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Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad Recipe

Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad Recipe

I’ve tried many chicken salad recipes over the years, but this is my very favorite. It’s fresh, fruity and refreshing, and the cashews add wonderful crunch. Every time I serve it at a potluck or picnic, I get rave reviews…and always come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 package (16 ounces) spiral or rotini pasta
  • 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 can (20 ounces) pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced celery
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 package (5 ounces) dried cranberries
  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups salted cashews


  • 1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, pineapple, celery, onions, grapes and cranberries. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water; stir into chicken mixture.
  • 2. In a small bowl, whisk the ranch dressing and mayonnaise. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in cashews. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1-1/3 cup: 661 calories, 37g fat (6g saturated fat), 44mg cholesterol, 451mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 4g fiber), 23g protein

Reviews for Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

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Reviewed Jun. 16, 2016

"I don't make often because of the cal. & fat content, but we do LOVE this! I used gf brown rice elbow macaroni today that worked equally as well. So Yummy! Thanks Kara!"

Reviewed Nov. 7, 2015

"I've used salted sunflower seeds in place of cashews for those with nut allergies. Every time I make this I get rave reviews and recipe requests."

Reviewed Oct. 8, 2015

"I made this salad for Homecoming at our church and it got rave reviews! It is a wonderful combination of ingredients, flavors and textures."

Reviewed Aug. 29, 2015

"Agreed! Great recipe"

Reviewed Aug. 5, 2015

"Delicious recipe. I subbed out toasted sliced almonds for the cashews. Will definitely be making this again!"

Reviewed Jul. 29, 2015

"So good. Family favourite! Thank you!"

Reviewed Mar. 28, 2015

"I have to agree with everyone else on here this salad is great! I have taken this to many functions and almost always asked for the recipe, especially in the summertime this is a very refreshing salad...The only thing is when I made this for my family who we all love nuts, were not crazy about the cashews so I almost never put the nuts in and also taking this salad places so many people are allergic to nuts and I have taken it before and put the nuts on the side but even then no one goes all out for them so anymore I simply leave them out and still get rave reviews about this recipe..Definitely a keeper!"

Reviewed Jun. 28, 2014

"Whole family liked it! I used tri-colored pasta, tasted and looked great."

Reviewed May. 20, 2014

"This recipe was excellent! I used rotisserie chicken and added some Italian spices and my husband LOVED it. Already planning all of the summer events I can take this to!"

Reviewed Apr. 28, 2014

"Very good salad. I had to make it for a church luncheon, so substituted chopped water chestnuts for crunchiness instead of the cashews. It worked - bowl was empty!"

Reviewed Apr. 22, 2014

"This is an oh-so delicious recipe! I make it just the way it's written except I usually always use rotisserie chicken."

Reviewed Mar. 23, 2014

"LOVE this recipe"

Reviewed Mar. 16, 2014

"This is a great cold dish. My husband loves cashews and this recipe filled the bill nicely!"

Reviewed Jun. 25, 2013

"omitted the chicken and used as a side dish. Many complements on this!"

Reviewed Mar. 19, 2013

"The first time I made this, was for my DIL baby shower. I have made it many times since. ALWAYS a hit with rave reviews. I am always asked for the recipe. It has become my signature dish and always asked to bring it to family gatherings and church pot lucks. You cannot go wrong with this recipe. I double the dressing and add as needed. It tends to disappear, so I always have some on hand to mix in just at the last minute before serving. Add the cashews last, and for an added flavor and color, add a can or two of drain mandarin orange segments! Make sure you have large containers for mixing such as a disposable foil roasting pan. Good to serve from too!"

Reviewed Dec. 15, 2012

"This was really good served with the Spicy Cheeseburgers in the same issue."

Reviewed Jul. 4, 2012

"Reviewed this Aug. 14, 2011. Made it for a crowd recently and didn't use the Bacon Ranch dressing.

Got lots of compliments but had even more using the Ranch with bacon. Also more people asked for the recipe....Soooo good!"

Reviewed May. 24, 2012

"Perfect for a group gathering. Enjoyed by all, with many asking for the recipe. I love seeing the colorful bowl full of healthy fruits and veggies before adding the chicken and pasta. If you plan on serving only part of the recipe at a time, add cashews before serving to prevent sogginess"

Reviewed Aug. 14, 2011

"I almost didn't make this salad for a summer party but I'm sure glad I did. It was a lot of work but worth the compliments.

I forgot that all I had was Bacon Ranch dressing so used it. Tasted fine. Also didn't think it was very "pretty" so added some cherry tomatoes for color.
Delicious recipe. Makes a huge bowl !!!"

Reviewed Apr. 26, 2011

"This is the best recipe. I am asked to bring this to every party we have with family and friends. It makes enough for a large group!"

Reviewed Mar. 20, 2011

"Exceptional taste explosion - sweet, salty, fruity, nutty. One of our family's favorites, especially through the warm summer months."

Reviewed Feb. 22, 2011

"Terrific recipe. Once again, TOH has saved the day. Thank you Kara for submitting your recipe."

Reviewed Oct. 29, 2010

"This makes a lot! Great for a potluck. I used all red grapes because they're better for you, and I didn't want to buy two kinds of grapes."

Reviewed Oct. 2, 2010

"My husband really enjoyed this recipe and so did I. I use left over rotisserie (sp?) chicken that I pick up from the deli which makes my prep work even easier."

Reviewed Jul. 14, 2010

"This is GREAT! I made exactly as is and was not disappointed at all. I think next time I may add some Granny Smith apples. I liked the crunch of the cashews and think the apples will add even a little more of that crunch factor that I like so much. Thanks for the recipe."

Reviewed May. 15, 2010

"This is my all time favorite chix salad recipe. I have made this several times every summer since the recipe was in the 2006 magazine!"

Reviewed May. 7, 2010

"Awesome! I make this again and again. It is THAT good! I always get asked for the recipe. It makes a lot, so I often 1/2 the recipe. I use light ranch and light mayo and it still comes out great."

Reviewed Mar. 8, 2010

"This makes a TON of food! I was able to feed our whole floor at work for lunch plus my boyfriend and I for 3 meals! Made some minor adjustments since I had dried cherries instead of cranberries and mandarin oranges instead of pineapple on hand. I will definitely make this again."

Reviewed Nov. 13, 2009

"This is THE BEST I have made this and given out the recipe 20 times"

Reviewed Jun. 3, 2009

"This recipe is amazing! I made it for a mom's group and everyone was asking for the recipe. I will be making this again and again--thanks!

The only changes I made were to use light mayo and light ranch dressing. For the chicken, I bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and chopped it up. So easy!"

Reviewed Aug. 25, 2008

"Just made this last night. It is a hit! Thanks, for submitting it.


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Wine Pairings

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.