September 2, 2009

Mandarin Chicken Pasta Salad

I made this as a side salad the other night, so I omitted the chicken. It was so good, make sure you do the homemade dressing, it is heavenly!

Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
2 teaspoons white sugar

Salad Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce) package bow tie (farfalle) pasta
1/2 cucumber - scored, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 diced Roma tomatoes
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 (6 ounce) bag fresh spinach
1 or 2 (11 ounce) cans mandarin orange segments, drained
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (can make this without chicken for a side dish)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, candied and toasted (mix 1/2 cup almonds on stove top over low heat with around 4 Tablespoons sugar. Don't let it burn, stirring until lightly golden and sugar is melted and coating almonds.)


1. To make the dressing, blend together the ginger root, rice vinegar, orange juice, vegetable oil, sesame oil, soup mix, sugar, and garlic until well blended. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the bowtie pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, and rinse under cold water. Place pasta in a large bowl.

3. To make the salad, toss the cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, carrot, spinach, mandarin oranges, chicken, and almonds with the pasta. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture, and toss again to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

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