Avocado Chicken Salad that's creamy, mayo-free, and full of flavor. Packed with chicken breast, avocado, lemon juice, and celery for crunch - it's a chicken salad you will want to eat all the time.
This healthy Avocado Chicken Salad is a great way to make a mayo-free chicken salad that's also Paleo, Whole30, and low carb friendly. It's a favorite lunchtime recipe along with this Avocado Tuna Salad and Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad.
This is one of those recipes that you will find yourself craving all of the time. The combination of chicken and creamy avocado just works. It tastes fresh and delicious and healthy. Plus there are so many amazing ways to customize this recipe (bacon, anyone!) - that it's hard to get bored. And also doesn't hurt that it is super healthy and packed with lean protein, healthy fats, and tons of vitamins and minerals.
The other amazing thing about this avocado and chicken salad is that it gives all you mayo-haters a way to enjoy chicken salad. As someone who feels just meh about mayonnaise, I am always looking for other ways to make chicken salad. And although Greek yogurt is a good substitute, avocado is just so much better. But let's be real, I would eat anything with avocado. My sister in law even makes fun of me that my kids eat at avocado every single day. It's a staple in our house.
So next time you are thinking about making chicken salad, grab some avocados and try this instead. And don't shy away from making it your own. Add jalapenos, red onions, pickles, carrots, pretty much anything goes here. My personal favorite is diced jalapenos, corn, cilantro, lime juice, and bacon. It's so good!
Ways to Serve Avocado Chicken Salad
There are so many different ways to enjoy this dish and ways to serve it. Here are some of our favorites.
- Needless to say, this makes an amazing sandwich layered in between some toasted whole wheat bread and piled high with tomatoes, red onion, lettuce, and sprouts. It's also great in a low carb or high fiber wrap.
- For a low carb option, hollow out some tomatoes and stuff the avocado chicken salad instead. Make sure to season the tomatoes with salt and pepper first so that the whole dish is super flavorful.
- Serve wrapped up in Bibb lettuce leaves or piled high on cucumber slices for a party or lunch.
- Grab some crackers, pretzels, or pita chips and use the avocado chicken salad as a dip with some freshly sliced veggies.
- Use it as a topping for a big green salad.
How to cook chicken for chicken salad
When it comes to chicken salad, I have to be honest, I almost always use a rotisserie chicken to make things super quick and easy. I also often use leftover baked or grilled chicken - whatever I have on hand. However, if you are starting with raw chicken breast, here is the easiest way to prepare it.
- Add the chicken breast in a single layer in the bottom of a large pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with chicken broth or water until there is about a half an inch of liquid above the chicken breasts. Bring to a boil and then immediately turn down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the chicken continue to cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Once it is cooked through, remove from the broth and let cool slightly. Use two forks to shred the chicken of simply chop it into small pieces.
How to choose avocados
Assuming you will be using the avocados right away to make this chicken salad, you want to look for avocados with darker skin that are free from any large indentations or dents, which normally indicates it is bruised or overly ripe. When you feel the avocado, it should feel slightly soft to the touch but not mushy at all. When you open it up, the inside should be bright green and the avocado should be tender. Here is a great guide for choosing avocados based on when you will be using them.
How long will chicken salad last in the fridge
Generally speaking, chicken salad will last 3-4 days in the fridge. However, since this version has avocado it sometimes browns sooner, usually 1-2 days after preparing it even with the lemon juice. If you want to prep it in advance, I recommend making everything except the avocado. Then simply mash the avocado and add it to the salad when you are ready to eat.
Recipe Ideas for Chicken Avocado Salad
- Make is spicy with some chopped fresh or pickled jalapenos. Red pepper flakes also work if you don't want to do any chopping.
- Add every crunch and flavor with diced carrots, red onion, pickles, or red peppers.
- Make it guacamole inspired by adding some diced jalapenos, onions, cilantro, and lime juice.
- Add some sweetness with some dried cranberries, chopped apples, or dried cherries.
- Switch up the flavor profile by adding some hummus, pesto, salsa, or harissa.
- For a mix between a traditional chicken salad and this avocado chicken salad, use half mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt) and half mashed avocado.
- For a vegetarian version, use mashed chickpeas or chopped baked tofu instead.
Tips for Making Avocado Chicken Salad
- For quick and easy prep, use a store-bought rotisserie chicken. You can also buy pre-cooked grilled chicken or baked chicken, but I find rotisserie chicken has the most flavor.
- If you can't find ripe avocados, consider using guacamole in place of the mashed avocado. This is also a great trick for meal prep since it makes it easy to pack in advance since the packaged guacamole doesn't brown as quickly.
- For a chunkier salad, don't mash the avocado as much and leave it in bigger pieces. This is especially delicious is you are using it on a salad.
- Don't be afraid to experiment! You can take this in so many different directions. Add black beans, corn, jalapeno peppers, red onion, and/or cilantro to take it in a Mexican direction. Add basil, roasted red peppers, and feta for a Mediterranean feel. Add Everything Bagel seasoning and sprouts to create the flavors of a really yummy avocado toast. There are so many fun options.
- Add crumbled bacon for a delicious salty element. Center cut or turkey bacon will keep things lighter.
Avocado Chicken Salad
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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