Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad – EASY, ready in 30 minutes, and packed with Asian-inspired flavors!! Juicy sesame chicken, pasta, and lots of healthy vegetables! PERFECT for potlucks, picnics, parties, and planned leftovers!!

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad - EASY, ready in 30 minutes, and packed with Asian-inspired flavors!! Juicy sesame chicken, pasta, and lots of healthy vegetables! PERFECT for potlucks, picnics, parties, and planned leftovers!!

If you’re looking for a pasta salad that everyone will love, look no further than this easy mandarin orange chicken pasta salad that’s easy, ready in 30 minutes, and makes enough to feed a crowd.

What’s In The Pasta Salad

There’s tender chicken that’s been cooked in sesame and olive oils, red bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, fresh spinach, and of course mandarin oranges and al dente bowtie pasta.

There’s an easy, whisk-together vinaigrette comprised of dry onion soup mix, rice vinegar, sesame and olive oils, ginger, mandarin orange juice, and ginger. The vinaigrette is packed with Asian-inspired flavor from the sesame, ginger, and mandarin orange juice.

You need something with plenty of flavor to ensure that a pound of pasta, a pound of chicken, and so many vegetables are flavorful and satisfying and this vinaigrette delivers.

Every bite is a mix of flavors and textures including crunchy, juicy, tender, fresh, and cooked. My favorite kind of food – a little bit of everything in every bite.

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad - EASY, ready in 30 minutes, and packed with Asian-inspired flavors!! Juicy sesame chicken, pasta, and lots of healthy vegetables! PERFECT for potlucks, picnics, parties, and planned leftovers!!

A Mix-And-Match Salad

Feel free to mix-and-match with the vegetables you incorporate since this is a very easily adaptable pasta salad.

Try red or green onions, broccoli, cauliflower, other colors of bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, shelled edamame, peas, sugar snap peas, or whatever you have on hand and enjoy.

I used bowtie pasta but rotini, ziti, or your favorite small pasta shapes may be substituted.

Feeds A Crowd – Potlucks, Picnics, Parties, Planned Leftovers

This salad makes a ton and can feed a crowd. I like to think of the four P’s: potlucks, picnics, parties, and planned leftovers.

Since there’s no mayo, it’s great for potlucks, picnics, and parties.

The leftovers keep really well and if you’re looking for easy lunches or no-brainer dinners for the week, this is perfect. If you don’t need as much, you can always halve the recipe.

You can serve it warm and fresh right away or chill it and serve it later.

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad - EASY, ready in 30 minutes, and packed with Asian-inspired flavors!! Juicy sesame chicken, pasta, and lots of healthy vegetables! PERFECT for potlucks, picnics, parties, and planned leftovers!!

Other favorite pasta salads:

  • BLT Pasta Salad – Easy, ready in 15 minutes, feeds a crowd, and perfect for potlucks and parties! Creamy ranch dressing perfectly coats the pasta and bacon! Guaranteed family favorite!
  • Taco Pasta Salad – Easy, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with great Mexican-inspired ingredients including corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, and more! Perfect for picnics, parties, and potlucks!
  • Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad – Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!
  • Club Sandwich Pasta Salad – All your favorite club sandwich ingredients in an easy pasta salad! Turkey, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese with ranch! Ready in 15 minutes and perfect for potlucks, picnics, and parties!

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad - EASY, ready in 30 minutes, and packed with Asian-inspired flavors!! Juicy sesame chicken, pasta, and lots of healthy vegetables! PERFECT for potlucks, picnics, parties, and planned leftovers!!

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad – EASY, ready in 30 minutes, and packed with Asian-inspired flavors!! Juicy sesame chicken, pasta, and lots of healthy vegetables! PERFECT for potlucks, picnics, parties, and planned leftovers!!
Yield: serves 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1-ounce package dry onion soup mix
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice from one 10.5-ounce can mandarin oranges (add oranges to a separate very large bowl)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional

Salad

  • 16 ounces bowtie pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 to 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 English cucumber, diced small
  • one 10.5-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained and juice discarded
  • 4 to 6 cups fresh baby spinach (about 6 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Vinaigrette – To a medium bowl, add all ingredients, whisk to combine; set aside. Note – You are only adding the juice from one can of mandarins to the vinaigrette. Add the mandarins to a separate very large bowl.
  2. Salad – Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and add it to the bowl with the mandarins.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, to a large skillet add the sesame oil, olive oil, chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through; stir and flip intermittently to ensure even cooking. Add chicken and all cooking juices to the bowl with the mandarins and pasta.
  4. Add the peppers, carrots, cucumbers, additional one can of mandarins (drain juice and discard), spinach, add the vinaigrette, stir and toss to combine and coat evenly. Tip – Because of the large volume of this salad, you may want to add half the spinach to start with to your mixing bowl, and as things get mixed and the spinach wilts a bit, add the remaining spinach and continue mixing.
  5. Taste the salad and make any additional flavor adjustments such as more salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, cayenne (doesn’t make it hot but adds flavor), etc. and either serve immediately or chill before serving. Salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days, noting the vegetables will release their natural juices as time passes.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 457 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 60mg Sodium: 1165mg Carbohydrates: 47g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 20g Protein: 29g

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad

Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad – EASY, ready in 30 minutes, and packed with Asian-inspired flavors!! Juicy sesame chicken, pasta, and lots of healthy vegetables! PERFECT for potlucks, picnics, parties, and planned leftovers!!

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette

  • 1-ounce package dry onion soup mix
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice from one 10.5-ounce can mandarin oranges (add oranges to a separate very large bowl)
  •  2 to 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional

Salad

  • 16 ounces bowtie pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 to 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 English cucumber, diced small
  • one 10.5-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained and juice discarded
  • 4 to 6 cups fresh baby spinach (about 6 ounces)

Directions:

  1. Vinaigrette – To a medium bowl, add all ingredients, whisk to combine; set aside. Note – You are only adding the juice from one can of mandarins to the vinaigrette. Add the mandarins to a separate very large bowl.
  2. Salad – Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and add it to the bowl with the mandarins.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, to a large skillet add the sesame oil, olive oil, chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through; stir and flip intermittently to ensure even cooking. Add chicken and all cooking juices to the bowl with the mandarins and pasta.
  4. Add the peppers, carrots, cucumbers, additional one can of mandarins (drain juice and discard), spinach, add the vinaigrette, stir and toss to combine and coat evenly. Tip – Because of the large volume of this salad, you may want to add half the spinach to start with to your mixing bowl, and as things get mixed and the spinach wilts a bit, add the remaining spinach and continue mixing.
  5. Taste the salad and make any additional flavor adjustments such as more salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, cayenne (doesn’t make it hot but adds flavor), etc. and either serve immediately or chill before serving. Salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days, noting the vegetables will release their natural juices as time passes.
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4 comments on “Mandarin Orange Chicken Pasta Salad”

  1. This vinaigrette sounds excellent! I never would have thought about using a dry soup mix but it would deliver a big dose of flavor.

  2. Would it be possible to include the Nutritional Facts (Calories, Serving Size, Fat, Sodium, Carbs (including sugars separately) and proteins) for this and all other recipes going forward?

    • It always has been available but I recently just changed the formatting for new recipes going forward so it’s boldly displayed. For older recipes, just click the button that says Nutrition Information (orange colored) at the bottom of the recipe.

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