A delightful variation on a traditional deli side is Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad! a zesty sesame orange vinaigrette with pasta, chicken, mandarin oranges, and vegetables.
MANDARIN CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
Is there a picnic side dish more traditional than pasta salad? This deli staple is a party must all year long, whether you prepare it with Italian dressing or smother it in mayo for a creamy Mac Salad. This Asian pasta salad adds a zesty citrus touch to a classic potluck side dish and is guaranteed to impress everyone.
You’ll appreciate how quickly this chicken and Mandarin pasta salad comes together using basic items you probably already have in your cupboard. Mandarin oranges, which are canned orange segments that can be found in any grocery shop, are the distinctive component in this salad. If there are any leftovers, you may enjoy this salad for days thanks to the delicious, bite-sized oranges that kids love. This salad is great for kid gatherings.
How to Make Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad Ahead
Because the flavors improve with chilling, deli salads like this Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad are excellent for cooking ahead. Without the oranges and almonds, prepare the Mandarin Pasta Salad in advance and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Up to serving, garnish with oranges and almonds. Pasta, chicken, and dressing may all be prepared in advance and kept in separate refrigerators until you’re ready to assemble the pasta salad.
VARIATIONS ON MANDARIN CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
- Meat: To your Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad, you may substitute ground chicken, turkey, or pork for the cubed chicken. Use cooked tofu and marinate it in the dressing for 30 minutes before adding it to a pasta salad if you’re a vegetarian.
- Pasta: You may use any tiny pasta, such as penne, macaroni, or bowtie pasta, for the rotini pasta. Another option is to use a long noodle, such as thin spaghetti, fettuccini, or linguini.
- Mandarin Oranges:Clementines, also known as Lil’ Cuties or Halos, can be used in place of canned mandarin oranges to make Mandarin Oranges. You may also add other fresh fruit, such sliced grapes, or use fresh tangerines!
- Veggies: You may also use chopped mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, baby spinach leaves, or broccoli florets as additional fresh vegetables. Instead of using fresh, crisp peppers, use canned water chestnuts or roasted red bell peppers.
Tips for Mandarin Pasta Salad with Chicken
- How much cooked chicken is in two cups? About two cups of diced chicken equals one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2–3 breasts). You may need more if you use bone-in chicken because the weight of the bones is included.
- How should chicken be prepared for pasta salad? 1 tablespoon oil and a big skillet on medium heat. Cook chicken breasts for 8 minutes on each side, or until golden and well done. Before cutting for a salad, rest for ten minutes.
- Can I make twice as much of this pasta salad? It’s easy to double or quadruple the portions of this dish to feed a large group. Once a slider bar appears, hover your cursor over the number of servings on the recipe card. The portion size may be changed with a slide, and the ingredients will alter accordingly!
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 8 ounces rotini pasta , cooked and drained
- 1 cup cucumber , peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 red bell pepper , diced
- 1/4 red onion , minced
- 1 medium carrot , shredded
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 cups chicken breast , cooked and diced
- 11 ounce can mandarin orange segments , drained
- ½ cup sliced almonds , toasted
- To make the dressing, whisk together rice vinegar, orange juice, vegetable oil, sesame oil, sugar, ground ginger, garlic powder and onion powder until smooth.
- In a large bowl add the pasta, cucumber, red bell pepper, onion, carrot, garlic and chicken.
- Toss well with the dressing until well coated.
- Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
- Garnish with mandarin oranges and sliced almonds.
Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 541mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3053IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg