My curried chicken salad is a tasty twist on the classic, with crunchy celery, sweet bell pepper, crunchy peanuts and tart-crisp apple. For convenience, you can use leftover rotisserie chicken in the curried salad recipe. It makes excellent sandwiches and dresses up a bed of greens.
Chicken salad has a special place in my heart. There’s something about the combination of poultry, crunchy veg, herbs and sweet fruit in a mayo-laced dressing that makes my stomach rumble.
I’ve shared versions like this Loaded Waldorf Chicken Salad Recipe and my Tropical Mango Chicken Salad, which uses homemade mango chutney. This curried chicken salad is another winner, with diced apple and roasted peanuts in a creamy curry dressing. So GOOD.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- It’s quick and easy to make.
- Uses everyday ingredients and there’s lots of options to customize it.
- You can make the curried chicken salad as mild or spicy as you like.
- Leftovers last for several days.
- This curried chicken salad recipe is low in carbs and high in protein, with only 16 grams of fat per serving.
- Roasted Chicken – For convenience, I use the breast meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, but you can also poach uncooked breasts for this recipe for curried chicken salad.
- Celery – Finely dice the celery into ¼” pieces. You don’t want large chunks.
- Red Bell Pepper – Sweet pepper adds flavor and sweetness to the dish.
- Onion – I used white onion, but you can also use red onion.
- Scallions – a.k.a. green onions, we like them sliced thin, crosswise.
- Apple – You can use any crisp-firm apple you like. I’ve made it with Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Galas and they all work well.
- Raisins – or other dried fruit (optional, but good).
- Roasted Salted Peanuts – Don’t use Spanish peanuts or ones with the skin. We like the Virginia Peanuts from Emerald Nuts.
- Fresh Cilantro -a.k.a. coriander adds a bright herbal taste to the chicken curried salad recipe.
- Greek Yogurt – gives the curry dressing a lightness.
- Mayonnaise – gives the curry dressing a richness.
- Curry Powder – You can use hot, sweet or other curry blend.
- Turmeric – gives a beautiful golden color to the chicken salad.
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper – for seasoning.
- Combine the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, curry powder, turmeric salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Chop the celery, onions, bell pepper, scallions and apple into ¼” dice and transfer to a large bowl.
- If using a rotisserie chicken, remove the breast meat and discard the skin and bones. Dice the meat into bite-sized chunks and add it to the vegetables.
- Add the chopped peanuts and cilantro.
- Add the dressing and toss to coat.
- The key to a good curried chicken salad recipe is balancing the dressing and the chicken salad. I usually add about half of the sauce to toss with the chicken salad. If it still needs more, add a spoonful at a time. You want the salad to be coated but not goopy or wet.
- You can prep the salad 1-2 days ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve. For the best texture and flavor, add the nuts and herbs at the last minute to retain their crunch and freshness.
- I used salted and roasted peanuts for crunch, but to be honest, you can use any nuts you have on hand. It would be delicious with chopped cashews, pistachios, sliced almonds, toasted pecans, macadamias or even chopped Brazil nuts.
- Adding dried fruit, like golden raisins, dried cherries, currants or chopped apricots, adds sweet, chewy pops of flavor to every bite. If that sounds good, add about ⅓-½ cup of your favorites.
- Add grapes to the chicken curried salad recipe for sweet, juicy pops of flavor. Make sure to use seedless grapes (we prefer red) and slice them in half before adding them to the salad.
- Add additional herbs like parsley or Thai basil to the finished dish.
Creamy mayo, celery, onion and sometimes fresh or dried fruits and nuts are commonly found in chicken salad recipes.
Chicken curry is a hot dish made of large chunks of chicken simmered in a curry sauce – made from many ingredients like turmeric, cumin, chiles and fresh ginger, usually served with steamed rice. Curried chicken is seasoned with curry powder.
You can cook chicken breasts by baking skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts at 425° for 20-25 minutes. Or make Perfectly Poached Chicken Breasts, which keep the meat moist and tender.
Keep the curried chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
I don’t recommend freezing this recipe as it contains fresh vegetables that leak moisture into the dressing when thawed.
What to do with curry chicken salad?
- Serve it with crackers for an appetizer.
- Make curried chicken sandwiches with fresh greens like arugula or baby greens on Brioche buns. Serve with extra curry dressing.
- Make curried chicken lettuce wraps by tucking the salad into Boston bibb leaves for a low-carb meal.
- Serve curried chicken salad over hot steamed rice with Major Grey’s chutney on the side.
More easy salad recipes:
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Curried Chicken Salad with Rotisserie Chicken
For the Dressing
- ⅓ cup nonfat greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (can use sweet, hot or madras)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt we use Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ black pepper
For Chicken Salad
- 3 cups rotisserie chicken meat diced
- ½ red bell pepper ¼” dice
- 2 stalks celery ¼” dice
- ¼ cup red onion ¼” dice
- 4 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 medium apple peeled, seeded and finely diced
- ⅓-½ cup dried raisins (optional) (we like golden raisins) or other dried fruit
- ⅓ cup roasted, salted peanuts
- ¼ cup cilantro roughly chopped
- In a small bowl, combine ⅓ cup nonfat greek yogurt, ⅓ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon curry powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon honey, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ black pepper and stir until well combined. Set aside.⅓ cup nonfat greek yogurt, ⅓ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon curry powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon honey, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the 3 cups rotisserie chicken meat, ½ red bell pepper, 2 stalks celery, ¼ cup red onion, 4 scallions, 1 medium apple, ⅓ cup roasted, salted peanuts, ¼ cup cilantro, and toss to combine.3 cups rotisserie chicken meat, ½ red bell pepper, 2 stalks celery, ¼ cup red onion, 4 scallions, 1 medium apple, ⅓ cup roasted, salted peanuts, ¼ cup cilantro
- Add about half of the dressing mixture and fold it into the salad. Add more dressing as needed. It should be moist but not soupy.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Great for sandwiches, tucked into a pita pocket, or served on a bed of lettuce.
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