Curried Chicken Salad

5 from 5 votes
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This curried chicken salad is made from scratch and with crunchy veggies, cranberries and pecans. The ultimate protein packed lunch for the entire family.

Sesame buns with chicken salad and lettuce.
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Why Make This Curried Chicken Salad

This recipe is made from scratch, no funny business here, you make the chicken yourself. You can easily just swap out pre made rotisserie chicken if you want, but I love to make my own chicken for this meal, it adds the ultimate flavor.

This meal has crunchy fresh veggies chopped into it, they add the best texture. The pecans add a little nutty sweetness and the cranberries just bring all the curried flavors together. You can make it healthier by using plain greek yogurt. This recipe is great for meal prep. You will love the switch up for lunch. If you want a spicier chicken salad, try my Chipotle Chicken Salad, it’s fire!

What Does Curry Taste Like

Curry is an earthy, warming spice. I find curry to give a slightly sweet flavor which pairs incredibly good with savory chicken and sweet cranberries. This change up to the typical chicken salad is just what you need to spruce up lunch.

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe

Ingredients to make this recipe on a grey counter with small bowls filled.
  • Chicken Breasts. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • Seasoning. Curry, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.
  • Olive Oil. This is to brown the chicken with.
  • Celery. This is to add crunch and color to the chicken salad. Celery also adds some fiber to the meal.
  • Carrots. Another great way to add crunch and veggie to this recipe.
  • Pecans. I prefer this nut to others because it is softer, making it easier to nosh on when enjoying the curried chicken salad.
  • Cranberries. You can use any dried chewy fruit, I find raisins and cranberries work best. You can also use low sugar craisins.
  • Mayo. I prefer regular mayo for this recipe. Feel free to used reduced fat or plain greek yogurt to make it a bit healthier and add protein.
  • Cilantro. Optional for a little garnish and extra flavor. I love the flavor of cilantro and curry together.

Steps To Make This Recipe

Steps to make this recipe on a cutting board and in a cast iron grill.

Step One. In a small bowl mix chicken seasonings together. Rub chicken breasts with the seasonings. Heat up a large frying pan. Add olive oil to the pan. Once the pan is hot, reduce heat to medium and add chicken breasts. Let them sit on medium heat for about 7-10 minutes on each side or until they are 165º inside and cooked through.

Step Two. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes. Prepare the veggies. Chop the carrots, celery, cilantro and pecans into small, bite sized pieces.

Shredded chicken in a silver bowl.

Step Three. Once the chicken has cooled and rested, start to shred it. Use two forks or add to a stand mixer and mix on low until chicken breasts are shredded.

Step Four. Add the chicken, cranberries, pecans, celery, carrots, curry, salt, pepper, mayo. Mix everything up well, add in cilantro if using. Pile the curried chicken salad on toasted bread with lettuce and enjoy.

Chicken salad on buns on a cutting board with chips.

Tips & FAQ’s

Can I make chicken salad healthier?

Yes! Make chicken salad healthier and lower in salt and calories by making your own chicken and swapping mayo for low fat greek yogurt.

Is this a good lunch to meal prep?

Yes, this salad is great for meal prep for throughout the week.

How can I make this curried chicken salad low carb or keto friendly?

Make this low carb or keto friendly by using lettuce boats instead of bread. You can also find sugar free or low sugar cranberries.

Recipe Variations

Chicken. You can use rotisserie chicken in place of the homemade breasts.

Pecans. Use walnuts or chopped almonds in place of pecans. Just be sure to use a softer nut so you don’t hurt your teeth.

Dried Cranberries. Swap these with grapes or any other dried fruit of choice.

Mayo. Swap out the mayo with low fat greek yogurt to cut calories if needed.

Make Ahead & Storage Tips

This meal is great for meal prep. You can make the chicken breasts ahead of time to cut down on when you make it, or make the chicken salad ahead of time and enjoy ad needed. This makes a good amount of salad and will leave you leftovers. If if gets dry at all you can just add a little more mayo.

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Other Lunch Recipes To Enjoy

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Chicken salad on toasted sesame buns with lettuce.
5 from 5 votes

Curried Chicken Salad

Made from scratch curried chicken salad with crunchy veggies, cranberries and pecans. The ultimate protein packed lunch. 
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • frying pan or cast iron

Ingredients 

Chicken Breasts

  • 1 lb chicken breasts, 3 cups cooked and shredded
  • ½ tsp yellow curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Curried Chicken Salad

  • cup carrots, finely chopped , about 1 large carrot
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped , about 2 stalks
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½-1 tsp yellow curry powder, *see notes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup mayo , *see notes
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped, *optional

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl mix chicken seasonings together. Rub chicken breasts with the seasonings. Heat up a large frying pan. Add olive oil to the pan. Once the pan is hot, reduce heat to medium and add chicken breasts. Let them sit on medium heat for about 7-10 minutes on each side or until they are 165º inside and cooked through.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes. Prepare the veggies. Chop the carrots, celery, cilantro and pecans into small, bite sized pieces.
  • Once the chicken has cooled and rested, start to shred it. Use two forks or add to a stand mixer and mix on low until chicken breasts are shredded.
  • Add the chicken, cranberries, pecans, celery, carrots, curry, salt, pepper, mayo. Mix everything up well, add in cilantro if using. Pile the curried chicken salad on toasted bread with lettuce and enjoy.

Notes

*this is in addition to the curry used on the chicken breasts. Start with 1/2 tsp and add more to taste. I prefer 1 tsp. 
*Use more as needed, depending on the dryness of the chicken you may need more. use reduced fat mayo or plain greek yogurt for a healthier option. 
*store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 427kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 764mg | Potassium: 538mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1900IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Course: lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 427
Keyword: Chicken
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Meal prepped this last week and doing it again this week it was so good. Never thought to do curry in for a slice. Going to try fresh apples this next batch!

    1. Love the apple idea! Going to give that a try myself. Xoxo

  2. 5 stars
    We love this recipe so much. I’ve been making it for weeks for my husband’s lunch and wanted to say, the curry was a wonderful addition and that’s our favorite part of the flavors.

  3. 5 stars
    Just made it right after I saw you post it on stories it’s SO GOOD. I did apples instead of cranberries bc I didn’t have cran.