Curried Chicken Salad

published Jun 24, 2022
Curried Chicken Salad Recipe

A few hints of sweetness take this classic curried chicken salad into a winner that you can stuff into bread or eat as lettuce wraps.

Serves2 to 3

Makesabout 2 1/3 cups

Prep10 minutes

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Credit: Kristina Vanni

I’ll confess that chicken salad is usually one sandwich filling I rarely opt for, with one exception: if it’s curried. Somehow, a creamy dressing infused with the warm spices in curry powder turn classic chicken salad into something I love — especially if there are little bites of fun mix-ins like raisins, celery, and almonds.

If you already have cooked chicken, all that’s required for a bowl of satisfying chicken salad is a little chopping and stirring. Sandwiched between bread or wrapped up in lettuce leaves, it’s a great way to use up leftover roast chicken or cooked chicken breast. In fact, the next time you cook chicken, you might want to plan for leftovers just so you can make this salad! 

Key Ingredients in Curried Chicken Salad

  • Chicken: Any kind of cooked chicken will work here — just take off any skin or bones before dicing it up. I like to dice instead of shred so the pieces stay intact and don’t get mushy.
  • Apricot jam or mango chutney: Just a little bit of apricot jam or Major Grey’s mango chutney adds a hint of sweetness that tempers the sharpness of the curry powder.
  • Curry powder: Go for a mild, not hot, curry powder here.
  • Raisins: Controversial yes, but even a non-raisin-lover like me likes the juicy bites of sweetness they add.
  • Almonds: These are optional, but if you’re using them, go with chopped whole almonds or slivered almonds. They are a bit sturdier and crunchier than the sliced kind.

How to Serve Curried Chicken Salad

You can serve curried chicken salad with or on just about anything you would serve with an egg or tuna salad. Depending on my mood, I reach for crackers for a snack-y lunch, or I’ll put it on lettuce leaves for something lighter. For an on-the-go meal, stuffing it between bread is hard to beat. I especially like the crunch from a baguette with some lettuce or in a soft pita pocket.

How to Store Curried Chicken Salad

Keep the curried chicken salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you already know you’re not going to eat it all immediately, hold back on some of the almonds and add them in right before serving so they retain their crunch.

Curried Chicken Salad Recipe

A few hints of sweetness take this classic curried chicken salad into a winner that you can stuff into bread or eat as lettuce wraps.

Prep time 10 minutes

Makes about 2 1/3 cups

Serves 2 to 3

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup

    mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon

    apricot preserves or mango chutney, such as Major Grey’s

  • 2 teaspoons

    curry powder (not hot)

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 8 ounces

    cooked boneless, skinless chicken

  • 1

    medium stalk celery

  • 1

    medium scallion

  • 1/4 cup

    raisins

  • 1/4 cup

    toasted chopped or slivered almonds (optional)

  • Lettuce leaves and/or sliced bread, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon apricot preserves, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds black pepper in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

  2. Prepare the following, adding each to the bowl of dressing as you complete it: Dice 8 ounces cooked, boneless, skinless chicken (about 2 cups). Small dice 1 medium celery stalk (about 1/3 cup). Thinly slice 1 medium scallion.

  3. Add 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 cup toasted, chopped or slivered almonds if desired, and gently fold to combine. (If not serving immediately, wait to add the almonds right before serving.) Refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to meld. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed. Serve on lettuce leaves or on bread if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The chicken salad can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.