This Curried Chicken Salad is so creamy, crunchy, and packed with great flavor. Plus, it’s made with healthy ingredients.
It’s one of my favorite lunch salads because it comes together really quickly. It’s one of those things that, the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it gets. Definitely a great make-ahead recipe!
You can use rotisserie chicken breasts to make this curried chicken salad, so it’s basically a quick, no-cook dish. It’s got shredded chicken, cashews, raisins, herbs, and a creamy honey curry dressing. It is seriously so good!
This curried chicken salad is my new favorite thing to eat for lunch, especially during busy weekdays. It’s creamy, crunchy, fresh, and so flavorful…all in one! I really like creamy salads with great texture, and this one is really one of my favorites!
I love chicken salads. It’s one of my favorite things to get for lunch when I’m out and about. My favorite way to eat it is with mixed greens. I love the contrast between fresh greens and creamy chicken salads.
If you’re also a big fan of chicken salads, check out my Chicken Salad with Grapes recipe!
Why I Love This Recipe
- It’s so easy to make: I use rotisserie chicken breasts for ease and convenience. No need to cook anything!
- The honey curry dressing is creamy, delicious, sweet, and savory. It’s so, so good!
- I love the texture and flavors: every single bite is crunchy, fresh, sweet, salty, and flavorful.
All About the Honey Curry Dressing
Let’s talk about the AMAZING honey curry dressing. This curried chicken salad is made with a super creamy and flavorful dressing made with yellow curry powder.
Yellow curry powder is made of a blend of spices, mostly turmeric, cumin, ginger, and pepper. For this curried chicken salad recipe, I’m using this amazing spice blend as inspiration to create a wonderful chicken salad!
Yellow curry powder can taste a bit earthy by itself, but when combined with ingredients like yogurt, honey, or lemon, there’s great balance and delicious flavors! I also love the bright yellow colors.
This curry dressing recipe is made with yellow curry powder, yogurt, honey, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. All you need to do is combine all the dressing ingredients. That’s it. Simple and quick!
I love all the ingredients that go into this curried chicken salad. Every ingredient here does a great job adding texture, crunch, freshness, and flavor.
Playing with textures and flavors is a great way to turn something as simple as a chicken salad, into a super flavorful, sweet, salty, fresh, and crunchy dish. It really is amazing!
Below is a quick list of ingredients that go into it, plus a few notes on the purpose of each one. Per usual, ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe card down below.
For the chicken salad:
- Cooked chicken breasts: I take the easy route and use my local grocery store’s rotisserie chicken. I like shredding the chicken, but you can cut it into cubes too.
- Diced celery: Adds lots of delicious crunch and texture.
- Roasted cashews: Cashews are delicious and have a lot of crunch.
- Golden raisins: Adds sweetness.
- Roasted pistachios: I use roasted and salted pistachios. Adds crunch and flavor.
- Scallions: For flavor. Thinly sliced or chopped.
- Italian parsley: Adds lots of amazing aromatic flavors and freshness.
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the honey curry dressing:
- Greek yogurt: For creaminess and to smooth out flavors.
- Yellow curry powder: For flavor. Curry powder can taste a little earthy as is – the Greek yogurt, honey, and lemon juice will help balance out the flavors.
- Fresh lemon juice to taste: Adds acidity, balances out flavors, and adds a touch of freshness.
- Honey: Adds sweetness and balances out flavors. I use about 1-2 tablespoons for this recipe, or to taste.
- Garlic powder: For extra flavor.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Note: Curry powder can taste a little bit earthy by itself. The honey, yogurt, and lemon juice will help balance out the bitter tones and allow the curry to shine. If you want it to be sweeter, feel free to add more honey to taste.
How to Make It
If you’re using rotisserie chicken breasts, this curried chicken salad is basically an easy no-cook lunch! All you really have to do is mix the curry dressing, chop the veggies, shred the chicken, and mix all the ingredients together.
Here’s basically what you need to do. It’s really easy:
- Make the honey curry dressing: Combine the curry powder, yogurt, honey, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Adjust to taste.
- Shred the cooked chicken breasts: You can use rotisserie chicken for ease. That’s what I always do!
- Toss all the ingredients together: In a large bowl, combine the chicken, raisins, cashews, pistachios, parsley, and celery with the prepared honey curry dressing.
If you want to cook the chicken breasts yourself, you can pan-sear it and then cut it into cubes or shred it. You can also simmer chicken in chicken broth over low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until temp is 165 degrees F.
This curried chicken salad is one of the easiest recipes ever. It requires minimal prep and comes together in like 20 minutes or less.
It’s also a great make-ahead recipe, so you can make a big batch and eat it for lunch throughout the week.
Prep Ahead Tips
I love meal prepping my curried chicken salad on a Sunday night, so I can eat it later for lunch during the week. You can make this salad ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for 3 days.
In fact, it’s the kind of dish that gets better and better the longer it sits in the fridge. The flavors continue to come together with time. It may not be as crunchy as freshly prepped, but really flavorful for sure. I like it either way!
If you’d rather prep the ingredients in advance only, here’s what you can do:
- Dice or chop the celery, parsley, and scallions. Keep it in the fridge in a sealed container.
- Shred the chicken in advance and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
- Make the honey curry dressing the day before, and store in the fridge.
When ready to eat, simply toss everything together and EAT!
Substitutions and Variations
This is a super customizable chicken salad. You can include wonderful add-ons or simply omit any ingredients you don’t want.
I love adding in these ingredients sometimes:
- Grapes: adds so much freshness and even more crunch.
- Diced apples: Adds freshness and crunch. Try granny smith or honeycrisp apples.
- Dried cranberries: adds extra sweetness.
- Red onions: Just a few diced onions add flavor and texture.
- Nuts: I use cashews and pistachios, but you can also use walnuts, macadamia nuts, or pecans.
Greek yogurt: If you don’t want to use yogurt, you can use mayo or sour cream, or both.
If you’re looking to turn this into a vegetarian option, try substituting the chicken with cooked chickpeas or pan-seared tofu.
Pairings and Serving Ideas
There are so many ways to serve this creamy and delicious curried chicken salad!
My favorite ways to serve it:
- With mixed greens or microgreens
- On artisan sandwich bread or croissants
- With flour tortilla wraps
- Over lettuce cups
The salad is so delicious that I often eat it as is. Just grab a fork and eat!
You could also make a bigger and fuller salad. Try mixed greens, cucumbers, avocado, and a big serving of the curried chicken salad!
Other ideas: over sliced cucumbers or crackers for appetizers or on pita bread.
And if you’re looking for other other salad recipes for lunch, here are my absolute favorites!
Yes! In fact, that’s exactly what I recommend. Makes it so much quicker and easier. Chicken breasts work best, but you can also use dark meat.
Use yellow curry powder.
I use pistachios and cashews, but you can also use walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts.
Try diced honeycrisp or granny smith apples.
Yes! I love adding fresh grapes to mine from time to time. Use seedless red or green grapes that feel firm to add crunch.
Yes! You can pan-sear it and then cut it into cubes or shred it. You can also simmer chicken in chicken broth over low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until temp is 165 degrees F.
if the leftover chicken breasts are flavor-neutral, then yes.
Yes, the acidity will balance out the flavors and cut through the earthiness of curry powder. Preferably, use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Yes, you can make it up to 3 days in advance. In fact, the longer it sits, the better it will taste. Store it in the fridge in a container.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you love this quick and easy recipe as much as I do. It’s got creaminess, crunch, freshness, and it’s so delicious.
I love serving it over a bed of mixed greens, or as a sandwich. It’s also highly customizable – you can add grapes, apples, cranberries, and so much more.
It’s a super convenient lunch option that my family loves. Plus, it’s a great make-ahead recipe!
Tips for Success
- For ease, use rotisserie chicken breasts. They are very convenient, and basically make this a no-cook recipe.
- You can shred or cube the chicken. Up to you!
- If needed, adjust the curry dressing to taste. Add more honey if you want it sweeter, or more lemon juicy to make it taste fresher and more balanced.
- Make it ahead to allow the flavors to develop even more overnight (optional). If you’re worried about the cashews or pistachios getting soggy, you can always add those in right before eating.
Curried Chicken Salad
For the chicken salad
- 2 medium/large cooked chicken breasts, shredded
- 3 stalks celery, small-diced
- ½ cup roasted cashews, plus more to taste
- ½ cup golden raisins, plus more to taste
- ½ cup roasted and salted pistachios (shells removed)
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
Honey curry dressing
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
- 1 to 2 tablespoons honey plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Fresh lemon juice to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Make the honey curry dressing: In a bowl, whisk the Greek yogurt, curry powder, honey, garlic powder. Then, mix in the freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust if needed – for more sweetness, add more honey. For more acidity, squeeze a little bit more lemon juice.
- In a large bowl, mix the shredded chicken, celery, cashews, raisins, pistachios, scallions, and Italian parsley along with the prepared honey curry dressing. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve and enjoy! I love serving it over a bed of mixed greens. You can also make sandwiches or wraps.
- Use rotisserie chicken breasts for ease and convenience.
- If you want to cook the chicken yourself, you can pan-sear it and then cut it into cubes or shred it. You can also simmer chicken in chicken broth over low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until temp is 165 degrees F.
- Make-ahead: The chicken salad can be made in advance and stored in a container in the fridge for 3 days.
- Prep-ahead: If you prefer to prep the ingredients ahead, you can do it 1 day in advance. Dice or chop the celery, parsley, and scallions; shred the chicken; make the dressing. When ready to eat, just toss everything together.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Disclaimer: Nutritional values per serving are estimates.