This quick and easy tropical chicken salad recipe comes together in minutes using leftover rotisserie chicken and my homemade mango chutney (or your favorite store-bought version like Major Grey’s). This simple chutney mayo chicken salad can be dressed up with your favorite mix-ins. I like crunchy, buttery macadamia nuts, sweet currants and chopped veg. Serve mango chutney chicken salad on fresh bibb or romaine lettuce, or atop a fresh brioche bun for the ultimate island-style chicken salad sandwich. Heaven.
Everyone should have one or two REALLY GOOD chicken salad recipes in their repertoire. One’s that make your mouth water just to think about them. This one does JUST THAT. The creamy chutney dressing is just sturdy enough to suspend the chicken salad ingredients together on a bun or to make a cohesive blend stuffed into a pineapple boat. It can be adjusted to your tastes, with more or less heat or by customizing with your favorite mix-ins or according to what’s currently residing in your pantry and fridge. That’s what I usually do.
Ingredients for tropical chicken salad
- Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
- Macadamia Nuts
- Currants (or golden raisins)
- Sour Cream
- Mango Chutney
- Hot Sauce
Leftover rotisserie chicken? Mango chutney chicken salad.
If you’re family is like ours, a whole rotisserie chicken is something you can eat off of for several days. We usually start by attacking the dark meat first and get around to the breast for things like casseroles, soups and the like. That means, we’ve usually got a lot of chicken breast meat leftover, perfect for mango chutney chicken salad.
This chutney mayo chicken mix isn’t as spicy or curry-forward as this curried rotisserie chicken salad. It’s milder, creamier and if you’ve got picky eaters, they’ll love this decidedly tropical chicken salad recipe.
The best part about this recipe is how quick and easy it is to throw together, starting with the mango chutney mayo.
Blending chutney mayo for chicken salad
- In a small bowl, combine the mango chutney, mayo, sour cream and parsley.
- Mix to combine and adjust for seasoning. (You can add salt & pepper, more chutney, or even a little hot sauce if you like it spicy.)
Assembling chicken salad with mango chutney dressing
- Pour the creamy mango chutney dressing over the chicken and other ingredients and toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for several hours for the flavors to marry. See? Super easy!
Chopping tips for tropical chicken salad
- Cut or shred your chicken into bite sized pieces, no more than 3/4″. This makes it easier to pile on a bun (and stay there). If the chunks are too big, it becomes unwieldy.
- Dice the onions and celery into small 1/4″ dice. This gives the salad crunch and flavor in every bite without dominating.
- Currants are tiny enough to just add to the mango chutney chicken salad as they are.
- Roughly chop the macadamia nuts. You don’t want too small or too large. As Goldilocks says, “They should be just right.”
What else would be good in chutney chicken salad?
I’m glad you asked. This chutney mayo chicken is supremely versatile. If you don’t have an ingredient you can feel free to substitute (or add) your favorites. Here’s some suggestions:
Substitutes or additions to chicken salad recipe:
- No sour cream? Use plain Greek yogurt.
- No white onion? Use yellow, vidalia or red onion.
- Out of celery? Try sweet bell pepper.
- No macadamia nuts? Substitute sliced almonds, chopped cashews or Brazil nuts (they mimic macadamia nuts when they’re chopped up and no-one can tell the difference).
- No currants? Try golden raisins or chopped dried apricots.
More tasty mix-ins:
If you just want to dress up the mango chutney chicken a little more, try these tropical additions:
- Toasted flaked coconut
- Chopped fresh mango
- Chopped fresh pineapple
- Fresh chopped mint
I love mango chutney chicken straight from the bowl (hey, I’m being honest here…) but here’s a few more refined ways to serve it…
Ideas for how to serve the chicken salad:
- Put a scoop on assorted greens dressed with a light vinaigrette for a low-carb gluten-free lunch.
- Piled high on a buttery brioche roll, soft sandwich roll or Kaiser bun.
- Slice a pineapple into quarters and remove the core, then scoop a serving of mango chicken salad over the top. Sprinkle on extra parsley (or mint). (This is great for baby shower luncheons).
- Quarter a papaya and scoop out the seeds. Fill with chicken salad for a tasty Mother’s Day luncheon with your favorite flatbreads.
- Fill Boston bibb lettuce leaves with the chutney mayo chicken mixture and add a few strips of red bell pepper for color. Enjoy as a lettuce wrap.
- Cut an English cucumber into 1/4″ thick rounds (or on a bias) and top with a spoonful of chicken salad. Garnish with small mint leaves and arrange on a platter for an easy hors d’oeuvre (great for bridal showers).
- Fill spinach wraps or flour tortillas with chicken salad, lettuce leaves and sliced roasted bell pepper. Roll the tortillas into a burrito shape and slice in half to serve.
Make your own mango chutney recipe.
More easy chicken salad recipes:
Mango Chutney Chicken Salad
FOR CHICKEN SALAD:
- 2 cooked chicken breasts chopped into 1/2" dice (I use rotisserie chicken breasts)
- 2 stalks celery chopped into 1/4" dice
- 1/2 cup onion chopped into 1/4" dice
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup currants
- 3/4 cup macadamia nuts roughly chopped
FOR MANGO CHUTNEY DRESSING:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- heaping 1/3 cup curried mango chutney
- 1/4 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (optional - if you like more heat)
- In a large bowl, combine the diced chicken, celery, onion, scallions, currants and macadamia nuts. Toss to combine and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, chutney and parsley until smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until the dressing evenly coats the chicken salad.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two for the flavors to marry. Serve over mixed greens, on a brioche or sandwich roll or in a pineapple or papaya boat.