While you may remember it more as a lunch-box staple, chicken salad is actually a pretty solid grown-up meal. It's easy to make, travels well, and can be dressed up a million different ways. Plus, it's a simple way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken or can be made on the cheap with canned chicken. Consider this your new go-to lunch on days when meal-prep intentions go by the wayside-a few minutes in the morning is all you need to throw one of these crazy-good lunches together.
1. Thai Peanut Chicken SaladShare on Pinterest
This sweet, crunchy chicken salad tastes like a mix between slaw and pad Thai. Instead of mayonnaise, the sauce is made of Greek yogurt, peanut butter, ginger, lime juice, and soy sauce. Mix it with Crock-Pot shredded chicken, veggies, cilantro, and peanuts for a super-filling lunch.
2. Dairy-Free Fiesta Chicken SaladShare on Pinterest
Mexican food that won't leave you in a cheesed-out afternoon slump? Yes, please. This fiesta chicken salad gets its creamy texture from avocado and a kick from cayenne, cumin, and paprika.
3. Cranberry Almond Chicken SaladShare on Pinterest
Add some more greens to your chicken salad with this recipe, which starts with a bed of thinly sliced romaine lettuce. It's bright and crunchy and topped with a light lemon-Dijon dressing. Crumbled bacon doesn't hurt either.
4. Southwest Chicken SaladShare on Pinterest
Corn, black beans, sweet peppers, tomatoes… this Tex-Mex take on chicken salad is what we've been looking for. Mix the chicken and veggies with plain Greek yogurt and spices for a creamy texture with a kick.
5. Curry Chicken SaladShare on Pinterest
Inspired by Trader Joe's curried chicken deli salad, this recipe is as big on taste as it is on color. It's also packed with dried fruit and veggies, including raisins, celery, and carrots. We think fresh grapes would taste great added in too.
6. Vegan Mock Chicken SaladShare on Pinterest
No meat? No problemo. Swap it out for extra-firm tofu, then mix it with chicken salad classics such as celery and onion to replicate the taste. Raisins and almonds give it some sweetness and a little crunch.
7. Pesto Chicken SaladShare on Pinterest
Five ingredients have never tasted so good. Combine basil pesto, Parmesan, pine nuts, and grape tomatoes with chopped chicken, and serve on sandwich rolls, a bed of greens, or on its own.