It’s still February, but, in south Texas it’s already hit 80 degrees and feels like spring, so, it’s got me in the mood for a cool, mouthwateringly delicious salad! This Mandarin Chicken Salad with Grapes and Yogurt Dijon Dressing is perfect for a light, healthy, satisfying lunch!
This recipe was given to me by an old friend and neighbor BJ, about 20 years ago. It was originally made with Creamette brand pasta rings, and using mayo for the dressing instead of Greek yogurt. Preparing it that way is absolutely fabulous, but, I’m trying to watch carbs and fats, so, I adjusted the recipe a bit.
A little different technique is used preparing the chicken…after it’s cooked and cooled, the chicken is chopped and combined with the chopped onion and salt, and refrigerated over night or for a few hours. This step really is worth taking the time to do, so, don’t skip it if you have the time. It really gives the chicken an amazing flavor without a strong onion or salty taste. I just throw the chicken, onion and salt in a mason jar, shake it up and refrigerate overnight. It’s such an easy step that creates amazing flavor!
I love the combination of the chicken, the crunchy celery and almonds and the sweet burst of flavor from the grapes and mandarin oranges. The yogurt dressing is light and flavorful and works beautifully, but, use mayo if you’d like, you won’t be disappointed using either one!
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast (about 3 medium), chopped
- 1 tablespoon onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup green grapes, cut in half lengthwise
- ½ cup mandarin oranges, drained, set aside a few for garnish
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, fat free (prefer Fage)
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
- Add chicken and water to cover to a medium sized pan. Cover pan and over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-9 minutes depending on the size of the chicken pieces, be sure the internal temperature is 165F.
- Transfer to a cutting board and cool.
- Chop into bite sized pieces, add to a container with the onion and salt. Stir or shake to distribute. Refrigerate over night, or a couple of hours if time allows.
- Mix yogurt, mustard, garlic powder, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a large bowl.
- Transfer chicken mixture to the bowl, add the grapes and celery, stirring to combine.
- Fold in the mandarin oranges being careful not to break them.
- Place a lettuce leaf on each plate and add a heaping ½ cup of the salad mixture.
- Top with reserved mandarin oranges and scatter a few almonds on each.
I hope you enjoy this updated, old family favorite as much as we do, let me know what you think!
Shared at Buns In My Oven What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!
Shared at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy!