Frugal Foodie Mama: Easy Chicken Ramen Salad

Friday, March 31, 2023

Easy Chicken Ramen Salad

 This time-saving Easy Chicken Ramen Salad uses pre-cooked chicken, canned mandarin oranges, & crunchy ramen noodles to make a tasty, family-pleasing dinner salad in under 20 minutes...

One thing that I do love and can rarely pass up is a good salad with crunch. There is just something about a good crunch factor that takes a hearty salad to the next level for me.

Give me a a salad with crisp kale or cabbage and some crunchy nuts over a delicate salad with spring greens and soft fruit any day of the week. 

It's not that I can't enjoy a softer salad as the start to a meal, but if the salad is going to be the meal? Nope. It needs to have all the crunch.

And maybe it is just the texture tricking me into thinking that a salad with some crunch just has to be more hearty and filling. Or maybe it is just a personal preference. But I do love me a big ole salad with multiple layers of crunch.

I mean, that is probably why this Easy Chicken Ramen Salad recipe I am sharing with you all today has been made on repeat in my house for the past couple of months.

This salad has all the crunch thanks to crisp cabbage, sliced almonds, and uncooked ramen noodles. Layer upon layer upon layer, folks...

While the crunch may be my favorite thing about this easy to make salad, the homemade dressing I whipped up for this definitely comes in at a very close second. Nothing gets tossed out  since you incorporate both the seasoning packet from the instant ramen and a little juice from the canned mandarins when making the dressing for this salad.

Here are a few tips & tricks for making this salad:

  • I usually cook the chicken breasts for this ahead time so that I can chill them in the fridge first before slicing and adding them to the salad. Adding warm chicken to the salad can wilt the cabbage and therefore reduce the crunch factor a little.
  • In a pinch, you can use two 10-ounce cans of white chunk chicken breasts instead of the cooked chicken breasts. Just be sure to drain the cans well.
  • Another time-saving tip is to buy a bag of pre-shredded cabbage instead of shredding a fresh head of cabbage yourself. 
  • The homemade dressing only takes a few minutes to whisk or shake together, but you can always use your favorite bottled Asian salad dressing instead if you are really short on time. A sesame-ginger dressing would be amazing with this salad.
  • Want to add a little kick of heat to this salad? Try adding in a little sriracha sauce to the dressing. For a little more zing, swap out the ground ginger in the dressing for grated fresh ginger instead.
  • I would suggest using chicken flavored instant ramen in this salad. The flavor packet will compliment the chicken breasts better.