16 Way-Better-Than-Basic Chicken Salads
Categories: Food

16 Way-Better-Than-Basic Chicken Salads

Leave all memories of the chicken salad of your youth behind. What was likely a bland combo of chicken, fruit + nuts and celery whipped into mayonnaise and served on white bread is now a cooler than cool concoction perfect for a modern mid-day meal. Seriously upgraded with genius additions (try: Sriracha!), these 16 beyond-basic chicken salads will make you want to leave the classic recipe at your neighborhood potluck once and for all in favor of one of these fab twists.

1. Lemon Basil Chicken Salad: This much lighter version of the classic chicken salad gets its flavor from lemon juice and fresh basil instead of a heavy cream base. Peas are a smart addition that makes this salad extra refreshing. (via Pioneer Woman)

2. Thai Chicken Salad: Bite into this dreamy fusion dish dressed up with peanuts, cilantro, carrots and even papaya! Served on lettuce and finished with a squeeze of lime, the Thai-inspired dish is sure to become one of your lunchtime faves. (via Pinch of Yum)

3. Poppy Seed Chicken Salad Pitas: Talk about the perfect picnic food! These handheld pitas pack a homemade chicken salad expertly seasoned with orange zest and chives. Chopped nuts and dried apricots add texture and flavor. (via Food Network)

4. Spicy Sriracha Chicken Salad: We’re suckers for Sriracha and this spicy chicken salad hits the spot. The hot sauce packs sweet heat while sesame seeds and scallions offer an unexpected crunch. (via Thyme Bombe)

5. Chicken Salad Wonton Cups: While the pale color of chicken salad can sometimes make dishes look less than impressive, the presentation of this recipe will blow you and your dinner party guests away. Placed in a wonton cup and sprinkled with bright paprika, this version is a knockout. (via Eat Drink Love)

6. BLT Chicken Salad: Bless the soul who thought to combine chicken salad with the bacon-lettuce-tomato set. Like most things with bacon, this one-of-a-kind concoction makes the best party dip. (via Happy Go Lucky)

7. Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad Sandwich: Fans of the fast food chain’s chicken salad sandwich will adore this copycat version featuring pickle relish and hard-boiled eggs. Two classic salads in one? That’s a real standout sammy. (via Cincy Shopper)

8. Tempeh “Chicken” Salad: This vegan version of chicken salad accommodates a no-meat diet with the comfort food feeling of traditional chicken salad. Diced bread-and-butter pickles give it Southern flair and fresh tarragon is a refreshing addition. (via MidwestVeg)

9. Italian Chicken Salad: When you’re craving those flavor combinations that only come from that Old World Italian cookbook, reach for this chicken salad recipe. This hearty salad calls for tasty artichoke hearts, olives, parsley and bell pepper. (via Food.com)

10. Chicken Salad Croissant: There’s no better way to serve up classic chicken salad than on a buttery croissant. Period. This recipe includes tasty but subtle surprises like orzo pasta and toasted almonds. (via Ciera Design)

11. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad: This recipe stays almost true to a classic chicken salad but replaces half of the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. The result is fewer calories, more protein and a tang you just don’t get with mayo. (via The Yummy Bits)

12. Avocado Chicken Salad: There’s no question we love guacamole, and this twist on chicken salad is so reminiscent of the flavor we can’t resist. The avocado adds a kick-a creaminess and ingredients like lime juice and green chiles make it feel like an indulgent Mexican dip. (via Cooking in College)

13. Curry Chicken Salad: Classic chicken salad gets a serious upgrade with the addition of a simple curry sauce. The dish takes your tastebuds to that takeout dish you love so much, but this lettuce-wrapped low calorie spread is way healthier. (via Flavor the Moment)

14. Crispy Chicken Salad Wrap: Traditional chicken salad goes from good to great in this wrap that gets a generous helping of cilantro before it’s rolled into a tortilla with cheddar and toasted. The end result boasts big flavors and gooey melted cheese. (via A Bitchin’ Kitchen)

15. Cranberry Pecan Rosemary Chicken Salad: Tart apples, chewy cranberries and crunchy pecans create an unforgettable flavor trifecta in this chicken salad. It’s close to the classic chicken salad you probably grew up on, only this version adds fresh rosemary. (via Plum Pie)

16. Jalapeño Honey Mustard Chicken Salad: If there was a creativity award for chicken salad, it would go to this genius combination. Cubed chicken gets knocked out of the park with spicy jalapeño and sweet, juicy grapes. (via Ship + Dip)

How do you like your chicken salad? Do you prefer the classic dish or would you try mixing it up with one of these recipes?