Classic sesame noodles become an easy healthy meal for two with canned chicken, a little less sodium, and tons of veggies.
I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve even eaten canned chicken other than in my good friend Lisa’s Buffalo Chicken Dip – which of course, like everything Lisa cooks, is amazing. Still, the idea of canned chicken as part of a main dish…I just wasn’t feelin’ it.
Awhile ago, my boss Bryan told me there was a year when he ate canned chicken almost every day. That intrigued me…plus, I found canned chicken (in a two-pack), on sale for cheap at Walmart so I figured what the heck? Why NOT canned chicken? Needless to say, that two-pack of chicken sat in my pantry for about 4 months, until I finally got the gumption to open one up.
What to fix, what to fix? I really had no clue how to use canned chicken so like every other clueless person, I headed straight to Google, and eventually the Bumblebee Web site, which directed me to this Sesame Chicken Noodle Salad.
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I definitely tweaked it (sorry Bumblebee) but the basic idea – and many of the original ingredients – are the same. I reduced the ingredients to make the recipe for two, I changed up the sauce a bit to cut some sodium and calories, I reduced the amount of chicken per serving, and I bumped up the amount of veggies per person, something I always do to make recipes healthier and lower in calorie.
This Sesame Chicken Noodle Salad is…
- Loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals from all the colorful veggies
- An inflammation-fighter, due to a significant amount of fresh grated ginger
- A good source of protein from the chicken. If you’re vegetarian you could use tofu or more edamame (I used what I had left in a bag in the freezer)
- Fairly low in calories
- An Asian-flavor lover’s dream: ginger, soy, sesame, vinegar, cilantro, chili and garlic.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this dish when I put my own spin on it – and Mr. EN loved it. As for the canned chicken… for me it was just OK. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. I told Mr. EN that next time I would leave out the chicken entirely and make the whole dish vegan, at which he soundly objected (no surprise there). Either way, chicken or not, this dish is tasty, easy and healthy. I hope you’ll give it a try.
Mr. ENs Take on This Recipe: “Good, light and healthy. It had so much flavor I think I could eat it without the chicken…if I had to.”
Trending in the EN Kitchen: Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce.
Sesame Chicken Noodle Salad
Yield 2 servings
- 1 can (5 oz.) chicken breast chunks, in water, drained
- 4 ounces dry vermicelli or spaghetti noodles (I used gluten free spaghetti noodles)
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- ½ cup thinly sliced pepper (any color, I used red)
- 1 cup chopped Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale
- ½ cup frozen edamame and/or peas
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Optional - 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, fresh lime
Sauce: (blend in small bowl)
- 1 ½ tablespoons dark toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari (use gluten free if you wish)
- 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. Cook until al dente. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked hot pasta, shredded carrot, sliced red pepper, kale, peas and/or edamame, green onion, and sesame seeds. Toss gently until evenly coated.
- Garnish with cilantro and lime (if using). Serve immediately or chill and serve cold later.
- Most of the sodium comes from the soy sauce - even though it's low sodium! Start with 1 tablespoon and add a little more if you need it.
- Other options: Omit the chicken entirely, use rotisserie chicken instead of canned chicken, or replace the chicken with tofu or broiled, flaked salmon.
- This recipe is gluten free if you use gluten free pasta and gluten-free soy sauce or tamari.
Serving Size about 2.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 15 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 34 mg
Sodium 637 mg
Total Carbohydrates 42 g
Dietary Fiber 9 g
Protein 27 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.