If you’ve been searching for an appetizer that you want to “wow” your guests with, these Chicken Mango Salad in Wonton cups would be that appetizer. Every year I host an Oscar viewing party in my home with some of my favorite foodie friends and the menu is an all appetizer fest. This will be my fifth year hosting this party and every year without fail, I make these Chicken Mango Salad in Wonton Cups. It is the most requested appetizer I serve, and one that everyone always asks if they can have the recipe. It’s super simple to make using ingredients that you may already have in your refrigerator. This recipe comes from one of my all time favorite healthy food chefs, Ellie Krieger from her cookbook titled “The Food You Crave”. The original recipe is actually made with crab. And I might as well tell you early on that I don’t like seafood–at all. So, I decided to switch out the crab for chicken. The dressing for the salad is full of flavor using simple ingredients that just burst in your mouth when combined with the chicken and the crisp wonton cup. Altogether it makes the perfect bite. So, let’s get started making this delicious appetizer.
First, preheat your oven to 375 F. Spray two 12 or one 24-well mini-muffin tin with cooking spray. While the oven is preheating, start to prep all of your ingredients for the salad and the dressing. I have a few small useful tips when chopping a few of the ingredients. First, I like to chop the cilantro with a small Mezzaluna. I find that it’s the best for chopping herbs. You can also use a knife, of course. Another useful tool that I love is a Mango Pitter. I generally don’t use a specific fruit tool for every different fruit but I sure love using the ones that make cutting fruit easier that is otherwise difficult to cut. You simply center the cutter on top of your mango, and gently press down and wala-it makes cutting mangoes a breeze. After you have cut your mango in half, make a checkerboard pattern with a small paring knife and then simply push the bottom of the mango, up. Then slice across the bottom and you have diced mango. You will use one whole mango which is generally about 1/2 cup depending on the size of your mango.
Next you’ll dice one stalk of celery and thinly slice 1/4 cup of scallions (green onions). I like to measure all of the ingredients for the dressing as well, and lay it all out to make sure that I haven’t missed anything.
For the chicken you will use one chicken breast that has either been sliced in half lengthwise or cut up to equal 8 ounces. I pat the chicken dry and sprinkle a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper on top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Place a saute pan over medium heat, and saute the chicken until done, about 5-6 minutes. Let it cool, then cut and dice into small cubes.
For the wonton wrappers, use 2 tsp of canola oil and brush both sides of about 18-24 wonton wrappers. Gently place and press each wrapper into a well of the tin and arrange so that it forms a cup shape, The wrapper will stick out of the cup. Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the cups to cool, then remove from the tin.
To make the dressing, whisk together the lime juice and zest, the salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Add the olive oil and whisk until well combined.
For the salad, in a medium bowl, gently toss together the diced chicken breast, celery, mango, scallions, and cilantro. Add the dressing and gently toss to combine. Fill each cup with the chicken salad and serve immediately. Plan on each guest eating about 3 of the chicken salad cups. I usually double this recipe for a larger crowd. Recipe adapted by Ellie Krieger