If someone were to ask me if I like curry, the short answer would be no. I can’t tolerate very spicy food, and entire dishes overwhelmed by the strong powder have never really appealed to me. Nevertheless, when choosing the limited spices that will fit in my makeshift dorm pantry, curry was on the list. Why?
Only because of THIS CHICKEN SALAD.
This is another recipe that has evolved over years as a lunch-time favorite, and I refuse to give it up, even with my newfound need to economize my space. Just try it; you’ll see what I mean. It’s full of bold, sweet and spicy (but not hot) flavors, contrasting textures, and enough color to brighten the dreariest of days. Plus, it incorporates healthy fruits, nuts, and protein-rich chicken while leaving out excess fatty mayo. For a wholesome and filling mid-day meal, I love having this on whole grain bread/tortilla/crackers along with another side like roasted chickpeas, cottage cheese and veggies, or carrot sticks and hummus.
Another reason I love this chicken salad is that it’s customizable. No matter the season, I can always find ingredients that will work–no, SHINE, in this recipe. Fall or winter? Go for chopped apple. Summer? Use ripe juicy peaches. Find top-notch grapes or mango? Throw ’em in instead. Even if you can’t get your hands on fresh fruit, dried is great too! I typically use a combination for ultimate overall texture.
Finally, this is quick and hassle-free. To make meal prep easier, I typically cook a whole pack of chicken breast tenders at once and use them throughout the week in salads, sandwiches, quesadillas, soup, pasta… Just heat a little oil in a skillet, wash and dry the strips, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until browned on each side and no longer pink in the middle (about 10 minutes). Then the possibilities are endless!
Curried Chicken Salad
Makes enough for 2 sandwiches/wraps, or 1 larger serving
- 1 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt*
- 1.5 – 2 tsp mango chutney (I highly recommend Stonewall Kitchen’s mango chutney)
- 1/4 tsp curry powder
- 4 oz chicken breast (measured raw, about 2 tenders), cooked, chilled, and shredded/torn
- small handful diced red onion
- small handful diced celery
- ~15g raisins or chopped dried apricots
- ~1/4 chopped apple OR ~1/4 chopped peach OR handful diced mango OR ~10 diced grapes**
- ~10g walnuts, toasted and chopped
Mix the yogurt*, chutney, and curry powder in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Then stir in remaining ingredients. Serve on a sandwich, wrap, or with crackers and enjoy!
*For optimal binding, you can add some mayo in addition to the yogurt (but I think it’s great with just the yogurt).
**Keep in mind if you’re constructing a sandwich that the more large chunks of fruit and veggies you add, the less the salad will bind. Therefore it may be neater to slice the fruit and layer it over the salad.