I love lunchtime! I don’t think that we give it enough credit as a meal. Too often, lunch is reduced to leftovers, peanut butter sandwiches, or it gets skipped altogether. But, when done right, lunch can be a fresh, fun, and healthy break. The weekday work hours can feel monotonous, so why treat your break time the same way? This avocado chicken salad is one way I love to freshen up my lunch hour. It is easy, tasty, and healthy. With less than 30 minutes of prep time the night before, you are telling your body (and your family!) that they matter.
Chicken salad is one of those dishes that can be incredibly nutritious, or not so much. It all depends on the preparation. Since I like serving this for lunch, I want to make sure that it energizes my family for the rest of the day, rather than slowing us down, so I have chosen some simple swaps to make this recipe as healthy as possible. But it isn’t only healthier – it is also more fun than traditional chicken salad. I prepare this chicken salad with grapes, avocado, and lime to keep things fresh!
Why You'll Love This Avocado Chicken Salad
- Figure Friendly – Instead of a traditional, mayonnaise-based chicken salad, this recipe utilizes greek yogurt and lime juice. There is also healthy fat from one of my favorite brain foods – avocado!
- Easy Prep – This recipe takes only 20 minutes, and just a few simple steps to prepare. Whether you are serving it at a gathering or meal prepping for the week ahead, it is easy to find time to make this chicken salad in advance.
Ingredients For Avocado Chicken
- Lime Juice – The lime juice serves two purposes in this dish. One is to provide flavor. Chicken salad is creamy and needs a little acid to balance it out. The other purpose of the lime juice is to keep the avocado’s lovely, green color. Avocado can become oxidized, or browned, easily, and the ascorbic acid found in limes helps to prevent that. I think that fresh lime juice works best, but you could used bottled if needed.
- Avocado – Choose one large avocado that has just ripened. You want one that still has enough firmness to it that it won’t just become mushy in the bowl. Dicing it will make it easier to cream with your mixer.
- Greek Yogurt – Avocado and Greek yogurt take the place of mayonnaise in this chicken salad. Greek yogurt boasts tons of health benefits, unlike traditional mayonnaise. Be sure to choose plain, unsweetened greek yogurt.
- Chicken – You will need 2 cups of chopped or shredded chicken to make this avocado chicken salad. You can use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, or leftovers from your fridge! Check out my air fryer chicken recipe if you would like to learn how to make rotisserie style chicken at home!
- Salt and Pepper – This dish has simple, but delicious flavors. The only seasonings you will need are regular salt and pepper!
- Honey Mustard – To round out the flavors in this dish, you will need just a little bit of honey mustard. If you don’t have honey mustard, for this recipe you can simply mix equal parts honey or agave, and brown or Dijon mustard.
- Grapes – Red grapes add a little burst of sweetness to this tangy, savory dish. Wash and halve them before you begin making your chicken salad. Keep in mind that green grapes would be too sour for this particular recipe.
- Green Onion – Green onions are in most chicken salad recipes, and they are one element I definitely wanted to keep in this version. If you don’t like green onions, rather than skipping out, I would recommend swapping them for finely diced red onions or shallots. You could also include both shallots and green onions if you prefer!
- Celery – Celery is essential to any chicken salad. It adds a nice crunch, and chicken salad would not be the same without it! Celery can hang onto dirt and pesticides, so be sure to wash and dry your celery before beginning.
- Parsley – If bringing this dish to an event, or serving it by the bowl, you may wish to add to the presentation by garnishing with a little parsley.
How to make Avocado Chicken Salad
1. In a mixing bowl, cream the lime juice, avocado, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper and honey mustard.
2. Fold in the shredded chicken, halved grapes, green onions and celery.
3. Chill for 10 minutes and garnish with extra parsley as desired. May be served room temp or chilled.
Step by Step Instructions
This recipe is as easy as 1, 2, 3! In just 3 simple steps, you will have delicious from-scratch chicken salad. Before you start, prepare all of your ingredients by washing, drying, and chopping your grapes, celery, and green onions. Dice your avocados, juice your lime, and shred your cooked chicken. Once your ingredients are ready to go, you can assemble your avocado chicken salad!
Begin by preparing the dressing portion of your chicken salad. First, add all of your wet ingredients to a mixing bowl, including your lime juice, greek yogurt, and honey mustard. Add your diced avocado, as well as your salt and pepper. Using a mixer, cream your ingredients together until they are completely mixed, and your dressing is thick and smooth.
Next, fold in your shredded chicken, halved red grapes, sliced green onion and celery. Mix gently until combined.
Once your chicken salad is assembled, the last step is to chill it! Refrigerate the chicken salad for at least 10 minutes.
Garnish with fresh parsley if desired by itself or on bread as a sandwich. It's also great as a dip. Serve chilled, or at room temperature!
- This dish can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy your chicken salad plain, on crackers, as a sandwich or in a pita pocket, or on a bed of greens. You can also use lettuce to build wraps for a crunchy, low carb serving option.
- Build a chicken salad bar! If you are serving this at an event, or packing lunches for the whole family, create a chicken salad bar to allow people to customize their meal! Offer various breads, lettuce, or crackers for serving.
- Set out optional toppings, such as crushed walnuts, tortilla strips, diced poblano peppers, hard boiled egg, corn kernels, cilantro, bacon bits, mango pico de gallo, or shredded pepperjack cheese.
- You can also change this up and make it an avocado tuna salad and omit the chicken breast. If vegetarian, omit the chicken breasts and make it an avocado salad.
Like a little kick? Sprinkle some red pepper flakes and lemon juice if you like.
Avocado is good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container, as oxygen is what causes avocado flesh to turn.
Once an avocado has been exposed to oxygen, it will start to brown. Avocado is still safe to eat for days after it has started to brown, however, the oxidation process not only alters the appearance of the avocado, but also the smell and flavor. So enjoy this avocado chicken salad within 5 days of preparation.
One mistake people can make when making chicken salad, is to think that adding more wet dressing will make up for dry chicken. If your cooked chicken is already dry, adding extra wet ingredients will not moisten it, only make the dish sloppy and perhaps a bit cloying.
Instead, if you are working with cooked chicken that is already dry, try mixing a splash of pickle juice or olive juice into your chicken in advance. Allow the chicken to sit in the juice, and then drain it and gently pat the chicken with a paper towel to absorb excess liquid before mixing into the chicken salad. Another reason that chicken salad can be dry is if it does not chill in the refrigerator. Serving immediately won’t allow the chicken to absorb any of the moisture, so be sure to let it chill for at least 10 minutes to come together perfectly.
Chicken salad can become runny because of the liquid released by the fruit or veggies it contains. Celery is a big culprit, so aim to select fresh celery that is still firm and crisp. Make sure it is completely dry after you have washed it. You can add the celery and grapes in right before serving for maximum freshness, but this is not necessary. If your chicken salad is runny, simply add an extra spoonful of greek yogurt. Keep in mind that the lime juice can also cause runniness, so take care not to add any extra.
Looking for more delicious veggie recipes? Try these:
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Avocado Chicken Salad
- 2 tbs Lime Juice
- 1 Avocado diced
- 6 oz Greek Yogurt plain
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Honey Mustard
- ½ cup Red Grapes halved
- 1 Green Onion sliced
- 1 Celery Stalk sliced
- 2 cups Rotisserie Chicken shredded or chopped
- In a mixing bowl, cream the lime juice, avocado, Greek yogurt, salt, pepper and honey mustard.
- Fold in the shredded chicken, halved grapes, green onions and celery.
- Chill for 10 minutes and garnish with extra parsley as desired. May be served room temp or chilled.