cherry chicken pasta salad

A Twin Cities chain of grocery stores has a cherry chicken pasta salad that is truly hard to resist. I don’t even know how or why I tried this – it really isn’t my style, but I may or may not get a small container of it on Friday afternoons. While it is undeniably delicious, I knew it could be equally delicious made-over.

The pasta could be whole-grain, the chicken, well, it would preferably be organic or free-range and the mayo and poppy seed dressing? Could definitely benefit from some lightening. So here it is – it may not be as creamy as the store version, but it is certainly a lot better for you and I promise you won’t miss all the mayo!

Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad  – makes a large bowl

  • 8 oz whole-grain penne
  • 8 oz chicken thighs, cooked and chopped (we grilled ours)
  • 3 oz dried cherries
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Briannas poppy seed dressing

Prepare pasta as directed. Let cool. Combine mayo and poppy seed dressing and stir until combined. Toss with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 hours minimum. Serve over greens or straight from the bowl!



Filed under antioxidants, fruit, pasta, protein, Recipes, salad, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains

14 responses to “cherry chicken pasta salad

  1. i cannot even tell you how much i miss lunds/byerlys. their deli is my fave. and i LOVE the simplicity of this dish – the perfect salad for a summer picnic!

    can you tell i am ready for some HOT weather?

    hope you are well dear – love ya!

  2. I miss shopping at Byerly’s.

    Now, you are only adding to my ‘to try’ list. BTW, I made your rhubarb strawberry crostini and avocado lime coleslaw over the weekend. Blog post coming soon – they were great!

  3. I can say first hand that this re-worked cherry chicken salad was delicious!

  4. You’re torturing me! Chicken salad might be the only meat food that I really miss . . . add cherries, and that’s practically irresistable!

  5. Kate

    we sell something similar in the deli case at my lovely little coffee shop 🙂 i havent tried and dont think i will as yours looks WAY better!

  6. thehealthyjunky

    This sounds like such a great alternative. I love dried cherries in all my foods!

  7. Mmmmm this looks great! I love the cranberries in there!

  8. I’m definitely going to try this with some chicken leftovers. I’m always adding cranberries to my chicken/tuna salads. The cherries are a nice change.

  9. I LOVE Lunds/Byerlys. And their restaurant!! And now that I’m eating meat again….! 😉

    I need someone to show me how to cook chicken though… I’ve obviously never had to before, and my first attempt the other day was a major FAIL.

  10. Delish- I love the addition of dried cherries!

  11. Yum! This looks amazing. I love Brianna’s dressings. And what a great idea to add dried cherries. This is the perfect take-to-work lunch.

  12. This looks like a perfect lunch or dinner. It looks so filling with a perfect amount of healthy pasta to fill you up!

  13. Deli salads are the best! I always try to make them myself, but for some reason they just never quite taste as great (without the fat). I love cherries!!

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