chef!)

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