"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
August 12, 2014
Epicurean Chicken Salad with Creamy Honey Lime Dressing
by Melanie Gunnell

I heart pasta salads in a big way. I mean, I basically eat them all summer long since I’ve always thought of summer as being synonymous with pasta salad (among other things like ice cream and dark chocolate but then again, dark chocolate is synonymous with just about everything in my life to justify the sheer amount of it I eat on a daily basis).

Sometimes, though, I need a change from my recipe box of pasta salads.

Enter little miss epicurean chicken salad. She’s definitely the new cool kid in town when it comes to pasta salad. I know the ingredient list may look a little unorthodox but it all works. Really, really, really well. And that creamy honey lime dressing? Like icing on the cake. Or dressing on the pasta salad, if you will.

I’ve been making this salad ever since my sweet friend Bonnie brought it over for dinner to my family several months ago. It was a hit then and is still a hit with all of us pasta salad lovers. We usually enjoy it as a simple main dish but wow, you should see how quickly this salad is inhaled at a potluck or group gathering. I’m talking: elbows may be thrown.

A mix of fresh, sweet flavors enhances the savory side of things to make this salad simply amazing. (Oh and PS, it’s a cinch to throw together.)


Epicurean Chicken Salad with Creamy Honey Lime Dressing
Yield: Serves 6-8

You really can use anywhere from 8 to 12 ounces of pasta (obviously the lesser amount will yield a creamier salad). I've found that 10 ounces hits it right on the money for us.

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 10 ounces rotini pasta

  • 2-3 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces or shredded

  • 1 large sweet-tart apple, cored, diced (I prefer Honey Crisp for this salad)

  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, diced small (about 1 cup)

  • 1 15 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained very well

  • 1/2 cup red grapes, halved

  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds

Honey Lime Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup light or regular mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

  • 1/4 cup light or regular sour cream

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • Pinch of black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds

Directions

  1. In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, cook the pasta until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well.

  2. In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients together.

  3. In another small or medium bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together.

  4. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir gently to mix so that all the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.

  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour (the salad may dry out a bit if refrigerated for much longer — you can make extra dressing or reserve part of the dressing to stir in right before serving).

Recipe Source: adapted from my friend Bonnie (used plain yogurt/mayo combination instead of all mayo, omitted celery, added a pinch of salt to the dressing, adapted a few other ingredient amounts)


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About Melanie Gunnell

Melanie Gunnell is a food-loving, chocolate-obsessed mom who has a desperate need to share her favorite tried-and-true recipes with the world. In a past life she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public health, but for the past ten years, stay-at-home motherhood has been her job along with blogging-from-home for the past five.

She resides in the brilliantly cold tundra of Northern Minnesota with her husband and their brood of five children: four boys and one tiny, bossy girl. Dark chocolate (particularly the act of shoving chocolate chips in her mouth whilst hiding in the pantry) is her coping skill of choice for both the never-ending winters and the never-ending wrestling matches in her front room.

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/

Calling(s): Primary pianist, CTR 6/7 Primary teacher, Activity Day leader

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