Avocado Chicken Salad

updated Oct 13, 2021
summer
Avocado Chicken Salad

Juicy pieces of chicken, fresh corn, and ripe avocado are tossed in an herby lemon vinaigrette.

Serves4

Prep15 minutes

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avocado chicken salad in a bowl on a table next to cutlery and lemon
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Looking for an easy lunch to get you through these hot spring and summer days? This avocado chicken salad is just the thing. We’ve swapped the nuts and dried fruit for kernels of sweet corn that pop in your mouth, and since no summertime salad is complete without herbs, we’ve packed it full of feathery dill fronds and fresh chives. Complete the dish with creamy avocado and a lemon vinaigrette, and you’ve got the ultimate warm-weather salad to eat all week long.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Avocado Is the Secret to Creamy, Mayo-Free Dressing

This summery salad is light, fresh, and dressed with a punchy lemon vinaigrette, but just because it’s mayo-free doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the creaminess chicken salads are known for. A diced avocado is the perfect swap-in: The edges soften as they mix with the chicken, corn, and vinaigrette, coating each and every bite.

When choosing your avocado, opt for one that gives slightly when you press it at the poles, which means it will hold its shape without breaking down or bruising when tossed with the other ingredients.

How to Make Avocado Chicken Salad in Advance

The acid from the lemon juice not only gives this salad its bright flavor, but it also slows the avocado’s enzymatic browning, so you can make the salad on Sunday and serve it through the start of the week. To get an even bigger head-start, you can cook the chicken in advance or start with a rotisserie chicken, and make the vinaigrette in a jar and store it in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.

When you’re ready to serve, take the salad out of the refrigerator and let it sit for a few minutes to take the chill off and bring the flavors back to life. The vinaigrette’s punchy citrus flavor mellows upon refrigeration, so include a lemon wedge with each serving to brighten each bite. And don’t just save it for lunch! This summery salad is also the perfect addition to a picnic spread or light patio dinner.

Avocado Chicken Salad

Juicy pieces of chicken, fresh corn, and ripe avocado are tossed in an herby lemon vinaigrette.

Prep time 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 2 tablespoons

    fresh dill fronds

  • 2 tablespoons

    fresh chives

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    avocado

  • 2 1/2 cups

    cooked chicken

  • 1/2 cup

    fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing by adding each to a large bowl: Juice 1 lemon until you have 2 tablespoons juice. Finely chop 2 tablespoons fresh dill fronds and 2 tablespoons fresh chives. Add 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons olive oil while whisking.

  2. Pit, peel, and dice 1 avocado and add to the bowl. Cut 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl. Add 1/2 cup corn kernels and stir with a rubber spatula until combined.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.