Curried chicken salad is a delicious dish that brings together the flavors of tender chicken, crispy veggies, fragrant curry spices, and a creamy dressing.
This curry chicken salad has a balance of savory, sweet, and spicy notes, complemented by the satisfying crunch of crisp vegetables. It is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed on its own, scooped with crackers, or used as a filling for sandwiches.
In my curry chicken salad recipe, I saute the onions and curry powder before adding it to the dressing. This helps to release the flavors and aroma of the curry powder and onions. This step enhances the overall taste and adds a depth of flavor to the dressing, creating a more delicious and satisfying curry chicken salad.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Flavorful combination: The recipe combines savory, sweet, and spicy flavors, creating a well-balanced and delicious taste experience.
- Textural delights: The salad has a satisfying crunch from toasted cashews and crisp vegetables, contrasting the tender chicken.
- Easy and make-ahead: The recipe is straightforward and can be prepared in advance, allowing the flavors to develop further.
Cooked chicken: I have used rotisserie chicken in my recipe.
Curry powder: Use store-bought or homemade curry powder.
Onion: I am using yellow onions, which I am sauteing in olive oil and curry powder. This will help infuse flavor into the salad. You can also use red onion in this recipe.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Heat olive oil in a
Step 2: Next, in a medium bowl, combine the fried onion with mayonnaise, lemon juice (or lime juice), salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
Step 3: In a large bowl, take cooked chicken, celery, apples, golden raisins, cashews, and cilantro.
Step 4: Add the prepared creamy curry dressing to the chicken and veggies.
Step 5: Mix gently until everything is combined. Let the salad sit for 30 minutes to an hour so that the flavors can infuse.
Variations of curried chicken salad
Fruits: Along with diced apples, add red grapes or chunks of pineapple to bring a refreshing and sweet element to the salad.
Nuts: In my curry chicken salad recipe, I have used toasted cashews. You can replace them with different nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts for flavor variation. These roasted mixed nuts are a great alternative.
Creamy: Substitute a portion of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, or sour cream to add a tangy twist.
Spicy: If you enjoy spiciness, add diced jalapenos or a pinch of cayenne pepper to give your salad a fiery kick.
Vegetables: Add different types of crunchy veggies like diced bell peppers, cooked green peas, green onions, grated carrots, or sliced cucumbers to add color, texture, and nutritional variety.
The intensity of curry powders can vary, so start with a smaller amount and gradually add more according to your taste preferences.
I have used store-bought rotisserie chicken in my recipe as it is convenient and time-saving; however, you can use cooked chicken breasts.
Allowing the curry chicken salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving allows the flavors to meld together and fully develop.
What to serve with curry chicken salad?
Bread or dinner rolls: Serve the salad as a sandwich filling with your choice of bread or dinner rolls.
Yes, this salad can be made in advance. After preparing the salad, store it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. This allows the flavors to blend and develop further, resulting in a more delicious salad. It can typically be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
While it is possible, I highly recommend not to freeze this chicken salad. Freezing may cause the texture and quality of the salad to deteriorate, particularly due to the mayonnaise-based dressing. The salad will become watery and lose its consistency and texture upon thawing. It is best to enjoy curried chicken salad fresh or store it in the refrigerator for a few days.
To make the curry chicken salad recipe vegan, omit the chicken and replace it with plant-based protein such as cooked chickpeas, tofu, or tempeh. Substitute regular mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise.
More salad recipes
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Curried Chicken Salad
Make the dressing:
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan or skillet. Once it is hot, add the onions. Saute them for 3 minutes, until it softens.
- Add the curry powder and saute for one more minute. Turn off the heat and let the onion mixture cool down slightly.
- Transfer the onion mixture to a mixing bowl and let it cool down.
- Next, add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Make the curried chicken salad:
- In a large mixing bowl, take cooked chicken, celery, apples, raisins, cashew, and cilantro.
- Add the prepared dressing and mix gently until everything is combined.
- Let the salad sit for 30 minutes to an hour so that the flavors can infuse.