Master Back to School Meals

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Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad 

Skip boring snacks and instead dive into a sweet, satisfying macaroni salad that’s perfect for lunch or after school activities when fueling kiddos for the day ahead. 
Each school day calls for a multitude of meals and snacks to make sure little learners are energized for time spent in the classroom, playing with friends and completing their homework. From breakfast to dinner after a long day of educational activities, it’s important to keep the family on schedule with favorite recipes.

With fresh ingredients and appetizing flavor, this Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad is more than just a side – it’s a meal on its own. Grilled chicken breast is complemented by mandarin oranges and the sophisticated sweetness and crisp texture of Envy apples.  

Apple and Mandarin Macaroni Salad

2 thinly sliced chicken breasts

1/2 package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1 lemon, zest only

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 can (10.7 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained, juice reserved

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided

20 turns fresh cracked pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided water

1/2 pound macaroni

1 Envy apple, diced

Allow chicken breasts to sit at room temperature 20 minutes. Mash softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, chopped shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons reserved mandarin juice, chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat grill or saute pan to high heat. Season chicken breasts with drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste.

Grill chicken breasts until internal temperature reaches 165 F. If using saute pan, cook 2 minutes on each side then finish in 400 F oven 5-10 minutes. Allow chicken to cool then dice into small chunks.

Bring medium or large pot of salted water to boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain and pour hot noodles into large mixing bowl.

Gently stir in cream cheese mixture until noodles are well coated. Let cool slightly.

Add diced chicken, apples and mandarin oranges; stir to combine. Serve warm or chill in refrigerator to serve cold.

Visit  to find more family-friendly dishes.