This healthy Curried Chicken Salad makes lunchtime something to look forward to! Make a sandwich, serve it on a bed of greens, or grab some apple slices for a snack. Either way, this is seriously the best chicken salad recipe!
This Curry Chicken Salad will quickly become your favorite chicken salad recipe packed with grapes, celery, carrots, and the best creamy curry dressing made with Greek yogurt. One of our favorite lunchtime salads along with this Tuna Egg Salad and Blackened Chicken Salad.
There was a time in my life when I turned away from chicken salad and honestly didn't understand its appeal. As someone who isn't the biggest fan of mayonnaise, I never quite understood why someone would want to eat anything doused in the stuff. That all changed the first time I had a chicken salad made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo. It had the perfect amount of creaminess and didn't feel overwhelmed by mayo.
Fast forward a few years and I have fully embraced all kind of chicken salad but my favorite by far is this Curried Chicken Salad. It all started when I fell in love with store-bought curried chicken salad. I am looking at you Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. In a rush one day, I grabbed a tub and never looked back. The creamy curry dressing, sweet notes from the grapes and mango chutney, and protein-packed chicken - it's seriously delicious.
So like any good food blogger, I set out to make my own version at home. It took a few tries to figure it out, but now I am in love with this easy at home version. The key to making this salad amazing is creating the perfect creamy curry dressing. After much experimenting, I found you need a combo of Greek yogurt and mayonnaise. Greek yogurt on its own is a bit too tangy and mayo on its own is a bit too heavy. Plus the worker at Whole Foods told me that is one of their tricks. he also told me about the mango chutney, which is a game changer.
If you have never had mango chutney before, it's an Indian condiment that you can buy jarred in most grocery stores. Normally it will be with the Asian ingredients and other Indian items. Mango chutney is basically a relish made with mango, onion, ginger, and curry powder. It's sweet and spicy and adds so much flavor to this salad. You might even want to add more than the one tablespoon the recipe calls for.
Now when it comes to the curry powder in the dressing, you will have to experiment. Curry powders can vary a ton in terms of flavor. Start by adding a small amount and build on that to reach a flavor you love. I find that one tablespoon is plenty with some brands and other I need double or even triple that.
Then to finish the salad, you will want to add some crunchy and sweet elements. My favorites are celery, carrots, green onions, and red grapes. But as you will see below, there are tons of other options as well.
Ways to Serve Chicken Curry Salad
This chicken salad recipe is super versatile and there are so many different ways to serve it from simple sandwiches to beautiful appetizers for a party and everything in between.
- Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich: This classic way to serve chicken salad is always a hit. Use your favorite toasted bread, English muffins, pita bread, or a low carb wrap with a layer of greens or sprouts for a super delicious sandwich.
- Low Carb Lettuce Wraps: For a low carb option, try wrapping the chicken salad up in lettuce or collard greens. Butter lettuce is a great option for a softer lettuce wrap while something like Romaine will provide more crunch.
- Open Faced: If you are looking to cut calories, consider making an open-faced sandwich topped with spouts or greens.
- Tomato or Cucumber Boats: This is another great low carb option. Hollow out a tomato or scoop the seeds out of a cucumber and fill the space with chicken salad. These are great for parties. Celery works too!
- Salads: Grab a big bowl of your favorite greens, some crunchy veggies, and layer this yummy curry chicken salad on top.
- Pasta Salad: My friend makes the most amazing curry chicken pasta salad and all she does is double the dressing and toss it with some cold pasta. It is amazing.
- Apple slices: For parties or a snack, I love serving this recipe on apple slices.
How to make curry chicken salad without mayo?
If you want to make this without mayonnaise, you have a few options depending on your dietary needs. The most popular option would be to simply use all Greek yogurt instead of the combination of yogurt and mayonnaise. You could also substitute sour cream for the mayonnaise. Vegan mayonnaise is another option and plant-based yogurts work as well. For a completely different spin, you could use mashed avocado. It adds all the creaminess and since the flavor is mild, it's a great alternative to mayonnaise.
How long does chicken salad last in the fridge? Can you freeze it?
Curry chicken salad will last about 4-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Personally, I think it tastes best after at least 2 hours in the fridge for all the flavors to deepen and combine. I would not recommend freezing this salad since the mayonnaise and yogurt don't freeze well.
Recipe Ideas for Curried Chicken Salad
There are so many variations out there of this recipe that you could try something new almost every week. Here are some of the most popular twists.
- Mango: Swap in diced mango for the grapes. This adds a ton of sweetness but is best eaten within 24 hours since the mango can get slimy.
- Cashews or sliced almonds: Many people like to use cashews or almonds in their salad. Almonds add a bit more crunch in my opinion but both work great.
- Grapes: This salad can be made without grapes or you can use green grapes instead.
- Raisins, craisins, or currants: Some people like to use dried fruit instead of the fresh grapes. Pretty much any dried fruit works with curry, but the most popular are raisins, currants, and craisins.
- Pineapple: Another alternative to grapes is pineapple. This version isn't as common but it's really delicious with the sweet and spicy combination.
- Turmeric: For some added nutrition, add some ground turmeric to the salad. The flavor works great with curry and turmeric is known to help with inflammation and is a powerful antioxidant. Please note that most curry powder already contains turmeric, so you are just adding extra.
- Rotisserie Chicken: For the easiest preparation, just grab a store bought rotisserie chicken.
- Greek yogurt: For a lower calorie option, you can use all Greek yogurt. Just know that it will be slightly more tart.
Curried Chicken Salad
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- 5 tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp light mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp curry powder (more to taste)
- 1 tbsp mango chutney (more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped
- 1/3 cup red grapes, chopped
- 1/4 cup celery, diced
- 1/4 cup carrots, diced
- 2 tbsp green onions, chopped
* 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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