There was a time when salads consisted of either a lettuce-tomatoes-and-dressing concoction or either egg-, tuna-, or potato-salads.

But that's so limiting - and boring! If you'd like a sald that's so much more, check out these salads, including Apple Pecan Chicken Salad and Fluffy Cran-Raspberry Salad. Enjoy!


This is from Old El Paso, and begins, "A Taco Pasta Salad is a great idea for any event, from weeknight taco nights to potlucks or picnics. It's hearty enough to be the main course or a cool side dish to other grill recipes. All you need is 10 minutes of prep time and Old El Paso™ Original Taco Seasoning Mix to make pasta salad with taco seasoning. It's packed with all your favorite ingredients like black beans, corn, cilantro, tomatoes, salsa, lime juice, avocados and cheese. Chill before you serve, and enjoy!"

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Total Time: 45 minutes; Makes 12 servings

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1 lb medium pasta shells (or other pasta shape)

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups corn, frozen, canned, or fresh (cooked)

1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 1/2 cups salsa

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

3 avocados, firm but ripe - diced


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.

In a large bowl, add the cooled pasta, black beans, corn, cilantro, tomatoes, and salsa. Toss gently.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, taco seasoning, and garlic. Pour over pasta and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until serving.

Right before serving, toss in the cheese and avocado. Add your favorite taco toppings like sour cream or crushed tortillas.

Expert Tips

This Taco Pasta Salad works best with firm but ripe avocados. Overly ripe avocados will become mushy.

You can make Taco Pasta Salad with shells or any small pasta shape. Feel free to use what you have on hand.

Reserve a small amount of veggies to sprinkle on top of the cold taco pasta salad for a pretty presentation.


This comes from MyDailyMoment, and begins, “This refreshing fruit salad is delicious to the core, and if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, this will surely do the trick! No matter how you slice it, you're sure to be satisfied with healthy treat.”

Makes 4 servings.

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1 red apple, cored and chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped

1 nectarine, pitted and sliced

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/2 cup(s) dried cranberries

1/2 cup(s) chopped walnuts

1 (8 oz.) container, nonfat lemon yogurt


In a large bowl, combine red apple, Granny Smith apple, nectarine, celery, dried cranberries, and walnuts. Mix in yogurt. Chill until ready to serve.


This comes from Rian Handler on Delish. Rian wrote, “This hearty pasta salad might be better than a trip to Tuscany.”

Yields: 6; Prep Time: 10 minutes; Total Time: 20 minutes.

To view this online, click here.


1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tbsp. honey

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 c. chopped salami or prosciutto

1/2 c. baby spinach

1/2 c. oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan


In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and transfer to large serving bowl.

Make dressing: Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and season with salt and pepper.

To bowl, add prosciutto, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and dressing and toss until well combined.

Garnish with Parmesan.


This is from My Food and Family, and begins, "Introduce our sweet Fluffy Cran-Raspberry Salad to the Thanksgiving table this year. This brightly colored Fluffy Cran-Raspberry Salad gets its delicious flavor from vanilla pudding, COOL WHIP topping and frozen raspberries."

Of course, there's no reason to save it only for holiday meals. Give it a try ant time.

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 1 hour; Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes; Makes 12 servings

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2 cups frozen raspberries

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1 can (14 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce

1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

1-1/2 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows


Microwave raspberries in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or just until thawed.

Add dry pudding mix and cranberry juice; stir 2 min.

Add cranberry sauce; stir until blended. Gently stir in COOL WHIP, then marshmallows.

Refrigerate 1 hour.

Kitchen Tips

Tip 1


This festive salad can be refrigerated up to 2 days. Just stir in the marshmallows just before serving.

Tip 2

How to Thaw COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Place unopened tub in refrigerator. An 8-oz. tub will be completely thawed in 4 hours. Do not thaw in microwave.

Tip 3

Special Extra

For a touch of color, garnish with fresh mint sprigs before serving.


This comes from Florence Fabricant in The New York Times cooking e-newsletter. Florence wrote, “This recipe brings together leafy herbs, the whisper of sweetness in fresh corn and summer squash, a ripe tomato, and a splash of lemon, creating a salad with farm-stand allure. It is served it with chicken paillards, and the meal would go great with a bottle of dry German riesling.” Yield: 4 servings; Time: 30 minutes.

This was featured in “A Salad With Farm-Stand Allure”, and can be found online here.


1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, about 1 1/4 pounds, pounded thin

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 ears corn, kernels stripped

1 jalapeño chile, seeded and minced

1 medium-size yellow summer squash, diced

Salt and ground black pepper

1 medium yellow tomato, diced

1/3 cup flour

2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves


Mix mustard and 1/4 cup lemon juice in a shallow dish. Cut each chicken breast in half (lengthwise, so you have two thin filets) and place in the mustard mixture. Turn to coat both sides and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet, add onion and sauté on low a few minutes, until softened. Add corn, chile and squash and continue to cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, fold in tomato, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and set aside.

Remove chicken from marinade, dust with flour and season with salt and pepper. Heat remaining oil in a large cast-iron skillet or grill pan on medium-high heat and sear chicken, turning once, until lightly browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes a side. Arrange on a serving platter. Add cooking oil to salad, fold in cilantro and spoon over and around chicken.


This is from Linda Larsen, who wrote for The Spruce Eats. Linda wrote, "Apple pecan chicken salad is a fan-favorite main dish salad recipe. The combination of tender chicken, crisp pecans, tart apples, and a creamy honey mustard dressing is fantastic.

"Like all chicken salads, using a rotisserie chicken often brings the best results. Most other chicken cooking methods do not come close to matching the tender result of these grocery store birds. There is just something about roasting chickens while on a spit that results in the most tender and flavorful meat. Remove the meat from the bird and cut it into large chunks.

"You can double or triple this recipe if you would like. When hot summer weather is at hand, there's nothing nicer than having a huge batch of fabulous apple pecan chicken salad in the fridge, ready and waiting for you. Just add some bakery muffins or breadsticks, some iced tea or white wine, and you have a fabulous meal with absolutely no cooking at all."

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Total Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 0 minutes; Yield: 4 servings

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1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons honey mustard

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt (to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

3 cups cooked chicken (chopped)

1 Granny Smith apple (chopped)

1 cup small pecans

1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries


Gather the ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, honey mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the cooked chicken, the chopped apple, pecans, and dried cherries or cranberries to coat.

Cover and chill the salad for 1 to 2 hours before serving.



Store any leftovers of the salad, well covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days.

You can cook your own chicken for this apple pecan chicken salad recipe. Try baking chicken breasts, on the bone or off, in parchment paper, or simmer them gently in water until they just reach 160 F. When the meat stands after cooking, the temperature will rise to 165 F, which is the safe final temperature for chicken breasts.

Or try cooking a whole chicken on a rotisserie on your grill; you need special equipment and instructions for that task. You can cook large batches of chicken this way, let the meat cool, cube it, then store it in the freezer in 2 cup portions for recipes like this one.