Mandarin Chicken Spinach Salad With Lime Feta Ranch Dressing

Chef Mary shares a recipe for a colorful and light spinach salad with homemade lime feta ranch dressing.

 Chef Mary makes a lighter version of this Mandarin Chicken Spinach Salad

Mandarin Chicken Spinach Salad

Yield: 4 servings

1 lb. skinless boneless chicken breasts or tenders

1- 24 oz. bag fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and well drained (3 cups per salad)

2 cups shredded carrot (2 large carrots)

2 cups shredded jicama (1 small)

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

2 cups Mandarin orange segments, drained 

2 tbsp. feta cheese, finely crumbled

1 cup Lime Feta Ranch Dressing (recipe below)

1. Lightly season chicken with garlic powder and lemon pepper and bake at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes until juices run clear. Allow chicken to cool, then shred or cut chicken into small pieces; cover and chill. If using chicken tenders, the amount of time needed to bake is about half that of a chicken breast. 

2. Wash and dry spinach leaves and divide between four plates. Divide chicken, carrot, jicama, and red onion four ways and toss together gently with spinach leaves.  

3. Top each salad with Mandarin oranges and ½ tbsp. crumbled feta cheese. Serve with 1/3 cup Lime Feta Ranch Dressing.

Nutritional Information: Salad with 1/3 cup dressing 410 calories; 10g Fat; 23g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 37g Protein; 84mg Cholesterol; 690mg Sodium. 

Lime Feta Ranch Dressing

Yield: 6 1/3-cup servings

½ cup low-fat olive oil mayonnaise

½ cup fat-free sour cream

1 clove garlic, pressed

3 tbsp. fresh lime juice 

3 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar

3 oz. (¾ cup) feta cheese, crumbled

¼ tsp. fresh ground black pepper 

½ cup low-fat buttermilk or skim milk, depending on desired consistency

dash sea salt - optional

1. In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise together with sour cream, garlic, lime juice, rice vinegar, feta cheese, and black pepper.

2. Thin dressing to desired consistency with 1 to 2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk or skim milk. If necessary, add a pinch of sea salt. Cover and chill several hours to allow flavors to blend before serving.  

Dressing Nutritional Information (per 1/3 cup): 146 calories; 10g fat; 9g carbohydrate; 0 dietary fiber; 4g protein; 9mg cholesterol; 441 mg sodium.

Related: Light Gingerbread Spice Bundt Cake 

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