Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons Recipe

This Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons recipe is a delightful combo of flavors and textures, perfect for any occasion. It's a salad that really stands out, with the sweetness of pineapple, the crunch of macadamia nuts, the juicy chicken, and the crispy wontons all playing their part. This is a salad that will transport your tastebuds to a tropical island.

Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons Recipe
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Most ingredients for this tropical salad are easily found in your local supermarket. However, if you're having difficulty locating pineapple salsa, you can find it in the international or ethnic food aisle. It's a sweet and tangy mix that really adds a punch to the salad. Additionally, wonton wrappers, usually located in the refrigerated section of your supermarket, are essential for making those crispy wontons that add an exciting crunch to this salad.

Ingredients for Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons

Mixed greens: These are the base of your salad, providing a fresh and healthy crunch.

Macadamia crusted chicken: Leftover chicken works great for this recipe, providing a savory, nutty flavor that pairs brilliantly with the other ingredients.

Pineapple: Adds a sweet, tropical tang to the salad that balances well with the savory chicken.

Macadamia nuts: These lend a delightful crunch and rich, buttery flavor to the salad.

Wonton wrappers: These will be transformed into crispy wontons, adding an exciting element to the salad.

Oil: Needed for frying the wontons till they're golden and crispy.

Pineapple salsa: This serves as the base for your dressing, adding a sweet and spicy kick.

Rice vinegar: Will add a tangy, slightly sweet and nuanced flavor to your dressing.

Olive oil: Helps to emulsify the dressing, adding a smooth, rich flavor.

Cilantro: Adds a fresh, citrusy flavor to the dressing and the salad.

One reader, Clayborn Mcgovern says:

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This tropical luau chicken salad with crispy wontons recipe is a game-changer! The combination of juicy pineapple, crunchy macadamia nuts, and crispy wontons is simply divine. The dressing is a burst of flavors, and the macadamia crusted chicken adds the perfect touch. It's a tropical paradise in every bite!

Clayborn Mcgovern

Techniques Required

How to prepare the crispy wontons: Cut the wonton wrappers into strips and heat oil in a pan. Fry the wonton strips until golden brown and crispy, then drain on paper towels.

How to assemble the salad: Start by placing the mixed greens in a large bowl, then top with the chopped pineapple, macadamia nuts, and the chopped leftover macadamia crusted chicken.

How to make the pineapple dressing: In a food processor, combine the pineapple salsa, rice vinegar, olive oil, and chopped cilantro. Process until smooth and well combined.

How to serve the salad: Drizzle the pineapple dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately, garnished with the crispy wontons.

How To Make Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons

Toss a light, satisfying dish with a tropical-twist with this chicken salad. It comes with mixed green and macadamia nuts in a pineapple dressing.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes



  • mixed greens
  • leftover macadamia crusted chicken*
  • chopped pineapple,in ½ inch chunks
  • macadamia nuts
  • wonton wrappers
  • oil,for frying

For Dressing:

  • 2cupspineapple salsa
  • 3tbsprice vinegar
  • 6tbspolive oil
  • ¼cupchopped cilantro


  1. Put mixed greens in a bowl.

  2. Top with pineapple and macadamia nuts.

  3. Chop up leftover macadamia chicken. Great eaten cold or put in 350-degree F oven for 8 to10 minutes.

  4. Combine leftover pineapple salsa with rice vinegar, olive oil, and cilantro in a food processor until smooth.

Recipe Notes

Check out this Macadamia Crusted Chicken Recipe to learn how to make it.


  • Calories: 238.48kcal
  • Fat: 22.69g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.00g
  • Trans Fat: 0.01g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 16.21g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.90g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.78g
  • Fiber: 2.37g
  • Sugar: 5.14g
  • Protein: 2.02g
  • Sodium: 917.59mg
  • Calcium: 40.54mg
  • Potassium: 376.14mg
  • Iron: 0.65mg
  • Vitamin A: 34.57µg
  • Vitamin C: 2.74mg

Master the Art of Crispy Wontons with This Technique Tip

When frying the wonton wrappers, ensure the oil is heated to the right temperature. Too hot, and the wrappers will burn quickly. Too cool, and they will absorb too much oil and become greasy. A good way to test the oil is to stick a wooden spoon in it. If bubbles form around the spoon, the oil is ready for frying.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Tropical Luau Chicken Salad

Prep ahead: Prepare the macadamia crusted chicken and pineapple salsa in advance to save time when assembling the salad.

Use store-bought: Consider using pre-made wonton wrappers and pineapple salsa to cut down on prep time.

Batch cooking: Make a larger batch of macadamia crusted chicken and store the leftovers for future use in salads or other dishes.

Keep it simple: Stick to basic ingredients and flavors to streamline the preparation process.

Organized workspace: Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you work to avoid unnecessary clutter and confusion.

Substitute Ingredients For Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons Recipe

  • Mixed greens - Substitute with baby spinach: Baby spinach has a similar texture and mild flavor, making it a great substitute for mixed greens in salads.

  • Macadamia nuts - Substitute with cashews: Cashews provide a similar creamy texture and nutty flavor, making them a suitable replacement for macadamia nuts in the salad.

  • Wonton wrappers - Substitute with egg roll wrappers: Egg roll wrappers can be cut into smaller pieces and fried to achieve a similar crispy texture and flavor as wonton wrappers.

  • Pineapple salsa - Substitute with mango salsa: Mango salsa offers a sweet and tangy flavor similar to pineapple salsa, adding a tropical twist to the salad.

  • Rice vinegar - Substitute with apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar provides a slightly sweet and fruity flavor, complementing the tropical elements of the salad.

  • Olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a mild flavor and a high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in the dressing.

  • Cilantro - Substitute with parsley: Parsley can provide a fresh and herbaceous flavor similar to cilantro in the dressing.

Elevate Your Presentation Game with These Serving Ideas

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the mixed greens in a visually appealing manner, ensuring a balance of colors and textures. Place the chopped pineapple and macadamia nuts strategically to create an enticing visual composition.

  2. Create a crispy wonton nest: Fry the wonton wrappers to a perfect golden brown and shape them into delicate nests to add an element of elegance and crunch to the dish.

  3. Highlight the macadamia crusted chicken: Arrange the chopped macadamia crusted chicken on top of the salad, ensuring it is the focal point of the dish. Consider layering the chicken to add height and visual interest.

  4. Drizzle the pineapple salsa dressing: Using a steady hand, drizzle the pineapple salsa dressing over the salad in an artistic manner, ensuring each component is lightly coated for a burst of tropical flavor in every bite.

  5. Garnish with edible flowers: Add a touch of sophistication by garnishing the salad with vibrant and edible flowers, such as hibiscus or nasturtium, to elevate the visual appeal and add a subtle floral note to the dish.

  6. Incorporate microgreens: Sprinkle delicate microgreens over the salad to add a pop of color and a hint of freshness, enhancing the overall presentation and providing a visual contrast to the other ingredients.

  7. Use elegant serving ware: Select elegant and refined serving ware, such as minimalist ceramic plates or sleek glass platters, to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the tropical luau chicken salad with crispy wontons.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Crispy Wonton Salads

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used for chopping, pureeing, mixing, and blending ingredients. It's perfect for making dressings, sauces, and salsas.

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining ingredients and tossing the salad. It's important to use a large enough bowl to accommodate all the components of the salad.

How To Store and Freeze Tropical Luau Chicken Salad for Later

  • To store the tropical luau chicken salad in the refrigerator, place it in an airtight container and keep it chilled for up to 3-4 days. The mixed greens and pineapple will stay fresh and crisp during this time.

  • If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, store the dressing separately in a sealed jar or container in the refrigerator. This will prevent the greens from getting soggy. When ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

  • To maintain the crunchiness of the wontons, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. If they lose their crispness, you can reheat them in a 350°F (175°C) oven for a few minutes until crispy again.

  • If you have leftover macadamia crusted chicken, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can enjoy it cold or reheat it in the oven before adding it to the salad.

  • Freezing the entire assembled salad is not recommended, as the greens and other ingredients will lose their texture and become soggy when thawed.

  • However, you can freeze the leftover macadamia crusted chicken for up to 2-3 months. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. To reheat, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight and then warm it up in a 350°F (175°C) oven until heated through.

How To Reheat Leftovers

  • The best way to reheat leftover tropical luau chicken salad is to separate the components and reheat them individually. This will ensure that each element maintains its optimal texture and flavor.

  • Start by removing the crispy wontons from the salad and setting them aside. These should not be reheated, as they will lose their crispness and become soggy.

  • Next, separate the mixed greens and chopped pineapple from the macadamia crusted chicken. Place the greens and pineapple in a separate bowl and set aside.

  • For the chicken, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the macadamia crusted chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through and the coating is crispy once again. Be careful not to overheat, as this may cause the chicken to dry out.

  • While the chicken is reheating, you can prepare the pineapple salsa dressing. In a food processor, combine the leftover pineapple salsa, rice vinegar, olive oil, and chopped cilantro. Blend until smooth and set aside.

  • Once the chicken is heated through, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly. Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces, if desired.

  • To assemble the salad, place the reserved mixed greens and chopped pineapple in a large bowl. Top with the warm, sliced macadamia crusted chicken and macadamia nuts.

  • Drizzle the pineapple salsa dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine.

  • Finally, add the reserved crispy wontons on top of the salad for added texture and crunch.

  • Serve the reheated tropical luau chicken salad immediately, while the chicken is still warm and the wontons are crispy. Enjoy your delicious, refreshed meal!

Random Fact about Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons

Macadamia nuts are not only delicious but also a great source of healthy fats and essential nutrients, such as thiamine and manganese. They can add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to any dish, making them a versatile ingredient in various recipes.

Is Making Tropical Luau Chicken Salad at Home Cost-Effective?

This tropical luau chicken salad with crispy wontons recipe is moderately cost-effective for a household. The use of leftover chicken and simple ingredients like mixed greens, pineapple, and macadamia nuts keeps the cost reasonable. However, the macadamia crusted chicken and macadamia nuts can be slightly expensive. The dressing ingredients are fairly affordable. Overall, this recipe offers a delightful tropical flavor and a creative use of leftovers. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate it a 7 for taste and creativity. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $25-$30.

Is This Tropical Luau Chicken Salad Healthy or Unhealthy?

The tropical luau chicken salad with crispy wontons recipe has both healthy and unhealthy aspects. Let's break it down:

Healthy components:

  • Mixed greens provide a nutrient-dense base, offering vitamins, minerals, and fiber
  • Pineapple is a good source of vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants
  • Macadamia nuts are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and minerals like magnesium and thiamine
  • The dressing includes pineapple salsa, which adds flavor without relying heavily on oil or sugar
  • Cilantro is a flavorful herb that contains antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory properties

Unhealthy components:

  • The macadamia crusted chicken, depending on the recipe, may be high in saturated fat and calories
  • Wonton wrappers are deep-fried, adding unhealthy fats and empty calories to the dish
  • The dressing contains a significant amount of olive oil, which, while a healthier fat, is still calorie-dense

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Instead of deep-frying the wonton wrappers, try baking them in the oven until crispy, using minimal oil
  • Reduce the amount of olive oil in the dressing, or replace some of it with a lower-calorie alternative like chicken or vegetable broth
  • Opt for a leaner protein source, such as grilled chicken breast without the macadamia crust, to reduce the overall fat and calorie content
  • Add more colorful vegetables to the salad, such as bell peppers, carrots, or cucumber, to increase the nutrient density and fiber content
  • Use a light hand when adding the macadamia nuts, as they are calorie-dense; a small amount goes a long way in terms of flavor and texture

Editor's Take on This Refreshing Tropical Salad Recipe

This tropical luau chicken salad with crispy wontons recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The macadamia crusted chicken adds a rich and nutty flavor, while the pineapple and macadamia nuts provide a sweet and crunchy contrast. The crispy wontons add a satisfying crunch to the salad. The pineapple salsa dressing with rice vinegar and cilantro ties everything together with a refreshing and tangy kick. It's a perfect dish for a summer luau or any occasion where you want to bring a taste of the tropics to the table.

Enhance Your Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Pineapple Skewers: Marinate pineapple chunks in a mixture of honey, lime juice, and a pinch of cayenne pepper before grilling to perfection.
Coconut Rice: Cook jasmine rice in coconut milk and water, then fluff with a fork and sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes for a tropical twist.
Mango Avocado Salsa: Combine diced mango, avocado, red onion, and jalapeno with lime juice and cilantro for a refreshing and colorful salsa to serve on the side.
Tropical Fruit Kabobs: Thread chunks of kiwi, papaya, and strawberries onto skewers for a vibrant and juicy accompaniment to the luau chicken salad.
Pineapple Coconut Sorbet: Whip up a creamy and dairy-free sorbet using fresh pineapple, coconut milk, and a touch of agave nectar for a sweet ending to the meal.

Discover More Refreshing Salad Recipes Like This One

Mango Habanero Grilled Chicken: Marinate the chicken in a mixture of mango, habanero, and lime juice before grilling to perfection.
Coconut Shrimp Curry: Create a flavorful curry using coconut milk, shrimp, and a blend of aromatic spices for a satisfying meal.
Pineapple Teriyaki Beef Skewers: Thread tender beef onto skewers with chunks of sweet pineapple, then brush with a homemade teriyaki sauce and grill for a delicious dish.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: Combine ripe mango, coconut milk, and chia seeds for a creamy and nutritious dessert or breakfast option.
Tropical Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips: Mix together diced mango, pineapple, and kiwi with a hint of lime juice, then serve with homemade cinnamon sugar tortilla chips for a refreshing snack.

Appetizer and Dessert Ideas to Complement Your Tropical Luau Chicken Salad

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory filling with a mix of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, then stuff it into large mushroom caps and bake until golden and bubbly. Serve these delicious bites as an appetizer for your next gathering.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Coat large shrimp in a seasoned flour mixture, dip them in beaten egg, and then coat them in shredded coconut before frying until golden and crispy. These tropical-inspired shrimp are perfect for serving as an appetizer with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce.
Decadent Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Tropical Fruit Parfait: Layered with fresh tropical fruits, creamy yogurt, and a crunchy granola topping, this parfait is a refreshing and light dessert option. The combination of sweet and tangy flavors creates a delightful treat for any occasion.

Why trust this Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, combining the succulent macadamia crusted chicken with the sweetness of pineapple and the crunch of macadamia nuts. The homemade dressing, featuring pineapple salsa and rice vinegar, adds a refreshing tang to the salad. The use of wonton wrappers provides a crispy element, elevating the dish to a whole new level. With the perfect balance of savory and sweet, this tropical luau chicken salad promises to be a delightful addition to any meal.

Share your thoughts on this Tropical Luau Chicken Salad with Crispy Wontons recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know how it turned out!
What can I use as a substitute for macadamia nuts in this recipe?
You can substitute macadamia nuts with other nuts such as almonds, cashews, or even toasted coconut flakes for a similar crunchy texture and tropical flavor.
Can I use fresh pineapple instead of canned pineapple for this recipe?
Absolutely! Fresh pineapple can be used instead of canned pineapple for a more vibrant and fresh flavor. Just make sure to chop it into bite-sized pieces.
Can I make the wontons ahead of time and store them for later use?
Yes, you can make the wontons ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat them in the oven for a few minutes to restore their crispiness before adding them to the salad.
Can I use a different type of greens for the salad?
Yes, feel free to use your preferred greens such as spinach, arugula, or even a mix of baby kale for a different flavor and texture in the salad.
Can I use a store-bought pineapple vinaigrette instead of making the dressing from scratch?
Absolutely! You can use a store-bought pineapple vinaigrette as a time-saving alternative to making the dressing from scratch. Just adjust the amount used to suit your taste preferences.

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