Orange Sesame Chicken Salad with Quinoa

Jessica Penner, RDDinner, Recipes, Salad2 Comments

Orange Sesame Salad with Chicken and Quinoa

If you have an eye for detail you’ll notice a little discrepancy. The recipe calls for almonds but you won’t find them in any of the photos! When I photographed this recipe, I completely forgot to sprinkle with almonds! After I had noticed my mistake I thought about changing the recipes by omitting the almonds. But I couldn’t. The almonds are KEY! They add a surprising and welcome crunch to this salad.

While the almonds are key, the vegetables are fairly interchangeable. While my favourites with this dressing are the broccoli and snap peas listed, I’ve also added cucumbers and bell peppers, which were tasty as well.

Now let’s talk about that dressing! If I could only use two words to describe it, I would call it tangy and earthy. If you’re a fan of sesame oil, I think you know what I mean when I say “earthy.” The toasted sesame used to make the oil add a deep level of richness to everything it touches!

I asked Jeremy the same question. He took some time to think about it and then said

“clean….. spirit.”

He’s either way more in tune with the taste of his food than I am or is completely making fun of me. I’ll let you decide 🙂

Orange Sesame Salad with Chicken and Quinoa

Why This Salad Is A Smart Choice

With a great balance of macronutrients and an abundance of minerals and vitamins, this is truly a power salad! This salad contains:

  • 80% of your daily intake of Vitamin C
  • 25% of your daily intake of Vitamin A
  • 35% of your daily intake of Vitamin E

The “ACE” vitamins are often known as the immune boosting trio. While super-charging on vitamins won’t likely make you a super human who never gets a cold, if you’re deficient in any of these, your body will have a harder time fighting off an infection!

Orange salad collage

Want an easy lunch solution?

Turn this salad into a mason jar meal prep salad! Check out my tutorial here for how you can prep a whole week’s worth of salads at once so that you have healthy, convenient, portable lunches ready to grab and go! I’ve included a video with step-by-step instructions for layering salads properly.

If you give this recipe a go, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or snap a photo and tag it with #smartnutritionrecipes on Instagram!  I’d love to see your creations! Knowing someone has enjoyed one of my recipes always makes my day brighter.  

big salad: orange sesame with chicken

Orange Sesame Chicken Salad with Quinoa

  • Author: Jessica Penner, RD
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: salad



  • ½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate
  • ½ cup sesame oil
  • ⅓ cup vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  • 1 head romaine, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup snap sugar peas
  • 1 cup broccoli pieces
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • ⅓ cup chopped red onion


  1. Stir together the dressing ingredients. A 500 ml (2 cup) mason jar works well.
  2. Layer the salad ingredients in a large bowl or in individual bowls.
  3. Drizzle dressing on top.
  4. Enjoy!

Calories: 425 | Fat: 24.5g | Carbs: 33g | Fibre: 5.5g | Sugar: 17.5g | Protein: 21.5g

Orange Sesame Chicken Salad with Quinoa

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