I started out intending to make a completely different orzo salad but was lacking some of the ingredients. I changed to what I had on hand and made a very delicious and filling lunch or supper salad.
Orzo Chicken and Artichoke Salad
4 cups boiling water
1 cup dry orzo pasta
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken breast
7.5 oz marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
Red Wine Dressing:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 Tblsp. honey
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp chili powder or cumin
¾ cup plus 2 Tblsp. light olive oil
Cook orzo in boiling water for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and stir occasionally until pasta is slightly warm. Add tomatoes, chicken and artichoke hearts.
Place dressing ingredients in a one-pint jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to mix ingredients and pour over chicken/orzo mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Remove from refrigerator about 15 minutes before serving and stir.
My daughter-in-law in St. Louis sent me a recipe for using up my leftover Thanksgiving turkey and we all loved it. This salad combines sweetened, orange-flavored fresh cranberries and crisp almonds to dress up some leftover turkey.
Since I used up all the turkey to make the salad right after Thanksgiving, I thought I’d make another batch for dinner today using chicken breast. It was delicious. It’s a very easy recipe to put together and makes wonderful sandwiches. Her recipe called for wheat bread slices, but I had some good bakery dinner rolls on hand and they worked well, too.
Make up the cranberry mixture and refrigerate a couple of hours ahead of time to get the best flavor.
Dee-Dee’s Turkey (or Chicken) Salad with Fresh Cranberries
½ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 Tblsp. orange juice
1 Tblsp. grated orange zest
2 cups cooked turkey (or chicken breast), chopped
2 Tblsp. parsley, chopped
2 green onions, tops and tender green parts, sliced
¾ cup mayonnaise
Salt/pepper to taste
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 wheat bread slices, dinner rolls or bread of your choice
4 large red-leaf lettuce leaves
In a food processor with metal blade, process cranberries with sugar, orange juice and orange zest, using on-off pulses until coarsely chopped. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.
In a medium bowl, combine turkey, parsley, green onions, mayonnaise and salt/pepper. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve. At serving time, stir the cranberry mixture and almonds into the turkey/chicken mixture and spoon onto bread slices. Top with lettuce. Makes 4-6 servings.
I took a “classic” macaroni salad recipe and made a few changes to turn it into a chicken and macaroni salad, suitable for a meal. The white balsamic vinegar gives this dish a different flavor from the usual versions – I like it a lot.
BALSAMIC CHICKEN AND MAC SALAD
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tblsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. yellow mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. celery seed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. dried minced onions
1 Tblsp. chopped pimiento
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender, 8-9 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain. Dry the pasta as much as possible, blotting with a paper towel. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, garlic, celery seed, black pepper, minced onions and pimiento. Stir in the drained macaroni. Add the chicken breast.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving, preferably overnight.
I combined a couple of recipe ideas to make this chicken salad with strawberries and a strawberry poppy seed dressing. My daughters and I love this salad.
It’s easy to make with cooked chicken breast (one full cup per serving), strawberries, pecans and dry minced onions. My daughters don’t like to bite down on a raw onion, so I used the minced ones. If I were making it for myself only, I’d add some sliced red or sweet onion.
An easy-to-mix oil dressing with pureed strawberries is added to the chicken mixture …
…and the salad is refrigerated for an hour or so to blend flavors.
STRAWBERRY CHICKEN SALAD WITH STRAWBERRY POPPYSEED DRESSING
FOR THE SALAD:
4 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (one medium sized whole breast)
2 Tblsp. dry minced onion
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
¼ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
FOR THE DRESSING:
½ cup fresh strawberries, quartered
¼ cup white vinegar
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 Tblsp. poppy seed
3/4 cup peanut oil
TO MAKE THE SALAD:
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, onion, 1 cup sliced strawberries and pecans. Set aside.
TO MAKE THE DRESSING:
Place ½ cup of strawberries, vinegar, sugar, salt, poppy seed and oil in a food processor or blender and process until dressing is smooth and oil is completely blended with other ingredients.
Pour the amount of dressing you prefer over salad ingredients and toss lightly. Place in covered container and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Makes 4 servings.
This salad was adapted from one on The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Tasty Kitchen. I made a few changes according to my family’s preferences and what I had on hand.
The sweet chili sauce is similar to a sweet and sour sauce but is fairly hot. The way it is distributed through the salad, just a bit of the hot flavor comes through.
SPICY ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD
- Two boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- ½ cup Teriyaki sauce or marinade
- 5 ounces, weight Lo Mein noodles or spaghetti
- ¼ cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- 6 cups salad greens
- ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 Tblsp.sesame seeds, toasted*
For the dressing (makes one cup of dressing)
- 1/3 cup Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup canola oil
Place the chicken breasts in a glass dish or Ziploc bag and pour in the teriyaki sauce/marinade.
Cover/seal and place in refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours, turning occasionally. Grill the chicken breast over a hot grill or cook in a grill pan on the stovetop until cooked through.
Set aside to rest. When they are cool, cut the breasts crosswise into strips.
While the chicken is cooking, place the noodles/spaghetti in boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a bowl, mix the cool spaghetti noodles with chili sauce. Set in the refrigerator to chill while assembling the salad.
In a large bowl, mix together the salad greens, red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper.
For the dressing, in a small bowl mix the sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, ginger, garlic and salt. Whisk in the canola oil until combined. If dressing is made ahead of time, refrigerate but allow to come to room temperature and whisk before serving.
For each serving, place one heaping cup of salad greens mixture onto six serving plates. Top each with 1/6th of the cold chili noodles and a 1/6th of the chicken breast slices. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Pass dressing for each person to drizzle over the salad.
*To toast sesame seeds, place seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Shake the pan frequently. Watch carefully, it only takes 4-5 minutes.
If you have any leftover dressing it will keep refrigerated for about a week.
This salad is adapted from one on Mennonite Girls Can Cook. My two daughters and I enjoyed this salad for Sunday lunch and as leftovers. Waiting to add the dressing until the salad is ready to eat keeps it fresh and crunchy. You could add bigger portions of chicken to the salad. My family likes the smaller chicken servings. We all thought the dressing was especially delicious.
CRUNCHY ORIENTAL CHICKEN SALAD
- 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise)
- 1/2 cup of honey
- 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of sesame oil
Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Cover and let set in the refrigerator for an hour to blend the flavors. Unused dressing can be refrigerated for several days.
- 1 cup snow peas (tips and strings removed, torn in half)
- 1 bunch of green onions, sliced (including some of the tender green tips)
- 1 small red pepper, cut in thin strips
- 1 small yellow pepper, cut in thin strips
- 14 oz. bag of cole slaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
- 1 head of Romaine lettuce, torn
- One chicken breast, grilled (I used the breast from a deli chicken), sliced
- 1/2 cup of toasted almonds
In a very large bowl, place the snow peas….
….sliced green onions, red and yellow pepper strips…
…slaw mix and torn Romaine lettuce leaves.
Toss to mix and place in a covered container. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Note: I love the Lock and Lock containers sold on QVC. I received them as a gift and they are the best thing I have found for keeping any kind of food fresh.
When ready to serve, put salad mix in bowls and top with sliced chicken. Pass the bowl of toasted almonds and the salad dressing for each person to take the portions they like. This keeps everything fresh for further meals.
This is a big salad of 8-10 servings.
This is a salad that is a very satisfying meal – chicken, potatoes, fruit and nuts – all made more delicious by a bleu cheese dressing. The dates add a very special flavor. I cook the potatoes early in the morning so they have a chance to cool. Then, it’s a snap to put together the rest of the salad for lunch. My daughters and I really enjoy this hearty salad.
DATE-NUT CHICKEN POTATO SALAD
- 10 small potatoes (red or Yukon gold – 4 cups cooked and quartered)
- 1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped (1 cup)
- ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup dates, chopped
- 1 cup cooked chicken breast, cubed
- Several gratings of black pepper
- 1 cup bleu cheese salad dressing (your favorite bottled dressing)
Place potatoes in a large pan, cover with cold water and cook until tender (25-30 minutes). Drain and let cool.
Peel potatoes if desired, quarter and place in a large bowl. Add chopped apple, chopped nuts and cubed chicken.