My curried chicken salad is a cool, creamy, scrumptiously sweet and savory recipe to whip up to keep on hand in the fridge, or take along to a potluck or picnic. Filled with spices such as curry powder, turmeric, black pepper and a pinch of cayenne, plus tasty morsels such as crunchy cashews and golden raisins, this curried chicken salad recipe is delicious straight out of the bowl or spooned onto naan bread to enjoy as a sandwich!
A Sweet and Savory Chicken Salad with Kick
As the season begins to turn warmer and the sun’s rays abundantly fill the skies, I find myself gravitating towards cool, refreshing recipes that are simple to prepare and enjoy in any number of ways.
Curried chicken salad is a favorite of mine because it’s delightfully creamy with a lovely golden hue, with both sweet and savory flavors, a little kick of spice and some tasty additions in the way of crunchy roasted cashews and golden raisins.
It’s so vibrant, rich and flavorful, perfect to scoop onto some salad greens, enjoy with crackers, or my personal favorite, spooned between a couple of pieces of toasted naan bread for a scrumptious sandwich!
Curried chicken salad is a tasty departure from traditional chicken salad with its warm, slightly spicy flavor. It’s wonderfully versatile and easy to prepare as a light meal at home, or a bring along as a tasty offering for a potluck or a picnic!
My Curried Chicken Salad Recipe
When it comes to making a delicious, homemade curried chicken salad, you can either quickly cook up some chicken yourself, or use pre-cooked chicken, such as a rotisserie chicken from your local market.
The rotisserie chicken is a good shortcut and a time saver, and a great ingredient to use in chicken salad. For my recipe here, I opt to quickly sear up some chicken breast tenders (or tenderloins), which are small and extra juicy, perfect for a salad like this.
I typically just season the chicken with some salt and pepper, brown them in a hot skillet for a few minutes, then allow them to cool before dicing into small pieces.
For the delicious warm flavors (and color) in my curried chicken salad, I opt for a good sprinkle of curry powder and turmeric, as well as some black pepper and a little dusting of cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. Those spices offer up some nice savory notes.
For that little bit of sweetness I add a touch of honey into the mix and plump golden raisins. And for crunch, roasted cashews do the trick.
Here’s a peek at my curried chicken salad recipe: (or justjump to the full recipe below…)
- First, I season my chicken breast tenderloins, and sear them for a few minutes until cooked through; once cooled, I dice them and add them to a bowl.
- To the diced chicken I add some mayo and honey, my spices, some raisins and roasted cashews, plus a sprinkle of cilantro and green onion, then mix to completely combine.
- The, I chill the curried chicken salad in a covered container until ready to enjoy; or, I serve immediately spooned onto toasted naan bread, with crackers, or over greens.
Curried Chicken Salad
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 463 calories per serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
- 1 pound (or roughly 12) chicken tenderloins, (or about 3 cups rotisserie/pre-cooked, diced chicken)
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 3/4 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 (slightly scant) teaspoon turmeric powder
- Pinch or two cayenne pepper (for a little extra heat)
- 1/4 cup roasted, chopped cashews
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 4 green onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
- If cooking the chicken, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the tenderloins, and heat a pan/skillet on medium-high; once hot, drizzle in a small amount of olive oil and sear the chicken for a few minutes on each side, until golden and cooked through; allow the chicken to cool, then diced.
- To prepare the curried chicken salad, add the cooled diced chicken to a large bowl, then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix everything together with a large spoon until well combined; check to see if additional seasoning is needed.
- Spoon into a serving bowl, cover and chill until ready to enjoy, or enjoy immediately.
Tips & Tidbits for my Curried Chicken Salad:
- Chicken tenderloins, or pre-cooked rotisserie chicken: Because chicken tenderloins are small and very quick to cook (not to mention quite juicy and tender), I like to simply sear them off in a hot pan for a few moments, then cool and dice them up. As a shortcut, you can use pre-cooked chicken you have on hand, or even rotisserie chicken, diced up.
- Sweet and crunchy additions: I opt for golden raisins for this recipe, but feel free to use regular raisins or even dried cherries or cranberries. Also, feel free to substitute another nut for the cashews if you don’t have those on hand—almonds, walnuts or pistachios are delicious!
- A sprinkle of green for fresh flavor: The combination of green onion and cilantro is my favorite with curry chicken salad, but you can use simply green onion, or chives, or even parsley if you prefer.
Cook’s Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013, and has been updated with even more love!