Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad

Master summer meals with an Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad

Summer on the island is hot, and maximizing beach or recreational time is important. But we also want refreshing summer meals that can help us stay active.

So, this summer, skip boring dishes and instead dive into a sweet, satisfying macaroni salad that’s perfect for enjoying al fresco.

With fresh ingredients and appetizing flavor, this Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad is more than just a side – it’s a meal on its own. Grilled chicken breast is complemented by mandarin oranges and the sophisticated sweetness and crisp texture of Envy apples.

Named America’s No. 1 apple for taste, crispness, aroma and appearance, according to an independent sensory test by Forward Agency, the apples are a delightful way to enhance your favorite dishes.

This recipe calls for firing up the grill to cook chicken to juicy perfection, mixing your own homemade macaroni salad and dicing up a beautiful apple, making it an ideal dinner option for summer evenings at home.

Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad

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  • 2 thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 1/2 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 can (10.7 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained, juice reserved
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 20 turns fresh cracked pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • water
  • 1/2 pound macaroni
  • 1 Envy apple, diced

Allow chicken breasts to sit at room temperature 20 minutes.

Mash softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, chopped shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons reserved mandarin juice, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat grill or saute pan to high heat. Season chicken breasts with drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste.

Grill chicken breasts until internal temperature reaches 165 F. If using a saute pan, cook 2 minutes on each side then finish in 400 F oven 5-10 minutes. Allow chicken to cool, then dice into small chunks.

Bring a medium or large pot of salted water to boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain and pour hot noodles into a large mixing bowl.

Gently stir in cream cheese mixture until noodles are well coated. Let cool slightly.

Add diced chicken, apples and mandarin oranges; stir to combine. Serve warm or chill in the refrigerator to serve cold.

Wine recommendation:

Refreshing summer meals and wine pairings

Want an adult beverage to accompany this salad? Marcella Carneiro, wine consultant for The Golden Hog, recommends a Vouvray (made with Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley), a Sauvignon Blanc, a Riesling or a Grüner Veltliner from Austria.

All wines are available at The Golden Hog.

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