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Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

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Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

We just had a thoroughly enjoyable day.   Our good friends invited us to the Symphony in the Flint Hills.  What a marvelous event.  It’s a fund raiser to heighten the appreciation and knowledge of the Flint Hills tallgrass prairie.   The Flint Hills are a region in eastern Kansas and northern Oklahoma renowned for their prime cattle grazing.   The Flint Hills got their name from the abundant deposits of flint lying near or on the surface of the land.   Aren’t they lovely?

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

Started in 2006, the Symphony in the Flint Hills become a Kansas tradition that now attracts approximately 7,000 attendees from all over the world.  There are a variety of speakers in multiple tents scattered across the prairie, talking about topics as diverse as The Kanza Indians in the Flint Hills to The Tallgrass Prairie and Cattle Ranching.

I really enjoyed learning all about the challenges of running a profitable cow-calf operation.  (And I sometimes think I have it tough…)  We had a fantastic dinner of pulled pork and BBQ beans and then settled in for some great music.  One year they even staged a cattle drive on the hills behind the orchestra.  Outstanding!

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

It’s one of my favorite places in the world.

I grew up not far from there.  I used to love it most of all when a mega storm would blow up!

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

So what, you may ask, does all this have to do with Chicken Salad?   Not a darn thing.  I just thought you’d find it interesting.  Although, now that I think about it this would make an great recipe for a picnic.

There are a lot of good chicken salad recipes out there.  I think this is one of the great ones.  Here’s why:   The cool sweetness of the red grapes with a hint of garlic takes this chicken salad to a whole new level. Combining sour cream with the mayo adds a wonderful savory element.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.   Your whole family will love it!  This Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad recipe is hands down the perfect go-to chicken salad for sandwiches (think flaky croissants).   Jeff also likes to sometimes eat it on top of a bed of lettuce (when I remind him he’s on a diet).

Full of tender juicy chicken, fresh sliced red grapes, celery, toasted walnuts and crunchy celery, there’s a lot to love here.  In fact, the batch that I made to serve 6 today only has 2 helpings left after my dear husband got done with it.

This makes a great salad for quick delicious lunch or a light supper, and takes hardly any time to mix together.  The sweetness from the grapes always makes it a favorite with kids!

Easy Delicious Poached Chicken Recipe

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

You can either buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it, or make up a batch of my poached chicken.  It cooks up 14 cups of incredibly delicious poached chicken.  All ready for you to shred (quickly and easily in a stand mixer) as the foundation for multiple meals!   This chicken salad recipe uses 4 cups, leaving you 3 cups for Cheesy Chicken Melts and 7 cups left over for this fabulous tortilla soup!

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

Great Chicken Salad for a Crowd

Macadamia Nut Banana Bread

If you’re hosting a family reunion, pool party or girls camp, you gotta try this Chunky Chicken Salad.   It’s great in a wrap or served on its own.  It’s also delicious served in a croissant for a bridal luncheon or a brunch.   It can be made up to 2 days ahead (it gets even better), serves 25 and is easily doubled or tripled if you’ve said “Yes!” to an even larger crowd.

When served alone, as straight-up chicken salad, the average serving size is 6 – 8 ounces per serving.  For sandwiches or (large flour tortilla) wraps, plan on 5 ounces of chicken salad per wrap.  It’s easy.  Just fill a large flour tortilla with about 10 ounces of chicken salad.  Roll up.  Cut in half (I like to cut it on the diagonal).  And secure each half with a toothpick.  Makes 32 (1/2 tortilla wrap) servings.

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Family Size

 

Best Ever Chunky Chicken Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Makes 6 cups.   For the shredded chicken you can poach a couple chicken breasts or buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.

An AlohaDreams.com recipe

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless - skinless - cooked and shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 pound red seedless grapes - cut in half
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise - I always use Hellman’s or Best
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup English walnut pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large garlic clove - minced
  • 1 stalk celery - chopped
Instructions
  1. Poach and shred the chicken breasts.  Cut the grapes in half.  Slice the celery stalk length-wise, then slice into small slices.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Can serve immediately, however it's even better refrigerated for 30 minutes - 1 hour.
MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and held in the refrigerator, covered.

Large Group

 

Best Ever Chicken Salad for a Crowd
Prep Time
45 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Makes 32 (5 ounce) servings.  For the shredded chicken you can poach several pounds of chicken breasts, using my easy method to poach chicken or buy 4 pre-cooked rotisserie chickens.   Serve alone or fill 1/2 tortilla for a wrap. 

An AlohaDreams.com recipe

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 8 Chicken breasts - boneless, skinless - cooked and shredded (about 16 cups)
  • 4 pounds red seedless grapes - cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise - I always use Hellman’s or Best
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups English walnut peices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves - minced
  • 4 stalks celery sliced
OPTIONAL FOR WRAPS:
  • 16 large flour tortillas
  • 32 toothpicks
Instructions
  1. Poach and shred the chicken breasts. Cut the grapes in half. Slice the celery stalk length-wise, then slice into small slices.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined.
  3. Can serve immediately, however it's even better refrigerated, covered, for 30 minutes - 1 hour.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE:
  1. Can be made up to 2 days in advance and held in the refrigerator, covered.

  2. If serving wraps, lay each tortilla flat and spoon on about 10 ounces chicken salad. Roll tortilla, cut in half and secure with 2 tooth picks to create 2 wraps.

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SAY YES!

If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

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Ever wished you could build your dream home?  Like amazing house design and home building ideas?  Me too!  Join me as I design and build a home on the Big Island of Hawaii. Follow along while I design each room. Enjoy a front row seat for the entire amazing construction process.  Let's play!

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Would you like to throw a Luau, but not sure where to start?   Want to know how to build a tiki bar and roast a pig?  Here's everything you need to have a luau.  How about a Christmas Feast or even a fabulous dinner for your neighborhood supper club?  You've come to the right place.    Let's party!

Tropical Summer Salad

Tropical Summer Salad

  Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design      

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Tropical Summer Salad with Orange Dressing

Tropical Summer Salad

After making ALL. THOSE. COOKIES. It’s time for a healthy summer salad.  But it needs to be quick and easy and delicious.  This colorful Aloha Dreams Tropical Summer Salad is just what the (cookie-expanded) waist-line ordered. It’s brimming with healthy fruits and veggies.  And it has a wonderful tangy sweet Orange Vinaigrette Dressing.

Tropical Summer Salad

The vinaigrette is super easy and well worth the effort.  It comes together in no time.

The rest of the salad is pretty great too.  The onions and seedless cucumbers add a satisfying crunch and the thin slices of mango and avocado are smooth on your tongue.  If you have a mandolin now’s the time to use it on the thinnest setting, otherwise just slice the mango and cucumber thinly by hand.  You (and your waist) will love it.

Tropical Summer Salad

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Tropical Summer Salad

Or Make Now

Hungry Yet??

Me too.  Let’s get started!

 

Tropical Summer Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
 

Use a mandolin on the thinnest setting if you have it, or just slice by hand.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
For the Salad
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce
  • 2 seedless cucumbers
  • 1 mango
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 avocados (a bit under-ripe works better)
For the Orange Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Country Style Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pinch fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl or jar, whisk together all ingredients for the Orange Vinaigrette Dressing.

  2. Peel the mango, cut it in quarters length-wise and cut out the hard center section.  Then cut each quarter in thin strips or bite-size cubes.  

  3. Thinly slice the cucumbers. 

  4. Peel and very thinly slice the red onion.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: May be made to this point up to 1 day prior, cover all items and refrigerate.
  1. When ready to serve, remove the seed from the avocados and gently peel.  Slice into thin slices.

  2. Put the lettuce, mangos and cucumber slices in a bowl.  Add desired amount of dressing and toss.

  3. Add avocado slices, season with salt and pepper and serve.

 

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Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

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If you've been asked to cook for a large group activity, be it a Girl's Camp or a Graduation Party, say Yes!  I'm here to help.  From Menus to Game Plans to Recipes, I'll help you keep on schedule and turn out amazingly delicious food if you're cooking for a crowd!  My recipes are tested and trusted.    Let's cook! 

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Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad

  Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design      

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My Favorite Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad

Call it cliché. Call it retro. It doesn’t matter. Everyone still calls it delicious.   This recipe for ambrosia salad is loaded with pineapple, mandarin oranges, coconut and miniature marshmallows bathed in tangy cream. Who’d have thought, this fruit salad is one of my more requested recipes. It’s a special favorite among kids and teens.

Ambrosia Salad

Ambrosia Salad is a great option for your next get together, served as either a side or as dessert. With the prep done in just 15 minutes, this Ambrosia makes an easy, beautiful presentation for a special meal or a family dinner.

Ambrosia Salad

I like to cut the grapes and maraschino cherries in half. The bite-sized pieces are easier to eat.  It’s also very important to let the oranges and pineapple chunks drain for the full 15 minutes, otherwise your lovely creamy dressing will get watered down.

Ambrosia Salad

For me, the best part about ambrosia salad is the creamy sour cream and sweet whipped cream dressing. That slight sweetness and sour cream tang goes amazingly well with chunks of mandarin oranges, and sweet pineapple. Once the mini marshmallows absorb some of that creaminess, they become melt-in-your-mouth soft and wonderful.

Ambrosia Salad

You can use a whipped topping, but it only takes a few minutes to whip the cream and I think it tastes much better.  But if you’re pressed for time, you can always go for the stuff in the tub.  I like to reserve a bit of the shredded coconut to sprinkle over the finished bowl of Ambrosia.  It really looks great!  It’s a deliciously easy treat.  

What do you like in your Ambrosia?

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Or Make Now.

 

Ambrosia Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

You can substitute an 8 ounce tub of whipped topping, but it only takes a few minutes to whip the cream and I think it tastes much better.  

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 14 (4 ounce) serving
Author: Betsy Edwards
Ingredients
  • 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits pineapple tidbits (2 cups)
  • 1 (6 ounce) jar maraschino cherries drained, pat dry, halved
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups light sour cream
  • 1 cup green grapes - halved (7ounces)
  • 1 cup coconut flaked, sweetened
  • ½ cup pecans chopped
  • 10 ounces mini marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Place the pineapple and mandarin oranges in a strainer and allow them to drain for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, drain the cherries, rinse, cut in half and set aside to drain.
  3. In a medium bowl, whip the cream with the vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy. Gently fold in half of the sour cream. Once incorporated, gently fold in the remaining sour cream. Add the Mandarin oranges, pineapple, maraschino cherries, and grapes. Gently stir to mix in. 

  4. Reserve 1/4 cup of the flaked coconut for serving.  Gently stir in the remaining coconut, pecans and marshmallows.  Chill for 1 hour prior to serving.

  5. Prior to serving, sprinkle reserved coconut over the top.

Make- Ahead Note:
  1. Ambrosia salad looks best served the day it's made.  The taste is not impacted if it's made up to a day ahead and served, but it won't look as good.  The whipped cream will deflate.

 

Large Group Info.

This recipe makes 3 pounds, 7 ounces of Ambrosia.  A 3 ounce serving size is very reasonable if this is one of 5 or more items on a buffet serving line.   A large serving is 4 ounces (remember it’s got a lot of light ingredients).  This Ambrosia recipe serves 18 (3 ounce) servings or 14 (4 ounce) large servings.  You should be able to safely plan on it serving 16.

Makes 3 pounds, 7 ounces

SERVES: 13 (4 ounce) servings, or 18 (3 ounce) servings

 

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These mini Ham & Cheese Sliders are easy to make and your family will love them! Whip some up this week. They will be DEVOURED faster than you can imagine.

Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad

Your whole family will love this Best-Ever Chunky Chicken Salad recipe. It's hands down the perfect go-to chicken salad for sandwiches for a quick delicious lunch or a light supper. It takes hardly any time to pull together. The sweetness from the grapes always makes it a favorite with kids! Crowd version included, too!

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Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

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Salad in a Cup – Fun & Easy

Salad in a Cup – Fun & Easy

  Aloha Dreams

   Fabulous Recipes, Cooking for a Crowd & Dream Home Design      

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Salad in a Cup – a Fun, Easy Recipe for a Large Group

Salad in a Cup

This salad-to-go is perfect for summertime events without a kitchen.  It’s a ridiculously easy, quick salad that teens and adults really enjoy.  Just stick a fork in the straw hole and you’re good to go.  It’s handy for weekday lunches too.  In a hurry?  Grab a cup and head out the door.

Salad in a cup is a fresh, easy side dish that requires no cooking and little prep.  Served by itself or with Cheesy Garlic Bubble-Up Bread, it’s a great summertime large group option to take advantage of summer’s bounty in backyard, your neighborhood or your local farmer’s market.

Salad in a Cup

Fill it with all the goodies you like in a salad – lettuce, cucumber, crunchy red, yellow and orange bell peppers for color, hard boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, carrot slices, or radishes could all make an appearance.  Whatever’s fresh in your garden (or your neighbor’s.)  If it’s mid-summer, he’ll be looking for a home for his extra produce.  Other fun add-ins could be: celery, chopped broccoli, snow peas, cheese (crumbled or shredded), cauliflower, sunflower seeds, bacon bits, bean sprouts, or ham cubes.

Salad in a Cup

The clear beverage cups make for a fun presentation.  This recipe is sized for the 16 ounce cups.  Party City carries these in 50-count packs. Pick up the clear plastic cup lids there too.  The lid has an opening for a straw.  Instead of that, just insert a plastic fork, and they are ready to serve.  You have an easy clean up with this one as well, or they can be washed and reused several times.

If you desire a larger serving size with easier access, you could also use a clear plastic 19 ounce container and increase the lettuce by 1.5 ounces per person.

It is easy to fill a lot of these at once.  Either do it assembly line fashion (like I did with these) or combine everything in a bowl, toss and spoon into the cups.  I pack the dressing separately.   Vinaigrette dressings are a good choice with these because the thinner dressing is easier to get to the bottom of the cup. Leave a little space at the top so your guests can mix up their salad if you filled the cup in layers.

Pin for Later

Or Make Now

 

Salad-in-a-Cup
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

A fun, easy way to serve salad on the go!  Try it for your next event.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20 people
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds lettuce washed, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers sliced
  • 5 ounces baby carrots sliced
  • 20 hard boiled eggs
  • 10 ounces button mushrooms sliced
  • 30 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 15 ounces radishes sliced
  • 10 ounces celery 10 stalks
  • 2 bell peppers sliced
  • 20 ounces salad dressing - your choice Vinaigrette or ranch, thinned with a little milk, is a popular option!
Equipment
  • 20 (16 ounce) clear plastic cups and lids
  • 20 forks
Instructions
  1. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  You can either dress the salad now or provide your guests the ability to pour the dressing on at the event. (my preference so the lettuce stays fresh)

  2. Divide between the cups. And cover the cups with a lid. Transport to serving area.

  3. When ready to serve, if the salad is not already dressed, insert the fork, handle down into the opening on the lid.  Set out to serve, include dressing if not already dressed. 

 

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I’m so excited you are making one of my recipes and I would love to see how it turns out!  Make sure to share the aloha on instagram and tag me@alohadreams so I can see your masterpiece!

Follow me on Instagram . Have fun cooking, and be happy!

Aloha Dreams

Welcome to Aloha Dreams!

I'm so glad you dropped by.  I'm Betsy.  Here you'll find my favorite fabulous, trusted recipes - everything from delicious, quick meals for your family to wonderful classics made easy.

I'm also here to help you with large group recipes from 20 to 200.  So next opportunity you get to cook for a large group - Say 'Yes!'  Then relax. I've got your back.

Ever wished you could build your dream home? How about building your dream home in a tropical paradise?  Join me, room by room, as we design and build a fabulous dream home in Hawaii!

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Tropical Salad

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