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A plethora of chicken salads, hot and cold

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With the quick-frozen chicken breasts, making a quick chicken salad is a snap! I like to poach the breasts, right from the freezer, just until they are cooked through. If I have a lot of time, I grill several and then re-freeze them until I need them.

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Here are some great chicken salad recipes....some are cold, some are hot, but all are delicious! Enjoy!

To start with, a couple of "quickies" that you can whip up in just 5 minutes, no fooling!

5-minute Chicken BLT Salad

8 c. torn romaine lettuce

3 c. sliced cooked chicken breast

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

½ c. sliced red onions

1 c. sharp Cheddar cheese crumbles, divided

½ c. ranch dressing with bacon

2 slices bacon, crumbled

Toss lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, onions and ½ c. of cheese in large bowl. Add dressing and mix lightly. Top with remaining cheese and bacon. Makes 4 servings, 2-1/2 c. each.

5-minute Citrus Chicken Salad

8 c. baby spinach leaves

3 c. chopped cooked chicken breast

1 can mandarin orange segments, drained

1 c. sliced mushrooms

¼ c. real bacon bits, or bacon

¼ c. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

¼ c. pecan pieces

Toss spinach, chicken, oranges, mushrooms and bacon in large bowl.

Drizzle with dressing just before serving. Toss lightly.

Sprinkle with pecans. Serves 4, 2-1/2 c. each.

Barbecued Chicken Caesar Salad

½ c. Classic Caesar dressing, divided

4 small boneless, skinless breast halves

1 head romaine lettuce, torn in bite-size pieces

½ c. croutons

¼ c. bacon bits

¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Pour ¼ c. dressing over chicken in shallow bowl. Refrigerate 20 minutes to marinate. Drain.

Preheat grill to medium. Grill chicken 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through, turning after 5 minutes. Cut into thin slices

Toss lettuce with remaining ¼ c. dressing, chicken slices and remaining ingredients.

Serves 4.

Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad

6 bacon slices, cut in 1-inch wide pieces

Romaine lettuce

2-3 Tbls. vinaigrette

Marinated chicken cutlets, thinly sliced crosswise

4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

2 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and slice crosswise

1 avocado, halved-pitted-peeled, thinly sliced

Coarse salt and pepper

Cook bacon over medium heat, drain. Toss lettuce with vinaigrette and place on platter. Arrange other ingredients, top with avocado. Season and serve.

Crispy Chicken BLT Salad

4 small chicken breast halves

1 pouch Shake/Bake extra crispy seasoned coating mix

6 cups torn mixed red and green leaf lettuce

1 c. tomato wedges

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

¼ c. ranch dressing

1/2 c. natural three cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat chicken with coating mix as directed on package, place in shallow baking pan.

Bake 20 minutes or until cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes and cut in slices.

Toss lettuce with tomatoes, bacon and dressing. Spoon evenly onto 4 plates, sprinkle with cheese and top with chicken.

Chinese Chicken Salad

1-1/2 c. shredded napa cabbage

¾ c. canned bean sprouts, rinsed and drained

¾ c. frozen peas

¾ c. chopped cucumber

¾ c. shredded cooked chicken breast

1/3 c. sliced water chestnuts

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 Tbls. chopped peanuts

3 Tbls. soy sauce

2 tsp. sherry or unsweetened apple juice

2 tsp. sesame oil

¾ tsp. ground ginger

In bowl, combine first 8 ingredients. In smaller bowl, whisk remaining ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Serve with slotted spoon.

Fruited Chicken Lettuce Salad

1-1/2 c. torn salad greens

6 oz. grilled chicken breast strips

1/3 c. julienne sweet red or yellow pepper

1/3 c. sliced fresh peach

1/3 c. fresh raspberries

1/3 c. fresh blueberries

Dressing:

2 Tbls. olive oil

4 tsp. lime juice

1-1/2 tsp. honey

1 Tbls. minced fresh cilantro

¼ tsp. ground cumin

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp garlic powder

Dash pepper

In large bowl combine salad ingredients. In jar with tight fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients and shake well. Pour over salad and toss to coat. 2 servings.

Cold Rice & Chicken Salad

Mix together the following:

(this can be done the day before serving)

1 box Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice, cooked according to directions

¼ c. currants

1 bunch chives, chopped

1 red or yellow pepper, chopped

2-1/2 c. chicken breast, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces

Just before serving add:

½ c. cashews

½ package frozen peas

Dressing:

½ c. honey

1/8 c. wine vinegar

¼ c. vegetable oil

¼ to ½ tsp. curry powder

Garnish with cherry tomatoes cut in half.

Serves 8-12

Hot Chicken Salad

3 cups cooked, diced chicken - mostly white meat

2 cups cooked ring macaroni

1 cup water chestnuts, chopped

½ cup mayonnaise, with 1 Tbls. lemon juice added

½ cup slivered almonds

1 cup thinly sliced celery

½ tsp. pepper

1 can cream of mushroom soup

½ cup chopped green pepper

Mix all ingredients together, bake in a buttered 13 x 9 pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until center is raised and bubbly. Top with a slice of jellied cranberry sauce and serve.

Bacon Spinach Chicken Salad

5 c. torn spinach leaves

1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

½ c. thin red onion wedges

4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled

2 grilled boneless chicken breast halves, cut in strips

2 hard cooked eggs, cut in wedges

½ c. Catalina dressing.

Mix lightly and serve.

6 servings, 1-1/4 c. each

Crunchy Turkey Salad

1 c. cubed cooked turkey or chicken

¼ c. seedless red grapes, halved

3 Tbls. chopped celery

4 tsp. chopped pecans

4 tsp. chopped water chestnuts

Dressing:

3 Tbls. mayo

1 to 1-1/2 tsp. minced onion

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

½ tsp. soy sauce

Dash curry.

Combine turkey mixture. Combine dressing ingredients and pour over turkey. Chill.

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