Tag Archives: chicken salad

College Cooking 101: Chinese Ramen Chicken Salad

Chinese Ramen Chicken Salad

I have some college kids requesting recipes for things that can be made quickly and don’t require an extensive array of spices. What is one staple in every college student’s pantry? Ramen. With just a few additional ingredients, you can transform that ramen packet into a delicious and slightly more nutritious main dish salad.


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Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

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This is a basic chicken salad recipe with a few extras that add a nice zing. Dried cranberries provide just the right amount of sweetness. Toasted pecans, which I always love paired with cranberries, add the perfect crunch.

This is a very adaptable recipe. I usually have shredded chicken in the freezer, so I often use that. But leftover roast chicken makes a really great salad. And you can’t beat the price and ease of pre-cooked roasted chickens these days!

You can use halved grapes instead of cranberries, but if you haven’t tried chicken salad with cranberries, it really is amazing. I have also made this with walnuts or slivered almonds. Be sure to toast the nuts first. This keeps the nuts from being bitter and helps them retain their crunch when mixed with the dressing.

Crumbled bacon is listed as an optional ingredient in the recipe below, but around here it is mandatory. My family always wants crumbled bacon sprinkled on the top of their sandwiches, but “Did you make bacon?” is a pretty standard question around here, regardless of what the meal is.


Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

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4 cups shredded or diced cooked chicken (about 2 lb)
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
½ cup dried cranberries  (or use 1 cup halved grapes)
½ cup chopped pecans (or use walnuts or slivered almonds), toasted
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
3 Tbs white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar or lemon juice)
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp dried dill (or tarragon)
¾ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, optional

In a large bowl, mix cooked chicken, celery, green onions, cranberries or grapes, and toasted nuts.

In a small bowl mix dressing ingredients: mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over chicken until salad is desired consistency. There may be a little extra, depending on how moist you like your chicken salad.

Garnish with cooked and crumbled bacon, if desired. Do not mix the cooked bacon into the salad. It becomes too soft and mushy. Sprinkle over individual sandwiches just before serving.


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Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Main Dishes, Salads

Asian Chicken Salad and Scallion Pancakes

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This chicken salad recipe comes from a good friend Heather. I love that it is both warm and cold. The cold, raw crunchy vegetables together with warm chicken and a warm soy dressing (that serves as both marinade and dressing) are fabulous! I served it this time with some homemade scallion pancakes, which my children ask me to make all the time.

I serve this “smorgasbord” style, lining up all of the ingredients on the counter and letting everyone make their own salad. This is mostly for a selfish reason, as I don’t have to wait for each person to pick around the vegetables they don’t like before the salad makes it way around the table to me (why is it that moms are always served last-or is it just in my house?)

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021910 025-1 We love these crunchy sesame sticks! They make a perfect topping.

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Below I have included Heather’s original recipe, with my slight modifications.

Scallion Pancakes

021910 053-1 Scallion Pancakes are my children’s favorite Chinese restaurant appetizer (except for maybe gyoza- they love those too). When I finally decided to try them at home, I definitely won Mother of the Year in their eyes. That title lasted about as long as it took them to gobble down these treats and for me to enlist their help in cleaning up.

The following recipe makes a lot, maybe 12-15 full size pancakes, which are cut into wedges to eat. But it can easily be scaled back.

021910 007-1 Little J is always my helper at the mixer. She is a great button-pusher (or turner in this case).

The scallion pancake dough is a simple non-yeast dough made from flour, salt & pepper, chopped scallions and sesame & olive oils. These ingredients are bound together with some boiling water. The boiling water helps to start cooking the dough before it even gets to the pan.

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Roll the dough into thin circles, about 6-inches in diameter.

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Cook, one at a time, in a small hot skillet with about 1 tsp of oil.

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Cook over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes per side. Place on a paper-towel lined plate while cooking remaining pancakes.

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Cut each pancake into 6-8 wedges and serve with this dipping sauce made from soy sauce and Mirin (a sweet Japanese vinegar). We like things a little spicy, so it also has some crushed red pepper flakes mixed in, but you can adjust those to taste. Sometimes I add a little grated ginger to the sauce, but I actually prefer it without the ginger. Mirin is available in most supermarkets in the Asian section. It may also be called “seasoned rice vinegar”.

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Asian Chicken Salad

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¼ cup brown or white sugar (I used a few drops of Stevia)
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar (I used the rice vinegar)
¼ cup canola oil (I used olive oil)
1 Tbs sesame oil
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
4 cloves minced garlic
½ tsp salt (I left this out)
½ Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs water

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
1 red pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated (I used sliced baby carrots)
3 green onions, diced
1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped (I used snow peas)
½ cup salted peanuts
½ cup sesame sticks (we used a lot more than this)
**I also used some sliced mini-cucumbers and sliced celery

Cut chicken into small, bite-sized pieces.

Mix the remaining dressing ingredients (except cornstarch and water) in a large skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat and boil just until the sugar is dissolved, whisking vigorously to combine the oil with the rest of the ingredients. Mix the cornstarch and water and add it to the skillet, stirring until the dressing is thickened.

Reserve ¾ cup of the dressing in a separate bowl (to be used as dressing on the salad).

Add the chicken to the remaining dressing in the skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until all of the liquid is evaporated and the chicken just starts to brown (this will take a while, up to 30 minutes).

While the chicken is cooking prepare the rest of the salad ingredients (chopping and assembling). You can mix all of the salad ingredients together, or serve them in separate bowls. Top salad with warm chicken and reserved dressing.

From friend Heather, modified slightly by Kelly

**NOTE: I doubled the dressing and chicken amounts and got about 6 servings.


Scallion Pancakes

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4 ¼ – 4 ½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 Tbs sesame oil
3 Tbs olive oil
1 cup sliced scallions (green onions)
Peanut oil/olive oil/or coconut oil

Combine flour (start with 4 ¼ cups, add additional flour if needed to make a stiff, but workable dough), salt and pepper in a stand mixer. While mixer is running (with a dough hook), gradually add boiling water, sesame and olive oils. Continue mixing and add scallions. Mix until dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl and forms a smooth ball. Roll dough into small pancakes about 6” in diameter, keeping unused dough covered while you are rolling.

Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a small skillet. Cook pancakes over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. Add more oil to the pan as necessary.

Drain on a paper towel. Cut into wedges and serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce:

¼ cup soy sauce
1 Tbs Mirin (sweet rice vinegar)
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp grated ginger (optional)

Mix all ingredients. Flavor will intensify the longer it sits.

Yield: 12-15 full-sized pancakes



Filed under Appetizers, Breads, Main Dishes, Salads