The Essential Chicken Salad Strategy

We’re at it with those darn formulas again…just can’t resist!  Chicken Salad is a lunch time winner, and we’re feelin’ it this week.  Wrap it up in lettuce cups, scoop on top of mixed greens, serve it in a bell pepper, or whatever “vehicle” suits your mood.  Sometimes, that means just a fork.

Similar to our basic salad strategy, and that equation for satisfying grain salads, here’s a yet another flexible formula for a chicken salad that takes advantage of whatever you’ve got hanging around in the fridge.

chicken + dressing + vegetables + sweet + crunch

  • Chicken – This one feels obvious…but there are a few options here.  Go with grilled, diced, shredded, poached, breasts, thighs, marinated, plain…or even (gasp!) turkey.
  • Dressing – Something creamy always feels right in a salad like this, but use whatever suits your taste.  Yogurt, leftover salad dressings, a quick vinaigrette, even peanut sauce.
  • Crunch – Add some crunch with crisp veggies, toasted nuts, or even fruit.   Change it up to mix and match with the rest of the ingredients or just use up what you have hanging around in the crisper drawer.
  • Sweet – This component could come from the addition of some dried fruit, a honey-sweetened dressing, or firm fresh fruit like mangoes and grapes.

Here are some of our favorite combos:

  • shredded chicken // yogurt-tahini dressing // celery & toasted almonds // grapes
  • diced chicken // honey-mustard // red onion & toasted pecan // apple
  • chicken // curry-yogurt dressing // green onion, chopped broccoli & toasted cashew // raisin
  • grilled chicken // sesame-ginger dressing // bell pepper & sesame seeds // orange segments