A few weeks ago, I shared a recipe for a mayo-free potato salad and was surprised by how many people commented about sharing my reluctance to consume the ubiquitous condiment. Paradoxically, in baked goods, I sometimes use mayo in place of sour cream or yogurt in order to keep them dairy-free, yet in non-baked goods, I sometimes opt for sour cream or yogurt in order to keep them mayo-free. If you’re puzzling over that, it’s okay: I already know I’m kind of weird. But let’s not dwell on that…
I’ve been wanting to make a mayo-free chicken salad for a while, and when I tried this amazeballs curried chickpea salad by Alexis over at Hummusapien, I knew she was on to something. I adapted her tahini and curry dressing and added a dollop of Greek yogurt for extra creaminess, and voilà: a super flavorful base for some super crunch-tastic chicken salad!
If the last chicken salad recipe I shared is any indication, I’m all about texture when it comes to my salads. As you may have guessed from the name, this crunchy curried chicken salad has tons of CRUNCH: pieces of red bell pepper and juicy apple, crisp shreds of carrot, and bits of velvety cashews. I tossed in the apple as an afterthought—this recipe ended up being a good clean-out-the-fridge meal—but I’m so glad I did! The tahini has an ever-so-slightly bitter taste, and the sweetness of the apple (along with a smidge of maple syrup) helps balance it all out.
What are your favorite chicken salad additions?
- 8 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
- 1/2 apple, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1/4 cup cashew pieces
- 5 tablespoons tahini
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, apple, bell pepper, and carrot.
- In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing. Mix until smooth. Add the dressing to the salad ingredients and toss to combine. Sprinkle the cashew pieces into the salad just before serving (if you plan to have leftovers, you may want to place the cashews on top of individual portions. Leaving the cashews in the salad for more than a few hours will render them soft and remarkably uncrunchy). Serve in sandwiches or on crackers.
- Inspired by and dressing adapted from Hummusapien
chef mimi says
This sounds fantastic! And I’m sure it’s healthier than a mayo version, even I do love a good mayo. When I saw the first picture I thought it was a British chicken salad – maybe called Imperial or Royal or something. It was just awful. My husband ordered it by accident…
Thanks! Wow, I’ll have to keep that in mind if I ever see that on a menu. It’s pretty hard to screw up chicken salad, though! I wonder what was in it…
chef mimi says
i looked it up – it’s called Coronation Chicken salad. It’s super curried and super mayo’d. Just gross, and I love curry and mayo. But the Brits must love it!
Heather @ Sweet Precision says
Loving the mayo-free salad ideas! I never though of using Greek yogurt (which I happen to LOVE). Definitely tucking this away for future use this summer 🙂
Thanks! I hope you get a chance to try it. I was originally hoping I could get away with just using tahini sauce (to keep it dairy-free), but it needed something more to help the salad come together and the Greek yogurt I had on hand did the trick!
Mmmh, this salad contains so many ingredients which I love: apples, bell peppers, carrots, Greek yogurt and curry! Looking forward to trying it out!
I’m glad it caught your eye! Let me know what you think if you make it 🙂
Paula Yamashita says
Great idea to use curry and maple syrup! I’ll try this recipe! =)
Thanks – that part was all Alexis, though! Enjoy 🙂
Cassie Cottura says
Reminds of the chicken salad my mom makes! Looks delicious!!
Yum! I love curry chicken things!! My daughter is allergic to egg AND sesame, do you think you could leave out the tahini? Or swap for something else?
Hmm…I imagine that you could probably just use a few more tablespoons of Greek yogurt in place of the tahini. If you do that, you may not need the maple syrup, since that’s meant to counteract the slight bitterness of tahini. If you try it, let me know how it goes!
The Hungry Southern Wanderer says
Always looking for another chicken salad recipe to try, will definitely make this!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Rachel and Dawn says
This looks fab. Bookmarked! Dawn x
Thanks Dawn! I hope you get a chance to try it.
Amanda B. says
This looks amazing! I love anything and everything curried 🙂 I will have to make this tasty looking dish this weekend!
Me too! Enjoy 🙂
I’m just not that into mayo either, so I totally get it! Although, I won’t even let into my apartment lol. Love the curry spices in this!
Wow, you’re far more anti-mayo than I am! Glad this caught your eye!
Natalie Browne says
This looks delicious! I love all the different veggies and textures going on in this salad 🙂
Thanks! I hope you get a chance to try it.
Cristina @ I Say Nomato says
Oh YUM! This looks really delicious, and I love the addition of all the vegetables – too often I find chicken salad is just chicken and mayo (boorrrrinnnng!)
Yeah, that kind of chicken salad is pretty disappointing. Even without the red bell peppers (boo nightshades!), I bet this will still be mighty tasty – the apples make sure of that!
Laura Kate says
I love this and need a fresh idea for chicken from roast leftovers – thanks I’ll look forward to more from you
Yes, this would be a great way to use up leftover chicken! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Laura Kate says
The keep in touch by e-mail just swallowed an incorrect address it’d firstname.lastname@example.org thanks
Summer is HERE – looks like an amazing use of chicken and fine for picnicking.
Definitely! A picnic sure sounds lovely right about now…
Yum! This sounds amazing! I like that there’s a crunchiness to the dish, and the flavors sound like they blend nicely. Happy FF, and have a wonderful weekend!
Yup, there’s definitely tons of crunch! Thanks Kaila!
The photos alone are making me hungry. I hope you enjoy your weekend. Happy FF! Hugs!
I’m glad to hear it! Thanks, and I hope you have a great weekend as well 🙂
Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake says
Mmm I love curried chicken salad, and this ones amazing with all that crunch! I do love mayo, but sometimes sour cream or greek yogurt works so much better!
Thanks! I love how mayo, sour cream, and Greek yogurt can often sub in for each other…so convenient!
Is this what chicken salad all grown up looks like? 😀 I will have to refer to this when I get tired of my regular plain old chicken salad, which is bound to happen any minute now.
Haha yes, I like that description of “grown up” chicken salad! I hope you get a chance to try this 🙂
Yummy this sounds and looks delicious!! Plus I love the no mayo, makes it a bit lighter and fresher too, just what you want in a good salad.
I’m looking forward to trying this for a nice summer lunch 🙂
Thanks Stef! I hope you get a chance to try it! Let me know what you think if you do 🙂
This is just incredibly delicious. I love everything in it. I love chicken salad but never make it. I feel weird about boiling chicken. It seems sacrilegious. *I totally just had to Google how to spell sacrilegious FYI* Visiting from #FiestaFriday.
Thanks Christine! I feel similarly about fish…I’ll eat it but I don’t want to cook it!
This looks just yummy and i love the mayo-free idea! Great pics too! 😀
Thanks so much! I’m glad it caught your eye!
I never use mayonnaise in the summer because of the raw egg, and rarely the rest of the year since no one else in the house likes it. This looks like a great substitute everyone will appreciate.
Yeah, I’m particularly wary about mayo in the summer at potlucks and picnics and such. I hope you get a chance to try this!
Elaine @ foodbod says
Ooh, the dressing looks GOOD!!
Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!
I love Greek yogurt chicken curry so much! I usually do raisins but can’t wait to try it with apples!
Ooh…raisins would be delicious as well! I’ll have to try that sometime.
Our Foodie Appetite says
Curried chicken salad sounds great! I have never been able to get my husband to eat curry successfully, but I think this would get him. He loves chicken salad and raisins would be a delicious addition too!
Thank you! I can see how curry might be an acquired taste. I hope this chicken salad can help change your husband’s mind!
Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says
Curry chicken salad? I must have this. Love the cashews in there.
Yup, the cashews are essential! Thanks for stopping by 🙂