Sesame Chicken Salad
Sesame Chicken Salad

I've been thinking about lunch a lot lately. When you work from home, that midday meal often consists of a refrigerator graze--you know, you open up a container, take a bite or two, open another, repeat, grab a handful of grapes or crackers and it's a done deal. Planning what to have is not something I lose any sleep over. But now that I've been working out of the house for these past few weeks, what to have for lunch has suddenly been occupying more and more of my time. Do you go the easy way out and buy something ready made which is often not so easy due to long lines and not so tasty or good for you and generally overpriced? Or do you throw together an ordinary sandwich which works for a day or two but gets boring pretty quickly? What's an-out-of-the-house-lunch-eater to do? With only a little advance planning over the weekend or on a not too busy weeknight, you can pack a lunch for yourself (or someone you love) that's not only special and truly delicious but full of stuff that's good for you too, like this wonderful Asian-style Sesame Chicken Salad. It's loaded with crunchy veggies and tender chicken, all coated in this wonderful toasted sesame vinaigrette. Brown bagging it will take on new meaning when you take a container of this out of that brown bag!! How long is it until lunch?!!!

Sesame Chicken Salad

Makes 4-6 servings
Prep Time:  45 minutes-1 hour (you can cut this time in half if you use leftover chicken or buy a rotisserie one to use)


For the Chicken Salad

  • About 4 cups shredded white meat chicken (2 1/2-3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts poached or baked and shredded when cool or use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded, cored and diced
  • 2 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned

For the Sesame Vinaigrette

  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

The Recipe

1.  In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, red pepper, scallions and carrots. 

2.  To make the sesame vinaigrette:  In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest and juice, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, scallions and garlic. Slowly whisk in the sesame oil and canola oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.  Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture in the bowl and toss well. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and toss again. Serve immediately or chill in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Note:  Recipe adapted from Fresh Every Day by Sara Foster. I tinkered around with proportions and ingredients and omitted the 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger from the dressing cause we're not big ginger fans.

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