This week I had a considerable amount of whole wheat macaroni to spare from my Skinny Tex-Mex Macaroni and Cheese. When making that dish, I thought it would be good to double the recipe to ensure plenty of leftovers for the week ahead. I just love leftovers.
Once the noodles cooked I quickly realized I had way too many noodles for one recipe and saved half (8 dry ounces) for a second one.
Man… am I glad I got noodle happy, because they inspired me to make a delicious, fresh, healthy, mayo-less chicken white bean and pepper salad!
What started with a few ingredients turned into adding a few things here and a few things there for an entire afternoon. I mixed ingredients together, chilled the salad, tasted it, added more ingredients, and repeated the process for a good portion of the day.
Whatever I pulled together turned out fantastic! Luckily, I wrote everything down so I could share.
Healthy Chicken Macaroni Salad
2 cans chunk light chicken in water, drained
8 oz. whole wheat macaroni noodles
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
2-3 stocks of celery, sliced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
prep time: 20 minutes
chill time: 4 hours
How I started…
What I added…
1. Chop and prep vegetables.
2. Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
4. Serve on a bed of lettuce, or on its own.
I thought about adding parsley, but since we were out I decided to save that addition for next time. Other ideas include substituting garlic powder for garlic salt, and serving a side of sliced (or diced) tomatoes and cucumbers alongside the salad. So easy!
Chill and/or Mix Again.
Questions of the Day
What do you include in your favorite chicken salad?
Have you ever tried to make one without mayonnaise?
Without the noodles, the lemon juice would have been enough to replace dressing or mayonnaise. Since the noodles thickened the texture, the mixture of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar well together. It was the perfect blend, and didn’t hide the taste of the vegetables over a thick sauce. If you try it, tell me if you miss it at all!