A unique and healthy take on traditional chicken salad that uses almond butter in lieu of mayonnaise. Gluten-free and dairy-free.
Traditional chicken salad is comprised of cooked, shredded (or cubed) chicken in a mayonnaise based dressing, and usually includes chopped celery and parsley. From here the variations are endless and almost always delicious. Curry Chickpea Chicken Salad turns the classic preparation on its head by using an almond butter dressing in lieu of mayonnaise, and infusing it with curry – a fragrant blend of spices that pairs remarkably well with chicken. Throw in some chickpeas, cranberries, carrots, cashews and apple chunks and you’ve got a truly unique, and super healthy chicken salad that still manages to taste comforting and familiar.
Curry powder is what gives Curry Chickpea Chicken Salad its distinctive taste and vibrant color. Curry powder is a mix of several different spices that can vary widely depending on the cook/chef, the producer/manufacturer (i.e. spice company), and the geographic region. Some people are very particular about the type of curry powder they use and seek out blends with specific taste characteristics. You can have a lot of fun experimenting with different types of curry or making your own blends. For this recipe I used a standard blend from McCormick consisting of coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, bay leaves, celery seed, nutmeg, cloves, onion, red pepper, and ginger.
Any type of cooked chicken can be used in Curry Chickpea Chicken Salad. You can even use a store bought rotisserie chicken as a short-cut, removing the skin and bones and shredding the chicken into bite size pieces. In recipes that call for cooked chicken I almost always prepare it this way, but feel free to use whatever method works for you.
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2½ cups (10 ounces) cooked chicken, shredded or cut into bite size pieces
- 4 celery stalks (8 ounces), thinly sliced
- 4 large carrots (8 ounces) peeled and finely shredded
- 1 red apple, peeled, cored, and diced
- ½ cup (3 ounces) dry roasted, unsalted cashews, roughly chopped
- ½ cup (2 ounces) dried cranberries
- ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Apple slices for garnish (optional)
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Combine the salad ingredients (except apple slices) in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or use an immersion blender. Pour dressing over the salad and mix thoroughly. Garnish with apple slices if desired.
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