Autumn Chicken Pasta Salad

4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (I used chicken from my fauxtisserie chicken recipe)
10 oz cooked gemelli pasta
3/4 cup chopped red onion
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup cubed apples (I used Jonagold)
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
zest of 1 lemon

1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons apple cider
1 tablespoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, pasta, apple, cranberries, onion, celery and zest. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over the salad and stir to evenly distribute all ingredients.

My thoughts:

I like making meal-like pasta salads because they are not only an easy dinner, they make great leftovers for lunch. Even though I work from home, I normally don’t have time to whip up something new for lunch so it wonderful when I have something tasty in the fridge waiting for me.

I’ve made a summer chicken pasta salad and a winter chicken pasta salad so I thought it was time to make an autumn version (I guess this means I have to make a spring one too, right?). What is more autumnal than apples? I added some cranberries to keep it all from being too sweet, celery for crunch and a zippy dressing. Nothing fancy but it really comes together to make a satisfying dinner. Or lunch.

Update: I made a spring version!

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