Winner, Winner, Chicken … Salad

by | Jul 2023

A cranberry almond pasta salad in a white plate with a green napkin on a cork background.

iStock/Terence Miles

“This sweet and crunchy pasta salad is one of our most popular deli items, and now you can make it yourself at home,” says Katie Tomsche of Lunds & Byerlys.

Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad

6 to 8 servings

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 ¼ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 16 oz. dry gnocchi or shell pasta
  • ¾ cup celery, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup red onion, chopped
  • 5 oz. dried cherries
  • 1 ¼ cups mayonnaise
  • 1 ¼ cups poppy seed dressing
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • lettuce or spinach, for serving

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet. Brown the chicken breasts on all sides until the juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Drain and discard the juices. Remove the chicken from the pan, cool and cut it into cubes. (For quicker prep, use the Lunds & Byerlys ready-to-heat pulled chicken in the deli.) Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, pasta, celery, onions and cherries. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, dressing, salt and pepper. Fold 1 ¾ cups dressing mixture into the salad, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. (The remaining dressing mixture should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.) To serve, fold in the walnuts, add additional dressing if desired and serve over a bed of greens.

Katie Tomsche is the content manager for Lunds & Byerlys. Taste more at


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