Spinach Chicken & Pasta Salad with Teriyaki Vinaigrette

Spinach Chicken & Pasta Salad with Teriyaki Vinaigrette

Creativity never knew such a salad.

My dear friend, Judy, sent me this salad recipe with the emphasis that she had made it several times and it was always a hit.

There are certain people you instantly trust their food judgment – Judy is one of those. So I tried it. And boy, was it ever a celebration on the taste buds.

A teriyaki vinaigrette is lightly tossed with pasta, spinach, mandarin oranges, craisins, honey roasted peanuts, chicken…and that isn’t even ALL of the ingredients.

It is a salad full of texture, flavor and absolute deliciousness.

Light, healthful, tangy and sweet, this is my kind of a salad. Thanks, Judy!

Spinach Chicken & Pasta Salad with Teriyaki Vinaigrette

Spinach Chicken & Pasta Salad with Teriyaki Vinaigrette

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Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 – 2/3 cup bottled teriyaki sauce (I used 1/3 cup but you may want to add more depending on your taste)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Salad:

  • 16 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked al dente, drained and cooled
  • 1 bag fresh spinach (9 – 10 oz)
  • 6 oz. craisins
  • 2 (11 oz.) cans mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, drained and slivered
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 6 oz. honey roasted peanuts
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, tossed with 2-3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine all the dressing ingredients and blend until well combined and smooth.
  2. Mix about 1 cup of the dressing with the cooked pasta in a large bowl and marinate for at least one hour (Judy has left this step out many times with still great results).
  3. Combine the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Just before serving, add pasta and toss. Add dressing to taste and toss. Serve immediately.

Notes:

Plan Ahead: the pasta needs to marinate in the dressing for at least an hour.

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Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Judy C.