Carb Diva's Chicken Macaroni Salad

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Springtime!

After a seemingly endless winter, the forecast for tomorrow is clear, sunny (no precipitation!), and warm. I need a mental health day--a day free of computers, phones, and paperwork.

I need a day in the garden.

And my garden needs me. All 1.5 acres of it. I have likened tending this little peace of earth to painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Once you get to the end, you have to start all over again. There is no time that it is completely "done". But I'll try. With weather in the 60's and a promise of no wind or rain, I'll try.

And so I won't be devoting time to my second favorite hobby--cooking. I can prepare this early in the morning and it will be ready whenever I feel hungry, or my knees give out. Whichever comes first!

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 20 min
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked salad macaroni, (about 4 oz. uncooked)
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup diced dill pickle
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped rice olives
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  1. Place cooked macaroni, chicken, celery, walnuts, pickles, onion, eggs, and olives in large mixing bowl. Toss gently to combine.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl; stir to combine.
  3. Pour salad dressing over macaroni/chicken mixture in large bowl. Toss gently to coat all ingredients with the dressing.

What makes this recipe work?

  • This is a great use for leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken.
  • Celery, dill pickle and walnuts provide a crunchy counterpart to the creamy macaroni and eggs
  • Celery and walnuts also provide fiber
  • Walnuts and black olives impart a subtle umami flavor

Additions or substitutions

  • Canned tuna, leftover turkey, cooked shrimp, or ham can be used in place of the chicken
  • Another type of nut can take the place of walnuts--pecans or almonds for example
  • You can reduce the calories and fat in this recipe by using non-fat milk and non-fat or reduced fat mayonnaise
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream can be used in place of the mayonnaise
  • Other vegetables can be added--grated carrots, slices radishes, chopped red bell pepper or raw broccoli, or cooked shelled edemame

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