42 Tasty Paleo Chicken Salad Recipes
Post by Lucha: World traveler, culinary student and Media Director at Paleo Flourish Magazine. Lucha will try most food but prefers Indian, Thai and Mexican food above all else. She is currently either cooking, eating, grocery shopping, or browsing recipes on Pinterest.
I was recently talking to a friend about how she stays healthy and manages to avoid junk food most nights when she comes home from work. She said, “My husband and I usually just make hearty salads topped with fish or chicken.”
At first I thought that sounded boring, but then I realized how you could eat the same basic meal on a daily basis, yet it could look completely different every night of the week. Heck, I might never get bored of that! I find chicken and salad to be two things that are way more exciting together than on their own. I also love that there are a million and one ways to make a really delicious chicken salad. It must be common in all cultures because you find different styles and forms from all over the world. I’ve found a pretty broad selection here, but I know that there must be thousands more. Anyway, I figured that 42 were enough to get you started and keep you going probably for the whole year. So here are 42 tasty and creative Paleo Chicken Salad recipes!
Top 10 Paleo Chicken Salad Recipe
I love this recipe because it’s so simple. It has only 4 main ingredients that balance each other out so well. If strawberries in your salad sounds like an oddity, then you’ve just got to try it. The textures are balanced out as well. The dressing uses healthy walnut oil for a nutty flavor and also includes tasty champagne vinegar with honey Dijon added in. This is an all-around simple, yummy chicken salad that would make a great appetizer or a lunch if you make a big batch. (Photo credit to Lisa at Cook Eat Paleo.)
Even though the holidays are over, I’m still finding myself so in the mood for cranberries. I love how this chicken salad recipe incorporates (roasted!) cranberries and with the help of diced apple, the sweetness balances out the savory and creamy aspects of this Paleo mayo-coated chicken salad. Also the dried basil, cumin and oregano really make the flavors pop! I can’t wait to try this delish salad. (Photo credit to Liz at Paleo On a Budget.)
Here’s a more elaborate recipe that is seriously worth the bit of extra effort required. It’s simply explained by breaking it down into three parts: the chicken part, the guacamole part and the dressing part. The chicken is sautéed with veggies and some spicy pepperoncini to top the salad bed. A simple guacamole recipe diversifies the flavor (and color) even more. The dressing is a fresh, Mexican-inspired vinaigrette that goes perfectly with all other parts! If you like Mexican ingredients and flavors as much as I do, this one’s for you! (Photo credit to Lisa at Swiss Paleo.)
With an array of beautiful colors, flavors and textures, this simple chicken salad is low on fuss and high on yum! Apple, celery and pecan make it crunchy and give it body, while avocado and mango contribute to the lush fruitiness. A special paleonaisse dressing is used (extra recipe included) and besides cooking the chicken and chopping everything up, all you have to do is mix it together! Ready! (Photo credit to Michelle of Cave Girl Cuisine.)
This chicken salad also contains mango but is much different from the above recipe. Simone uses mango to sweeten up a spice-rich curried chicken salad, beautifully served on a bed of butter lettuce. Almonds (or your choice of nuts) add some crunch and the sauce is a creamy mayonaisse that gets pre-mixed with some salt and the curry powder. Simone also gives some good supermarket pointers, like how to find the perfect variety of non-fibrous mangoes. (Photo credit to Simone from Zen Belly Catering.)
Besides the absolutely stunning photos and step-by-step photo guide Cassy Joy has posted for this recipe, I just love how easy this is and how amazing it looks and tastes. She links to her Paleo-friendly pesto recipe (free of parmesan and still delicious!) and she offers up the great idea of serving it in a beautiful green leaf of chard. The colors here are gorgeous and this salad just looks so yummy! (Also not a bad idea for St Patrick’s Day in a few weeks… I just thought of that!) (Photo credit to Cassy Joy of Fed and Fit.)
Here’s a delicious Asian-inspired salad with one of my favorite veggies – bok choy! Crunchy like celery at the stem and leafy life spinach at the top, bok choy is one of the most nutrient-dense veggies you can eat so it’s a great option for both varying textures and increasing your intake of healthy vitamins and minerals. The dressing on this salad mixes some of my favorite Asian sauces and condiments: coconut cream, sriracha sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce and more! Melissa really has it covered in this delectable Asian chicken salad! (Photo credit to Melissa from I Breathe… I’m Hungry.)
This one from Brandon is a distinctly Southeast Asian recipe that you see all over Thailand and Laos. It’s more of a chicken than a salad but it does have a whole lot of tasty ingredients mixed in, so we’ll let it join the group of amazing chicken salads. (It’s also possible to make this as a pork or beef salad, just swapping out the meat and keeping everything else the same.) Lemon grass, herbs, spices and more create the perfect balance of flavors that is so common in Thai cooking. This salad is best served cold as a starter. Heed Brandon’s recommendation for the lettuce wrap – you won’t regret it! (Photo credit to Brandon at Kitchen Konfidence.)
I hope you haven’t minded all the Asian flavors we’ve seen up to now, because I couldn’t complete a Top 10 list without adding just this one more. With all the crunchy raw veggies Arsy uses you won’t miss the traditional (and non-Paleo) cracker strips that are usually present. The vinaigrette has a nice tang and balances the salty, acidic, spicy and sweet flavors with the help of coconut aminos, lime, chipotle pepper, honey, and a few other goodies. If you’re not a fan of spicy-hot feel free to hold the peppers, but not to skip anything else as these components really do make for a complete dressing on a yummy salad! (Photo credit to Arsy of Rubies and Radishes.)
For fans of the Waldorf salad, here’s the perfect Paleo version that can be served on a large chunk of Romaine lettuce (and eaten like a lettuce wrap – I love that!). Canada Girl uses grapes, celery, pecans and green onions, and dresses it with her own version of Paleo avocado mayo (her recipe is linked from within this one). Her instructions are really quick, easy and no-fuss, so this recipe would be great idea for a fast lunch.