Healthy Curry Chicken Salad made with yogurt, a touch of mayo, and savory curry powder. This 20-minute salad is perfect for a quick weeknight meal or meal prep.

We love adding leftover chicken to Thai chicken salad and BBQ chicken salad.

Curry chicken salad served on a croissant with lettuce on a plate.

This curry chicken salad recipe is the newest version of my healthy chicken salad, with just a few flavor swaps. Tender chicken, onions, raisins, and nuts are joined by an earthy blend of Indian-inspired spices, yum!

Cold salads are a cinch to put together and a great way to use up any cooked chicken you have on hand. Any homemade chicken salad is perfect for lunch, snacks, potlucks, or picnics.

And if you’ve never tried curry, I guarantee you’ll fall in love after trying this curried chicken salad.

Ingredients for Curry Chicken Salad

To make curry chicken salad, all you need is chicken and a handful of simple ingredients.

Yogurt, mayo, vinegar, dried ginger, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, curry powder, cooked chicken, dill, raisins, red onion, nuts.
  • Cooked chicken: Cubed or shredded. You can use leftover chicken breasts, roast chicken, or store bought rotisserie chicken. See below for my favorite cooking methods.
  • Nuts: Lightly toasted to really bring out the flavor. Pecans, cashews, or almonds are my go-to.
  • Red onion: Adds texture, color, and flavor.
  • Fresh herbs: I added fresh dill because I love the combination of curry and dill! Fresh parsley works too.
  • Raisins: For a touch of sweetness.
  • Yogurt and mayo: Combines the ingredients and makes the dressing in healthy salads creamy with a bit of tang. Pick a yogurt that’s 2% fat or higher for best taste, and I recommend organic or avocado oil mayo as a healthier alternative to “regular” mayonnaise.
  • Vinegar: White vinegar or white wine vinegar to balance sweetness and tang.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves add depth of flavor.
  • Curry powder: I love this curry powder but you can use any.
  • Spices: Dried ginger, sugar, salt, and pepper.

How to Make Curried Chicken Salad

Here’s a quick overview of how to make easy curried chicken salad in one bowl. A full recipe card with measurements is below.

Step by step process how to make curried chicken salad in a bowl.
  • Toast nuts: Heat a small skillet on low-medium, add pecans and toast until fragrant and brown-ish, stirring often to prevent burning. Transfer to a cutting board, let them cool, then chop coarsely and set aside.
  • Make salad dressing: Add yogurt, mayo, garlic, curry powder, ginger, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to a large salad bowl, whisk to combine.
  • Combine remaining ingredients: To the same large bowl, stir in pecans, chicken, red onion, dill, and raisins until well combined.
  • Cool and serve: Chicken salad tastes best cold, let the mixture cool in the fridge for 2 hours, or more. Adjust any seasonings to taste, and serve on its own, with greens, or make a sandwich.

How to Cook Chicken for Chicken Salad

Chicken is the base of this chicken salad recipe. You can make it fresh or use leftover chicken, here are some quick cooking methods.

  • Air fryer chicken breast or Instant Pot chicken breast are the quickest and easiest methods. It takes just 25 minutes, no searing, and you can use fresh or frozen chicken breasts.
  • Grill chicken breast – it is perfect if you’re making this salad during the summer months. You can grill your chicken the day of, or use up leftovers from the night before.
  • Pan fry chicken breast – it adds flavor to the chicken itself with a buttery, garlic sauce.
  • Poached chicken is a slower process but healthy and flavorful! Place chicken breasts in a wide pan or pot, cover with cold water, and season with salt. Bring to a gentle simmer on low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 F.
  • Oven baked chicken breasts are very juicy and easy to make. I recommend saving this method for cooler days.

Variations

I could personally live off of this curry chicken salad, especially when it’s so easy to switch up flavor and texture. Here are some ideas that come to mind.

  • Add fruit: Try some chopped apple, halved grapes, or swap raisins with dried cranberries or dried cherries.
  • Mix up the nuts: Pine nuts or walnuts would be a great addition.
  • Add other vegetables: Diced cucumber or crunchy celery. You can also use green onion in place of red onion.
  • Use different herbs: Fresh cilantro is common in curry recipes. Mint and basil are other delicious options.
  • Other spices: Feel free to sprinkle in your favorites like turmeric, ground cumin, cardamom, or ground coriander.
  • Add a citrus kick: With fresh lime juice or lemon juice.
Curry chicken salad served in a bowl with lettuce and garnished with dill.

What Goes with Curry Chicken Salad?

Enjoy this picnic perfect dish as a sandwich between your favorite bread, on a croissant or protein bagel, in a tortilla, or in lettuce wraps.

Curry chicken salad is also delicious over salad, spread on crackers, or as a dip for fresh veggies.

How to Store

Store: Chill before serving or keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days, this salad is great for meal prep.

Freeze: Place leftovers in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight and serve cold.

FAQs

What is the best way to cook chicken for chicken salad?

To cook chicken for chicken salad my personal favorite is Instant Pot chicken breast, but it’s all about preference.

Can I use rotisserie chicken to make curried chicken salad?

Absolutely, you can use rotisserie chicken to make chicken salad! It’s convenient and saves time.

How do I fix dry chicken salad?

To fix dried chicken salad you can add in more yogurt or mix in a splash of chicken broth.

Can I make curried chicken salad with canned chicken?

If you have some can chicken on hand, go for it! You can use cup for cup canned chicken.

More Chicken Salad Recipes to Try

Curried chicken salad sandwich on a plate.
Curry chicken salad served on a croissant with lettuce on a plate.

Curry Chicken Salad Recipe

Healthy Curry Chicken Salad with yogurt, a bit of mayo, & savory curry powder. This 20-minute salad is perfect for quick dinner or meal prep.
5 from 2 votes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 269
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • In a small skillet, add pecans and toast on low-medium heat until fragrant and brown-ish, stirring often. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool a bit and chop coarsely. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add yogurt, mayo, garlic, curry powder, ginger, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk to mix.
  • Then add pecans, chicken, red onion, dill, and raisins. Stir well to combine.
  • Refrigerate curry chicken salad for at least 2 hours as it tastes best cold.
  • Taste and adjust any seasonings to taste, if necessary. Serve with greens or make a chicken salad sandwich.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 278mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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