Cooking for a family, while making family time

Caribbean Cashew Chicken Salad

Caribbean Cashew Chicken Salad

I love a quick dinner that still has a lot of flavor, and this chicken salad is just that. We often will do sandwich night around my house, that way everyone gets what they want, but with a lot less work involved than making separate dinners. When I made one of my favorite dishes, Caribbean jerk fajitas the other night for dinner the wheels just started to turn. I knew I wanted to use those flavors in another recipe, and soon!

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Here you have it, a Caribbean jerk chicken salad perfect for sandwiches, paired with crackers or scooped onto a lovely bed of greens. This dish has such an array of colors, textures and flavors, it turned out even better than I expected! So much so that the Sunday afternoon I created it I ended up eating 2 sandwiches and then wasn’t hungry for the bolognese sauce dinner I had been cooking all day. Whoops! That’s always sure sign for me when recipe making, if I just can’t stop “taste testing” then I know it’s a hit!

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked chicken, either shredded or chopped
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon Caribbean jerk seasoning mix
1 cup of chopped veggies, I did a mix of shredded carrots, diced red onion, chopped celery and orange bell pepper.
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1/2 cup chopped pineapple

This made 4 wraps/sandwiches

 

Method:

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, adobo and Caribbean jerk seasoning. Stir until combined. In a larger bowl combine mayonnaise mixture and cooked chicken, once chicken is completely coated, fold in your veggie medley. Add in cashews and pineapple, gently stir until just combined, be careful not mash the pineapple tidbits or the salad can end up with too much liquid. Store in a air tight container in the fridge, eat within 48 hours.

Adobo sauce is what you will find in a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you want to strain the peppers out and just keep the sauce. I find it in the ethnic food isle of our grocery store, usually with the green chilies and enchilada sauces. Even though this recipe only calls for 1 tablespoon, you can keep the rest in an air tight container in the fridge.

To give you an idea of what your dressing should look like, if you cannot find adobo, sriracha will work also.

This chicken salad hits all the notes, the sweetness from the pineapple, the crunch of the cashews, the freshness of the veggies, they all come together beautifully. My favorite tip for any chicken salad recipe is also a huge short cut time saver, rotisserie chicken! You can usually get at least 2 cups of chicken meat from a rotisserie chicken and you just can’t beat the price, so they’re budget friendly too! Using only one cup of the chicken means you have another cup ready to go, for a dinner, to be thrown into a soup or a wrap for another lunch.

I find the bites with the pineapple in them to be my favorite, if your kids eat those fruit cups, the pineapple “tidbits” would be perfect if you want more pineapple throughout. Also if you plan to make this and not eat it until the following day I would wait to add the cashews so that they don’t get soggy. The crunch they add is really nice, I almost always end up adding more than the 1/4 cup the recipe calls for.

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