Dinner/ Recipes/ Salads

Chicken and Rice Salad

Gluten-free, Dairy-free

I stumbled upon making this recipe by accident, but let me tell you, this chicken and rice salad is hearty, filling, nutritious and delicious! You can make this ahead of time and have lunches ready for the week, or for dinner on a busy night. And I gurantee once you try it, you will make it again! The best part is that is it loaded with nutrients, and this one dish is all you will need! for a meal!

A YUMMY CHICKEN AND RICE SALAD

I love a hearty salad that contains all of the ingredients you need for an entire meal. And the great news is that you are actually only preparing one dish, which is awesome AM I RIGHT? I really love any salad to be honest, but when it includes filling ingredients that are just so healthy, we all feel so satisfied. The beauty about this dish is that you can really switch up any of the ingredients, depending on what you have on hand or what your preferences are. We ate this dish about 3 – 4 times before it was all gone, and loved it EVERY SINGLE TIME. In fact we were sad when it was done! I mean look at that delicioushness…..

Beautiful option to serve to friends!

HOW DID I CHOOSE MY INGREDIENTS?

I had some leftover rotisserie chicken, particularily the breast, and I was wondering what to do with it. I didn’t want to eat it plain as it is often pretty dry leftover. I thought alot about what I should do, look around in my fridge and cupboard at what I had available, and a chicken and rice salad is what jumped into my mind! And man, I am glad it did, because this turned out so yummy. It is also so beautifully presentable that you could easily serve it to company too or bring it to any potluck dinner or summer picnic, or do what we did and just save it all for yourselves (the fact that it is COVID and we are stuck at home didn’t give us much choice!). The versatility, flavours and comfort are endless. Plus the dressing is so simple and light and gives this salad its bright but bold flavour. Let’s take a look at the ingredients, and some substitions you can make.

  • Brown Rice:  I choose brown rice over white rice since it is higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals.  However whtie rice will do just fine if that is what you have
  • Chicken Breast:  I used one large rotisserie chicken breast that I had left over.  You don’t have to use chicken breast, throw in any leftover white or dark meat – chicken OR turkey.  If you don’t have leftover meat, I would bake a couple chicken breast in a baking dish (yes two because individual breasts tend to be smaller the the ones you get in a whole chicken) with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper and spices of your choice in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.  Then you can use that.
  • Celery: A bit of crunch in this salad goes a long way, and celery offers just that. If you don’t have celery, other great options would be fennel,  green peppers, green onions or radish.  
  • Currants: So the reason I choose currants is because I had bought some previously to use in my thanksgiving stuffing.  Currants add a perfect sweetness and chew to this dish,  and are smaller than raisins so I find they incorporate much better.  Also currants have a nice amoung of Vitamin C, plenty of anti-oxidants and anthocyanins to help strengthen your immune system and fight off free radicals.  However raisins or cranberries would work well too!
  • Salted Shelled Pistachios:  I used pistachios because I love the colour and love the flavour. I recommend trying to use these. I buy the shelled salted bags from Costco so the price is right and the bag will last a long time.  But really any nut will do. If using larger nuts, chop them up before tossing them into the salad, and ensure they are salted for added flavour.  If you are nut-free then use pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
  • Apple:  I just feel like all rice salads should have a fruit. I don’t know why, but its a great addition. I used a royal gala, but any apple will do.  Granny smith would probably be best though 🙂  However you can also use pear.  

HOW IT ALL COMES TOGETHER

Now is the fun part. The first thing you want to get going is the rice, since this will take the longest time to cook. I used one and a half cups of dry rice for this serving size. You are going to cook the rice according to the package instructions. Once cooked, place it into your serving bowl of choice.

While your rice is cooking, you can get started and finish all the other steps in the recipe. Which is easy to do! Just chop all your veggies, the nuts and the apple, then shred the chicken, and place all of these ingredients, along with the currants, on top of the rice.
Now you can make your dressing! Simply combine all ingredients, whisk really well so it combines and emulsifies, and add that on top. Mix it up really, really well so the dressing and all the rice, veggies and chicken combine and the flavour can come out. And there you have it! You have yourself a tasty dinnner and then some lunches ready for a couple days this week!
Just take a look at how good that looks?

I know this really looks and feels like a summer salad, and like I said earlier it would be great for a picnic or beach day, but I made this for the first time in the middle of winter and because it’s so filling and hearty, and it worked out amazingly.
Recipes like this make me happy, especially when it is unexpected. I hope you get a chance to try it out, and enjoy my friends! xoxox

Chicken and Rice Salad

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dinner, lunch American
By Nadia Zanini Serves: 8
Prep Time: 20 mins Cooking Time: 30 mins Total Time: 50 mins

Easy to make rice salad with chicken that's full of nutrients and a bold and bright flavour. Great for dinner or make ahead lunches!

Ingredients

  • For the Salad:
  • 1 whole chicken breast (either rotisserie or make your own *see instructions in blog post)
  • 1.5 cups dry brown rice
  • 2 celery stalk
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup salted shelled pistachios
  • 1 apple
  • For the dressing:
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp dijon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut yogurt (can sub regular plain yogurt)
  • Generous amount of Salt & Pepper

Instructions

1

Cook rice according to package directions. Once done place rice into your serving bowl

2

Shred your leftover rotisserie chicken (if using) or cook two chicken breasts in a shallow dish, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and peppers and spices to your liking, in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes or until it is no longer pink inside

3

Chop your celery and apple and pistachios, add to your serving bowl

4

Add currants to serving bowl

5

Make your dressing by combining all ingredients and whisking really well. Add dressing to bowl

6

Toss all ingredients together and serve!

7

Dish will last in the fridge for at least a week

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