Chicken salad recipes are versatile dishes. It’s interesting to think that all you need to do is get a bowl and prop in a variety of veggies before drenching it in a flavorful dressing. You can choose whatever vegetable, meat, dressing, and topping to create a cornucopia of flavor. But despite the idea of having to toss whatever you can find in your pantry, don’t you ever wonder what makes a great chicken salad recipe?
First of all, consecutively eating raw greens and the usual dressing can be boring and perhaps even make the salad bland to the tongue. Adding in other vegetable variations not only add color to the salad bowl but also provide the vitamins and nutrients your body needs. Secondly, as for the chicken meat, it is white meat and usually, the chicken breast is the perfect part for making salads. Also, breast meat contains less cholesterol if you’re aiming towards a low-fat but high-protein diet. And lastly, it’s more fun to add in crunchy toppings such as peanuts and croutons for added texture and even more fun to experiment around with other dressings so that your chicken salad comes up delicious and nutritious at the same time.
Therefore, instead of worrying about how you can make your chicken salads tastier and unique in flavor, we took the liberty of piling up 10 Must-Try Chicken Salad Recipes. Scroll through our 10 picks or even try one chicken salad recipe for each day for variety. For more salad ideas, feel free to have a look at our Salad Category.
Pecan Chicken Salad
Like we said before, adding a bit of crunch to your salad gives it more texture and makes the eating process less boring. Nuts happen to be highly nutritious and are often used as salad toppings. For pecans, they pair well with a bit of a sweet taste so make sure to add some sweetness either on the ingredients in the salad or the dressing itself. In this recipe, you get a hint of sweetness from the grapes.
If you’re tired from eating from the bowl, why not put it in-between two-piece of whole wheat bread. Voila! You have yourself a chicken salad sandwich right on the spot. It’s the easiest alternative in the book. Have it as a snack or your next packed-lunch because you can make this work with any other protein-rich salad for that matter. Just make sure you’re stacking the sandwich with nutrient-rich ingredients to keep your diet on track.
Stop wasting your time and money on pre-prepped salads. Yes, they’re more convenient because they just drop it at your door-step. However, there’s a fulfilling side to making your homemade salad. And just like Cracker Barrel’s “honest-to-goodness” homestyle meal, you can try out our copycat recipe and have yours made from scratch. It combines the shredded chicken with chunks of chicken breast with relish, onions, and a creamy salad dressing before serving it with some lettuce.
To be honest, not all chicken salad recipes are healthy. The turning factor is the amount of dressing you put into the salad and the amount of meat that in proportion to the veggies. In our chicken salad recipe, we added a generous amount of cucumber. This is because they are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. And we all know, cucumbers add crunch, but not much taste. So we’ve paired this dish with some cantaloupe melon for a juicer and sweeter flavor.
For an Asian twist to your next chicken salad preparation, why not go for our copycat version of Chili’s Asian Chicken Salad? It’s got dried rice noodles for a bit of crunch and texture and is a good source of carbs. To get the true Asian flavor, we also added toasted sesame seeds infused with rice vinegar and sesame oil for a sweet delicate flavor and lovely fragrance. You know it will satisfy your Asian cravings in a chicken salad form.
Thinking of serving up something healthy for the upcoming barbecue? Everyone will probably still go straight for the meats on the grill, but why not make it the char-grilled meat healthier by turning it into a tasty salad? Grill some chicken breasts that are marinated in a smokey-sweet barbecue sauce. Slice them up and toss them into a salad bowl mixed with two kinds of leafy lettuce, tomatoes, corn, and black beans. It’ll make everyone have something nutritious on their plate.
Another Asian take in our list of chicken salad recipes hails from Panera Bread. For this certain dish, you have varying crunch textures from the fried wonton strips and the toasted almonds. They top a bed of Romaine lettuce, fresh cilantro, and boneless grilled chicken. As for the dressing, you can create your homemade sesame oil. With just a handful of pantry ingredients, you can capture that distinct Asian taste.
One of the key ingredients to all chicken salad recipes is the dressing. It makes or breaks the taste of the dish, especially if you broil the chicken with a simple salt and pepper seasoning. Make yourself a mustard vinaigrette made from scratch by combining mustard, fresh herbs, and vinegar! This gives an intense amount of flavor to the bed of romaine lettuce and watercress leaves. You’ll enjoy every bite with this salad dressing.
The P.F. Chang franchise is known for delivering Asian-themed dishes that give you an authentic Asian taste. They specialize in varying Chinese cuisine, which they infuse with Western flavors like this peanut chicken salad recipe. It’s a chicken breast that’s served with peanut sauce and fried peanuts. For more texture, you also have some egg noodles and pickled ginger for that contemporary Asian flavoring.
As we wrap up this article, you can also wrap up your chicken salad. You can easily prepare it in under 10 minutes without worry. Also, you can choose to pack it on-the-go for when you’re in dire need of lunch. And you won’t have the time for lengthy queues. Besides, they make an excellent snack that you can munch on while still finishing up your tasks at work. Therefore, you can prep this right away with some leftover chicken.