Asian Chicken Cranberry Salad




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Introduction

Indulge in the delightful flavors of Asian Chicken Cranberry Salad, a refreshing and satisfying dish that combines the goodness of crunchy vegetables, tender chicken, sweet cranberries, and a zesty dressing. This salad is perfect for a light and nutritious meal, whether as a side dish or a main course.

Why Make This Recipe

Asian Chicken Cranberry Salad is a perfect choice for those looking for a healthy and flavorful meal option. It offers a balance of textures and flavors, including crunchy almonds, sweet cranberries, and savory chicken, all dressed in a tangy and aromatic dressing. It’s a great way to incorporate more vegetables and protein into your diet while enjoying a delicious and satisfying dish.

How to Make Asian Chicken Cranberry Salad

Ingredients:

  • 12 cups coleslaw mix (2 small bags)
  • 4 cups rotisserie chicken, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups toasted sliced almonds (or cashews)
  • 1 ½ cups dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup sesame sticks (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 small cans mandarin oranges, drained
  • ¼ cup black sesame seeds (or regular sesame seeds)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp honey (or brown sugar)
  • 4 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Salad: In a large bowl, layer the coleslaw mix, chopped chicken, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, diced red onion, sesame sticks (if using), and chopped cilantro. Add the mandarin oranges if desired.

  2. Make the Dressing: In a blender, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, chopped garlic, honey, minced ginger, and toasted sesame oil. Add 3 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth.

  3. Combine: Lightly pour the dressing over the salad mixture to your preferred level of moistness. Gently toss the salad and serve.

How to Serve Asian Chicken Cranberry Salad

Serve this refreshing salad as a light lunch or dinner option. It can also be a great side dish for grilled meats or as a potluck contribution. Enjoy it chilled for the best taste experience.

How to Store Asian Chicken Cranberry Salad

Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Keep the dressing separate and add it just before serving to maintain the freshness of the ingredients.

Tips to Make Asian Chicken Cranberry Salad

  • Ensure all vegetables are washed and dried thoroughly before adding them to the salad.
  • Feel free to customize the salad by adding or omitting any ingredients based on your preference.
  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken with tofu or chickpeas.

Variation

For a gluten-free version of this salad, use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. You can also add quinoa or brown rice for an extra boost of fiber and nutrients.

FAQs

  1. Can I use store-bought dressing for this salad?
    • Yes, you can use your favorite Asian-style dressing if you prefer.
  2. Can I make this salad in advance?
    • Yes, you can prepare the salad ingredients ahead of time and mix them with the dressing just before serving to keep it fresh.
  3. Can I use fresh cranberries instead of dried ones?
    • Fresh cranberries can be too tart for this salad, but you can experiment with them if you enjoy a more tangy flavor.

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