Curry Chicken Salad – Elevate your chicken salad with the warm glow of curry powder. This chicken salad has it all: spice, sweetness, crunch, and acidity. It’s bold, bright, and packed with flavor!
If you’re tired of the same old, same old salad, then you need this recipe in your life. A curry-infused dressing takes this chicken salad to the next level. It’s creamy with the perfect balance of heat and sweetness, tying all the fresh ingredients together and giving the salad a gorgeous golden hue. 🧡
Plus, you only need about a dozen ingredients, and this chicken salad comes together super quickly. It’s my lunchtime salvation most weeks. Fast, easy, and delicious with a tropical twist – this is my favorite kind of recipe!
A Curry Twist on Chicken Salad
A Curry Twist on Chicken Salad
Chicken salad can refer to any salad with chicken as the main ingredient and a mayo-based dressing. A curry chicken salad has lots of fresh ingredients, chicken as the star player, and a creamy mayo-based dressing with curry powder, an ingredient that gives a classic recipe a surprising twist. 😋
- Chicken – I think chicken breast goes really well with this recipe, but you can use any boneless cut of chicken you like.
- Fruit and Vegetables – This salad includes celery, grapes, mangoes, raisins, and green onion to give it a surprising but pleasant mix of flavors and textures.
- Nuts – Macadamia nuts are absolutely delicious in this recipe and give it a much-needed crunch.
- Curry Dressing – The curry dressing that ties all the other ingredients together includes lemon juice, curry powder, Dijon mustard, and mayo.
How to Make Curry Chicken Salad
Make the Salad
- Cook the Chicken – First, if you’re cooking chicken from scratch, coat a pan with cooking spray. Add the chicken to the pan, cooking for about 8 minutes on each side or until done.
- Cut it Up – Next, place the chicken on a cutting board, then cut it into desired shapes. (I usually cube it.)
- Make the Dressing – In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, curry powder, and lemon juice until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Photo 1)
- Chill – Let it chill until ready to use.
Assemble the Salad
- Combine Salad Ingredients – In a large bowl, mix the chicken, celery, grapes, mangoes, raisins, and green onions. (Photo 2)
- Add Dressing – Next, add the mayonnaise mixture to the large bowl with the other ingredients. Mix with a large spoon until all the salad ingredients are covered with a dressing. Then add the macadamia nuts on top to keep them crunchy. (Photo 3)
- Chill – Finally, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
- I think mangoes are an amazing pairing with the curry dressing, but you could use other fruits if you prefer. Pineapple would be another delicious tropical choice. 🏝
- I know, I know, macadamia nuts are expensive! 💸 If you want to make a budget version, swap them out for cashews.
- If you want to make this chicken salad even faster, use meat off a rotisserie chicken instead of cooking your own chicken breast.
- Instead of straight mayonnaise, use half mayonnaise and half Greek yogurt for a lighter version of this curry chicken salad.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t overcook the chicken. It will get dry and chewy. If you aren’t sure if the chicken breast is done, you can cut it to see if the juices run clear or insert a meat thermometer. It should read 165℉/74℃.
- Don’t cut up your chicken breast before cooking, either. This will help it stay juicy and tender.
- Taste test the dressing as you go. Adjust it to your personal preferences. You can add more curry, lemon juice, or Dijon, depending on how you like the flavor best.
Curry chicken salad was born to be made ahead of time! You can easily make this recipe a day or two in advance and simply store it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. Easy peasy!
Serving and Storage Instructions
Serve this curry chicken salad chilled. It tastes incredible on butter lettuce leaves or as a sandwich on your favorite kind of bread.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay good for 3-5 days. I don’t recommend freezing it because the texture will be ruined.
You can, but mayo doesn’t hold up well in the freezer. It may split and seem a little watery when you thaw it out. A better option is to freeze all the chicken salad ingredients assembled, except the curry dressing. Then, when you’re ready to eat your chicken salad, all you have to do is whip up the curry dressing, which will literally only take a few minutes.
Yes! Don’t skip the lemon juice because it will really bring out the earthy flavors of the curry powder. Definitely use freshly squeezed lemon juice if you have some lemons in your kitchen.
Whatever your favorite kind of curry powder is, use that! I always use my homemade Jamaican curry powder recipe. It’s something I customized to fit my own tastes, but you better believe it’s delicious. Highly recommend. 😉
What Goes with Curry Chicken Salad
More Fantastic Chicken Salad Recipes to Try
- Chicken Salad Sandwich
- Southern Chicken Salad
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- Caribbean Grilled Chicken Salad
- Thai Chopped Chicken Salad
I have loads of chicken salad recipes I love, but curry chicken salad is easily one of my favorites. Which chicken salad recipe is your favorite? Let me know in the comments! ❤️
Watch How to Make It
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This blog post was originally published in July 2017 and has been updated with additional tips, new photos, and a video.
Curry Chicken Salad
- 2 pound chicken breast (cooked and chopped)
- ⅓-½ cup celery, chopped
- 1 cup grapes
- 1-1½ cup ripe mangoes, chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1 green onion, chopped
- ⅓-½ cup macadamia nuts (replace with cashews)
- 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 or more teaspoons curry powder, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ⅓-½ cup mayonnaise (or half mayonnaise/half Greek yogurt)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- If cooking chicken from scratch, coat the pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to the pan. Cook for eight or more minutes on each side or until done. Place chicken on a cutting board. Cut chicken into desired shapes.
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, grapes, mangoes, raisins, and green onions.
- In a smaller bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Let it chill until ready to use.
- Finally, add the mayonnaise mixture to the bowl of chicken mixture, and mix until the chicken and mayonnaise have been thoroughly combined. If you like your nuts crunchy, throw it in at this time.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Serve on butter lettuce leaves or bread as a sandwich.
Tips & Notes:
- Don’t overcook the chicken. It will get dry and chewy. If you aren’t sure if the chicken breast is done, you can cut it to see if the juices run clear or insert a meat thermometer. It should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don’t cut up your chicken breast before cooking either. This will help it stay juicy and tender.
- Taste test the dressing as you go. Adjust it to your personal preferences. You can add more curry, lemon juice, or Dijon, depending on how you like the flavor best
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.