Summer Cashew Chicken Grape Pasta Salad

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READY IN: 15mins
Recipe by Northern Cook

On many hot summer days, I can't face eating a hot meal. This salad makes a very satisfying meal without overheating the house or me! If I can't stomach the thought of cooking chicken myself for fear of heating up the house on a hot summer day, I just pick up a rotisserie chicken from my local grocer or I pick up grilled cooked chicken from Costco. With pre-cooked chicken, this recipe couldn't be easier to prepare! I've served this many times to rave reviews. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law. It's a dish she picks up from her local deli on a regular basis. If you make it at home, it's much cheaper than the deli!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 lb cooked chicken (poached, grilled, rotisserie, doesn't matter, just cooked)
  • 1 lb pasta (macaroni, rigatoni, use your favorite, just not spaghett)
  • 12 lb green seedless grape, washed and cut in half
  • 12 lb red seedless grapes, washed and cut in half
  • 12 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 12 teaspoon onion powder
  • 12 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups mayonnaise (I use Hellman's Light Mayonnaise)
  • 1 (9 1/4 ounce) can cashew halves, and pieces (I buy Planter's salted)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (optional, also may want to add more depending on how long the salad has been in the refrigerator)

Directions

  1. Boil 1 lb. of pasta - al dente - according to package directions (I use rigatoni). Drain after cooking and let cool.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, wash and halve the grapes.
  3. Dice the cooked chicken into bite sized pieces.
  4. In a large bowl or serving platter, combine the cooled, drained pasta with the grapes and diced chicken. Stir in the mayonnaise. I start with one cup of mayo and add more as needed. Really, just add as much as you personally like - it may be more or less than 2 cups.
  5. Stir in the Lawry's seasoning salt, onion powder and garlic powder. Again, add to your liking. You may want more or less than 1/2 teaspoon of any of these - - it's your choice, go with what you like. Frequent sampling at this point will help you decide what your preference will be so grab a fork and start sampling!
  6. If the salad is too thick and rich for your liking, stir in a couple tablespoons milk to thin it out. This part is optional.
  7. This salad is always much better the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld. This is when I usually add milk to loosen it up a bit.
  8. Before serving, plate or dish up the salad and sprinkle cashew pieces on top of individual servings. DO NOT put the cashew pieces on the entire salad and refrigerate - - this will cause the cashew pieces to become soft and rubbery and nobody wants that! I just set the can of cashews on the table and let guests help themselves.
  9. Sit back and enjoy your sweat free cold summer salad!

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