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7 Healthy Chicken Salad Recipes for Athletes

12 mins read
chicken salad recipes



Chicken is one of the most preferred food items all across the world and it is famously known for its protein content which is why so many athletes prefer chicken in the first place as protein is an important ingredient in weight-loss recipes. There are so many free recipes out on the internet with a million ways how to cook chicken. From curry to fried chicken, it is not just easily available but is also fulfilling and delicious.

There are so many chicken recipes available on the internet, but here in this article, it is an assortment of various chicken salad recipes from which you can pick for your lunch or dinner, or brunch as well. Salads are a good way to feed your body nutrition and combining chicken with salad sounds delicious.

chicken salad recipes
by farhad ibrahimzade/ unsplash

Chicken contains protein, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and many more as consuming it will help you in maintaining lean body mass. If you want to lose weight and gain muscle, adding chicken to your diet is highly recommended. Unlike red meat, chicken is low in saturated fat which is another plus point as saturated fat is bad for your health.

So from so many chicken salad recipes, you can choose any to try to cook for you and your friends and family as well and they will be left satisfied. But before that here are some recipe notes that you might want to jot down before getting to the salad recipes.

Recipe Notes:

Preparing chicken salad can be easy once you get a small idea of what the ingredients are. Here are some basic ingredients of a basic chicken salad recipe. These are given in case you do not have any particular ingredient, then you can make sure that you at least have these ingredients:

Chicken:

The first and foremost thing for a chicken salad recipe is chicken because without it the whole point of the chicken salad recipe is pointless. From diced chicken to shredded chicken, anything that is both boneless and skinless is the best option for chicken salad recipes so you try buying chicken breast or thighs. So make sure there is chicken available in the fridge.

The best piece for chicken salad recipes is boneless skinless chicken breasts but if they are not available you can also try the canned chicken. You can always meal prep the chicken and store it before making the salad. Using cooled chicken for the salad is also a good idea but if you prefer leftover rotisserie chicken, then that is also totally up to you.

Mayonnaise:

Mayonnaise is another one of the most important chicken salad ingredients because mayonnaise is the best chicken salad binder. It makes all the ingredients stick a little bit so crumbs do not fall out. Mayonnaise with a bit of seasoning tastes delicious as well.

Dijon Mustard:

Dijon mustard is a great recipe add-on to a chicken salad recipe as a little adds a lot of flavor to the recipe.

Salt and Pepper:

Seasoning is an absolute necessity in any dish whatsoever, so the same goes here as well. You can always add more seasoning if you prefer but do not ever forget the holy grail of salt and pepper as they elevate any dish amazingly. So according to your taste instructions, add the seasonings.

Fruits and Vegetables:

If you love chicken salad, then as you know any salad recipe contains fruits and vegetables. You can add fresh grapes, chopped apples, tomatoes, green onion or red onion, mashed avocado, chopped greens, and even potato chips goes amazingly well in a classic chicken salad.

chicken salad recipes
by yu hosoi/ unsplash

Nuts:

Nuts are another great addition to any salad recipe. They add so much crunchiness to any simple recipe. Some of the best nut options are chopped pecans, chopped cashews, sliced almonds, and peanuts.

chicken salad recipes
by maksim shutov/ unsplash

Extra Add-Ons:

To finish off any salad recipe, here are some of the other add-ins that be considered in any chicken salad recipe:

  • Fresh herbs
  • Lemon juice
  • Shredded hard cheese
  • dried cranberries
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded tofu and edamame
  • Ritz crackers
Storage:

After making chicken salad, make sure to store it in an airtight container and refrigerate it because keeping the salad at room temperature will spoil the dish. But if you refrigerate it for 3-4 days and eat it whenever you want.

Chicken Salad Recipes You Must Know:

Now that have a little idea of the basic ingredients in a chicken salad recipe, you can always switch it up for any other ingredient of your choice. But here are some delicious recipes that you can make in the comfort of your own home.

1. Classic Chicken Salad:

This is a classic chicken salad recipe with some of the basic ingredients available in your kitchen that requires less than 20 minutes but will last for at least 3 to 5 days and is both extremely fulfilling and healthy as well as delicious. This classic chicken salad recipe is both keto-friendly and also low-carb.

chicken salad recipes
by marianna ole/ pexels.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • Chicken breasts, 4 cups
  • Green onions, ½ cup
  • Celery, 1 cup

For the dressing:

  • Mayonnaise, ½ cup
  • Lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
  • Salt, ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper, ½ teaspoon
Recipe:
  • In a large mixing bowl add your chicken. You can either dice the chicken or you can also shred it. You can use roasted or baked chicken, or leftover rotisserie chicken, or if you want you can cook your chicken and use them as well.
  • Take the celery and cut them in half lengthwise and slice them after which you can transfer them to the same bowl. Now, take the green onion and thinly slice them for about half a cup, and add it to the same bowl.
  • Now, take a small bowl and all the ingredients for the salad dressing. Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper thoroughly.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the chicken salad and thoroughly coat it. You can eat the salad just like that or if you want you can cover and refrigerate it until serving.
  • To serve the chicken salad, there are many ways to do it. You can either serve as a salad in a bowl or lettuce cups or slice up croissants and fill it with the salad. You can also use sandwich bread to make a chicken salad sandwich with the salad as the filling. There are many other ways to eat this delicious recipe.

2. Red Grapes Chicken Salad:

Grapes are generally good for snacking but the fruit is high in antioxidants, especially red grapes. And as athletes, improving cardiovascular health is important which can be achieved by eating red grapes. So this chicken salad with grapes is a great salad recipe for athletes or anyone out there.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • Diced chicken breasts, 4 cups
  • Seedless red grapes, 2 cups
  • Red onions, ½ cup
  • Celery, 1 cup
  • Pecans, 1 cup

For the dressing:

  • Mayonnaise, ½ cup
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream, ½ cup
  • Lemon juice, 2 tablespoons
  • Fresh dill, 2 tablespoons
  • Salt, ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper, ½ teaspoon
Recipe:
  • Firstly, to roast the pecans take a dry skillet and on medium-low heat toast the pecans for less than five minutes till they are a little golden. When they have cooled down a little bit, transfer the pecans to a cutting board and chop them up coarsely.
  • In a large mixing bowl add your cooked chicken. The chicken does not have to be only diced, it can also be shredded. You can use roasted or baked chicken, or rotisserie chicken, or if you want you can cook your chicken breasts and use them as well.
  • Take the grapes and cut them in half before transferring them
    to the same bowl. And cut the celery in half lengthwise and slice them after which transfer them to the bowl. Now, take the red onion and thinly slice them for about half a cup and add it to the same bowl, finally, add the chopped pecans.
  • Now, take a small bowl and all the ingredients for the chicken salad dressing. Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt or sour cream, lemon juice, dill, or any other fresh herbs, salt, and pepper thoroughly.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the chicken salad and thoroughly coat it. You can eat the salad just like that or if you want you can cover and refrigerate it in an airtight container until serving.
  • Serve this classic chicken salad with grapes, there are many ways to do it. You can either serve as a salad in a bowl or lettuce cups or slice up croissants and fill it with the salad. You can also use bread to make a chicken salad sandwich with the salad as the filling.

3. Ultimate Chicken Salad Recipe:

This is the ultimate chicken salad recipe that makes it easy to make, healthy, flavorful, and creamy that can be made in under 30 minutes. The reason why this is the ultimate and also the best chicken salad with grapes recipe is because here we will cook the poached chicken before making the salad.

chicken salad recipes
by roman odintsov/ pexels

Ingredients:

For the poached chicken:

  • Chicken breasts, 2 lb
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Lemon, 1
  • Garlic cloves, 2
  • Bay leaf, 1

For the salad:

  • Sliced almonds, ½ cup
  • Grapes, 1 cup
  • Green onions, 1 cup
  • Celery, 1 cup

For the dressing:

  • Mayonnaise, 1 cup
  • Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon
  • Parsley, 2 tablespoons
  • Tarragon, 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt, ½ teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon
Recipe:
  • To make the poached chicken, place the chicken in a wide pot and pour water till the chicken is fully submerged in water. Peel and mince the ginger and garlic before adding them to the pot and then add the bay leaf, squeeze the lemon and place the used lemon in the pot as well to get the best flavor. Finally, add the salt to a wide pot.
  • Now turn the heat to a medium till the water starts to simmer. When the water starts simmering, turn the heat to low and cover the lid of the pot, letting the chicken cook for a good 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Then, take the chicken out and drain the water out and discard the aromatics as well and let it cool at room temperature before refrigerating it.
  • In a large bowl add your poached chicken. You can either dice the chicken or you can also shred it.
  • Take the grapes and cut them in half or quarters before transferring them to the same bowl. And slice the almonds and transfer them to the bowl as well. Now, take the green onions and finely chop them for about a cup and add it to the same bowl. And finally to add the chopped celery, cut the celery in half lengthwise and slice them after which transfer them to the bowl.
  • Now, take a small bowl and all the ingredients for the chicken salad dressing. Mix the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lemon juice, parsley, tarragon, salt, and cayenne pepper thoroughly.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the chicken salad and thoroughly coat it. You can eat the salad just like that or if you want you can cover and refrigerate it in an airtight container until serving.
  • Serve this ultimate chicken salad, there are many ways to do it. You can either serve as a salad in a bowl or lettuce cups or slice up croissants and fill it with the salad. You can also use bread to make a chicken salad sandwich with the salad as the filling.

4. Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich:

Every diet recommends adding healthy fats as people tend to cross them out but adding them is what makes it a healthy diet. And avocados are a great source of both healthy fats and potassium. As athletes tend to work a lot harder physically, they need all the nutrition they can get and this wonderful recipe is one of the chicken salad variations that they can try and make chicken salad sandwiches.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • Chicken breasts, 4 cups
  • Avocado, 1
  • Apple, 1
  • Red onion, 1 cup
  • Celery, 1 cup
  • Sandwich bread

For the dressing:

  • Mayonnaise, 1 cup
  • Parsley, 2 tablespoons
  • Lemon, 1 tablespoon of juice
  • Salt, ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper, ½ teaspoon
Recipe:
  • In a large bowl, add the avocado without the peel, and after taking the pit out. Using a fork or the back of a spoon, mash the avocado.
  • On a cutting board, peel the apple and dice them up. And cut the celery in half lengthwise and slice them as well. And finally, peel the red onion and chop it. And then, add the diced apples and the finely chopped onions and celery and also the chicken as well. It can either be diced or shredded.
  • Using a spoon, mix the whole thing thoroughly.
  • Now, take a small bowl and all the ingredients for the dressing. Mix the mayonnaise, juice of a lemon, parsley, salt, and pepper thoroughly. Drizzle the dressing over the chicken salad and thoroughly coat it.
  • Finally, to serve the classic recipe, toast the sandwich bread from your pantry and lather the salad in between to make chicken salad sandwiches.

5. Hard-Boiled Eggs Chicken Salad:

Making chicken salad with plenty of protein is a big bonus for athletes and since chicken already has plenty of protein, adding hard-boiled eggs easily makes it the best chicken salad recipe. So keep some already cooked chicken or canned chicken and some boiled eggs to make this dish.

chicken salad recipes
by anh nguyen / unsplash

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • Chicken breasts, 3 cups
  • Hard-boiled eggs, 3
  • Green onion, 1 cup
  • Celery, 1 cup

For the dressing:

  • Mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons
  • Cilantro, 1 tablespoon
  • Parsley, 2 tablespoons
  • Salt, ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper, ½ teaspoon
Recipe:
  • Firstly, after boiling your eggs, transfer them to a cutting board and dice them. Take a large bowl and transfer the eggs in there and then, add the chicken as well. It can either be diced or shredded.
  • Now, take a small bowl and all the ingredients for the dressing. Mix the mayonnaise, finely chopped cilantro and parsley, pepper, and salt thoroughly. Drizzle the dressing over the chicken salad and thoroughly coat it.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the chicken salad and thoroughly coat it. You can eat the salad just like that or if you want you can cover and refrigerate it in a container until serving.
  • Serve this egg and chicken salad, there are many ways to do it. You can either serve it as a salad in a bowl or lettuce wraps or slice up croissants and fill it with the salad. You can also use bread to make a chicken salad sandwich with the salad as the filling.

6. Middle-Eastern Chicken Salad:

Almost all chicken salad recipes have mayonnaise in them, but in this middle eastern chicken salad recipe, you can substitute mayo with tahini. Tahini is a ground sesame paste that originated from the Middle East. This chicken salad cuisine is different from the rest of these recipes but still tastes delicious.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • Chicken breasts, 3 cups
  • Carrot, 1
  • Sliced almonds, ½ cup
  • Cilantro, 2 tablespoons
  • Za’atar seasoning, ½ teaspoon
  • Salt, ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper, ½ teaspoon

For the Greek Yogurt Tahini:

  • Sesame paste, 3 tablespoons
  • Greek yogurt, ¼ cup
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Lemon, 1
  • Water, 4 tablespoons
  • Salt, ½ teaspoon
  • Pepper, ½ teaspoon
Recipe:
  • First, to make the tahini, take a food processor and add sesame paste, greek-style yogurt, garlic, the juice of a lemon, 4 tablespoons of water, and finally pepper and salt according to your taste. Mix the whole thing till it is fully combined.
  • To make the middle-eastern chicken salad, take a mixing bowl and add the carrots that should be shredded for the salad and add the chicken, sliced almonds, cilantro, pepper, and salt, and then za’atar seasoning which is a combination of oregano, thyme, toasted sesame seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander. Za’atar brings out the middle-eastern taste in the chicken salad.
  • Drizzle the tahini over the chicken salad and thoroughly coat it. You can eat the salad just like that or if you want you can cover and refrigerate it in a container until serving.
  • Serve this middle-eastern chicken salad, there are many ways to do it. You can either serve as a salad in a bowl or lettuce wraps or slice up croissants and fill it with the salad. You can also use bread to make a chicken salad sandwich with the salad as the filling.

7. Grilled Chicken Salad:

This is a great recipe that takes the basic chicken salad to a whole new level. Grilling chicken is one of the best ways to cook chicken and adding the salad element to it takes the whole dish to a new and healthy level.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • Chicken breast, 2
  • Coriander powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Dried oregano, 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper and salt to taste
  • Cucumber, 3
  • Avocado, 2
  • Cherry tomatoes or grapes, 1 cup,
  • Olives, ½ cup

For the dressing:

  • Extra virgin olive oil, 5 tablespoons
  • Red wine vinegar, 4 tablespoons
  • Parsley, 1 tablespoon
Recipe:
  • Firstly, to grill the chicken, marinate the chicken with coriander powder, dried oregano, pepper, and salt for more than 30 minutes. Then, heat the grill to medium heat and place the chicken over it and close the grill halfway. When the chicken is slightly charred, turn and do the same. Set the chicken aside and let it cool before dicing it.
  • For the salad, slice the pitted avocado, slice the cherry tomatoes in half as well as the olives, and thinly slice the cucumber.
  • For the dressing, mix olive oil, red wine vinegar, and chopped parsley.
  • To bring the salad together, take a mixing bowl and add the salad, chicken pieces, and the dressing and combine it all with a large spoon.
  • To serve this grilled chicken salad, there are many ways to do it. You can either serve as a salad in a bowl or lettuce wraps or slice up croissants and fill it with the salad. You can also use bread to make a chicken salad sandwich with the salad as the filling.

 

These chicken salad recipes can be enjoyed with family and friends or even on a picnic as they are quick and easy to make and take less than 20 minutes if you meal prep it ahead.

 

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