This Curried Chicken Salad is one of my all time favorite lunches. I like to prep a batch over the weekend and enjoy it all week long, either as a sandwich (it’s perfect on a flaky, buttery croissant), in a wrap, or simply with crackers or celery.
To save time, grab a store-bought rotisserie chicken — they’re inexpensive, flavorful, and can usually be used for multiple meals. Though if you want, you can absolutely roast bone-in chicken breasts at home, then shred or peel the meat.
Here’s why we love this curry chicken salad so much:
- No cook! When you use a rotisserie chicken, this is an easy, no cook meal that takes just 15 minutes to prep! We recommend letting it hang out in a fridge to intensify the flavors, but hands on time is just 15 minutes.
- The dressing! The quick dressing is made from mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, lime juice, and curry powder, and it is so flavorful!
- Versatile! Eaten by the spoonful or piled high on a sandwich, you’ll never get bored eating this chicken salad.
- One bowl! Everything is mixed together in one large bowl — can’t beat that, especially when it comes to cleaning up.
- Rotisserie chicken: Use either a store-bought rotisserie chicken (skin discarded, meat peeled or shredded) or you can roast chicken at home. Bone-in skin on will have the most flavor, but boneless skinless chicken breasts are fine too. Season them well to give them more flavor!
- Mayonnaise: We love creamy mayo and the tangy flavor it adds to the dressing!
- Red wine vinegar: To add a little acidity against the mayonnaise.
- Fresh lime juice: This brings out the flavors of the curry powder.
- Curry powder: The main ingredient to flavor the chicken salad dressing. You’ll need 3 tablespoons, which sounds like a lot, but is juuuuust the right amount.
- Salted, roasted cashews: Love the texture of cashews here, but other nuts can be substituted. See below for suggestions.
- Scallions: For a less intense onion flavor than using raw red or white onion. If you’re really sensitive to the onion taste, use chives!
- Dried fruit: We love raisins, but currants work great too.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: To season everything!
Other than that, you’ll need a large bowl to mix everything together.
How To Make Curried Chicken Salad
Grab a large bowl and make the dressing first. Combine mayo, red wine vinegar, fresh lime juice, and curry powder, then whisk well.
Next, add the pulled chicken meat, raisins (or other dried fruit), and scallions. Season with a tiny bit of Kosher salt and black pepper, then mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to give the flavors a chance to meld, then when ready, stir in the roasted salted cashews.
If you want to play around with the flavor of the dressing, you could add ½ teaspoon of turmeric, ground ginger, or coriander. This is our base curried chicken salad recipe, and we think it’s pretty perfect as is, but adapt to fit your personal taste!
Leftovers and Storage
Use within 4 days
The flavor gets better the longer it sits, but note that the cashews will soften in the dressing. If you plan to make this in advance, store in a sealed container in a fridge without the cashews, then stir them into the chicken mixture just before serving.
Yes! This is both dairy-free and gluten-free when served on its own.
Up to 4 days when stored in a sealed container in a fridge.
On a sandwich (croissants or your favorite toast), on salad greens, in a wrap, with crackers, or celery sticks
We love creamy mayo best, but Greek yogurt, sour cream, or a combination of those work well too.
How To Serve
Enjoy our curried chicken salad recipe with crackers, crunchy celery sticks, cucumber slices, on a sandwich (we love it on a buttery croissant!), or in a wrap or lettuce wraps. Or simply pile it high onto your favorite salad greens. In addition to making a great meal prep lunch option, it’s perfect for a picnic!
For more quick, on-the-go lunch recipes that can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature, try these recipes next:
Expert Tips and Substitutions
- It’s better the longer it sits! You can serve the chicken salad right away, but if you let it rest in a fridge for even an hour, the flavor will intensify. So good!
- Don’t add the cashews until you’re ready to eat! Otherwise they’ll become soggy. You can deal with this for leftovers, but if you want crunchy cashews, make sure to add them just before serving.
- Shredded vs cubed chicken: Our personal preference is for shredded chicken, but if you want to cube the chicken breasts or chicken thighs, go for it.
- Mayo: Traditional mayo works best, but you can lighten up this recipe by switching it out for Greek yogurt, or using a combination of the two.
- Lime juice: Don’t have limes? Lemon juice is totally fine!
- Nuts: Cashews are our favorite nut to use for this chicken salad recipe, but peanuts, sliced almonds (not whole), or pecans are delicious as a substitute.
- Dried fruit: Make sure to use something small, similar to raisins or currants — maybe golden raisins? Dried cranberries would be good, though a bit more tart. Honestly, halved fresh grapes would be amazing here!
You’ll be making this weekly, guaranteed. It’s just that good!
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More chicken recipes to try!Crispy Cast-Iron BBQ Chicken Pizza Tender, Juicy Buffalo Chicken Sliders Chicken Pesto Panini with Roasted Red Peppers Grilled Spatchcock Chicken With Lemon & Oregano Lemon Oregano Chicken Meatballs Crispy, Roasted Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
No Cook Curried Chicken Salad (With Rotisserie Chicken!)
- 3 cups rotisserie chicken meat pulled, skin discarded, about ½ rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ lime juiced, about 2 tsp
- 3 Tbsp curry powder
- ½ cup roasted salted cashews left whole or halved
- ¼ cup scallions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup raisins or currants
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
- Optional for serving: croissants, lettuce, wraps, crackers, or celery sticks
- Make the dressing. Combine 1 cup mayo, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tsp lime juice, 3 Tbsp curry powder in a large mixing bowl, then whisk well.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add 3 cups pulled chicken, ¼ cup scallions, ¼ cup raisins, ½ tsp Kosher salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Use a spatula to gently stir until well mixed. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, then stir in ½ cup cashews.
- Nutrition facts do not include croissants, wraps, crackers, or celery.
- Rotisserie chicken: You can use a mix of white meat and dark meat, or just white meat. Discard the skin.
- Leftovers and storage: Leftovers should be used within 4 days. Note that cashews will soften if left in the dressing. If making in advance, we recommend mixing everything together except the nuts, then refrigerating. You can stir in the cashews just before serving so they stay crunchy!
Photography by: Cambrea of Cambrea Bakes