AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD with only MINUTES of prep!
This Avocado Chicken Salad recipe is my favorite way to use leftover chicken! It is quick, easy, creamy, flavorful, and refreshing! This Avocado Chicken Salad is made with chicken, mangos, corn, and black beans enveloped in a tantalizing blender avocado dressing spiked with robust Mexican spices. You can eat the Avocado Chicken Salad alone, or make lettuce wraps, tortilla wraps, sandwiches, on toast, or my favorite way is cocooned in Flatout Foldits Flatbreads! This Avocado Chicken Salad is the perfect lunch, light dinner or for any day on the go!
These Avocado Chicken Salad recipe is sponsored by Flatout. All opinions are my own.
Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe
There seems to be as many variations of chicken salad as there are constellations – from chicken salad with grapes, cranberries, apples, almonds, onions, olives, herbs, etc. to full mayo versions, to Greek yogurt versions to now this Avocado version! But I’m fairly certain this Avocado Chicken Salad version is going to be your favorite yet!
I almost called this Avocado Chicken Salad “Baja Chicken Salad” instead because not only is it perfect to make ahead of time and bring to the beach (or wherever your summer days take you) but instead of traditional chicken salad seasonings, these sandwiches are spiced with the chili, cumin and smoked paprika flavors of Baja. They are a bright fiesta of flavor to help you celebrate summer – or just life!
Living as a food blogger 3 miles from the beach in Carlsbad (northern San Diego), I often like to eat Avocado Chicken Salad at the beach. I know, very, very spoiled over here. You will just have to visit! But the point is, this chicken salad is an easy, packable, mess-free lunch perfect to take to work or wherever your family adventures take you!
Avocado Chicken Salad Ingredients
- Chicken. You will need 2 cups chopped cooked chicken. You can use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken or make your own chopped or shredded chicken.
- Red onion. I like the fresh pop of red onion but you may also use green onions or substitute with 1/4 teaspoon onion powder.
- Corn. You will need 1/3 cup sweet corn cut fresh from the cob. If you’ve never eaten corn without grilling or cooking it first – you are in for a sweet, juicy treat!
- Black Beans. You may also substitute red kidney beans, pinto beans etc.
- Mangos. Please don’t skip the mangos! They offer a pop of juicy sweetness that cuts through the creaminess of the Avocado Chicken Salad. If you are intimidated by mangos, don’t be, just check out my How to Cut A Mango Post that teaches everything you could ever want to know about mangos!
- Avocado. I use avocado in both the salad and in the dressing so we get chopped avocado and creamy avocado, after all this is AVOCADO Chicken Salad! I have more helpful info on avocados below.
Avocado Chicken Salad Dressing
I adapted my favorite Avocado Crema that I douse on everything to create the luscious Blender Avocado Dressing that envelopes the Avocado Chicken Salad – you will want to lick it with a spoon – or just drink it from the blender.
I love using avocado as a base to creamify this Avocado Chicken Salad Dressing because not only does it infuse the creamy sauce with avocado-liciousness, it allows you to significantly reduce the amount of mayonnaise and somehow is even more creamy.
Avocado Chicken Salad Dressing Ingredients
The dressing for the Avocado Chicken Salad is so lusciously creamy, you won’t believe it’s healthy! It is a fabulous dressing you can also use on green salads too!
- Avocado. You will need one medium avocado for the dressing – not the large Haas avocados. Make sure your avocado is ripe so it blends well and doesn’t leave you with a chunky, grass flavored dressing.
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: You can use either sour cream or Greek yogurt for the Avocado Dressing. Fat-free versions of both work great as well. Just don’t use regular yogurt because it is not nearly as thick as Greek yogurt.
- Mayonnaise. It adds to the creaminess and flavor. Fat free mayo works great or I love to use avocado mayonnaise.
- Fresh Cilantro: You can use the leaves and the stems because the stems contain a lot of flavor and are going to get blended anyway.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is fantastic but you can substitute with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Lime Juice. You can use fresh or bottled lime juice and use more or less to taste.
- Jalapeno. Use 1 small jalapeno . Remove the seeds but do not discard them. I like to taste the dressing after I’ve made it and add additional seeds for more heat. If you don’t have jalapenos on hand you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Seasonings. We need seasonings to cut through the creaminess of the dressing: ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. You can of course use more or less to suit your personal preference.
HOW TO PICK THE BEST AVOCADOS FOR AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD
Seeing as this is AVOCADO Chicken Salad, it is important that you know how to select ripe avocados or at least know when your avocados are ripe and ready to use.
- Color. Ripe avocados will be dark green, almost turning purple.
- Feel. Gently squeeze the avocado. If an avocado feels firm or hard to your touch, it isn’t ripe yet. Purchase it only if you plan to use the fruit several days in the future. If the avocado feels soft, it’s overripe, avoid it. You want the avocado to just give slightly when pressed.
- Stem. Check the avocado stems for clues on what’s inside. Peel back the small stem or cap at the top. If the area underneath is green, the avocado is good to buy. If the area is brown, the avocado is overripe so it’s best to avoid it.
HOW TO RIPEN AVOCADOS
- Do not place unripe avocados in the fridge as this stalls the ripening process and they may not ripen at all. Only place in the refrigerator once ripened to prolong their life.
- To ripen avocados more quickly – so you can eat your Avocado Chicken Salad NOW – place your avocados and two bananas or two apples in a brown paper bag. The other fruit release a lot of ethylene which triggers ripening in the avocados.
HOW TO CUT AVOCADOS
- Place an avocado on a cutting board. Hold it with one hand so it is stable while you cut around the seed lengthwise. You want to cut into the avocado until the knife comes in contact with the seed, then start to rotate the avocado with the opposite hand until the avocado is complete cut through.
- Pick up the avocados and rotate them until they separate.
- To remove the seed, you can either spoon it out or strike it with a knife and twist. ONLY use a knife if you are confident with your knife skills.
- Scoop the now seedless avocado flesh out with a spoon.
How to make Avocado Chicken Salad
- Avocado Dressing. To make, simply add your fiestalicious spices to your blender along with cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, avocado, sour cream and a dollop of mayonnaise and blend until smooth.
- Make Avocado Chicken Salad. Add chicken, chopped avocado, mangos, black beans, corn, red onions etc. to a medium bowl.
- Combine Salad and Dressing. Add Avocado Dressing to the salad filling and gently stir until combined.
- Chill Salad. Chill chicken salad for at least 1 hour up to overnight for the flavors to meld and the ingredients to chill- -no one wants lukewarm dressing!
- Serve. When ready to eat, toss Chicken Salad with 1 tablespoon lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Some of the flavors will mellow overnight so I like extra salt and lime to really enhance the flavors.
TIPS FOR AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD
- Prep Ahead: you can chop all of your Avocado Chicken Salad ingredients ahead of time except the avocados. This makes assembling the chicken salad a snap.
- Other Proteins: This Avocado Chicken Salad is CHICKEN salad, but it also works well with other proteins, particularly shrimp. It is also delicious with the addition of hard-boiled eggs.
- Vegetables and Fruit: I kept with the Baja theme, but feel free to mix up the veggies with your favorites such as cucumber, celery, asparagus, mushrooms, apples, craisins, pineapple, etc.
- Seasonings: You can mix up the flavor profile and go Italian by swapping the cilantro for basil and parsley, swapping the lime juice for lemon, adding Parmesan cheese, and swapping out the Mexican seasonings for Italian seasonings.
- Use your Blender!: a blender is a must for the creamiest avocado dressing. It purees the avocados whereas a food processor will leave you with chunky dressing. Note that some blenders blend to the point the sauce will become liquidy instead of creamy – don’t puree to that point. Stop blending when your avocado dressing is thick and creamy.
- Adjust consistency: Depending on actual liquid in your sour cream or Greek yogurt, size of avocados, and the way your blender blends, you may need to add a tablespoon or so of milk.
- Scrape down sides. After you’e blended your avocado dressing, stop and scrape down the sides, then blend some more to make sure your sauce is completely smooth.
- Serve hot or cold: You can serve this Avocado Chicken Salad cold or warm. If serving warm, gently warm on the stove – never boil or the sour cream/Greek yogurt can curdle.
WILL AVOCADO CHICKEN SALAD TURN BROWN?
This Avocado Chicken Salad can be made and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. The lime juice will prevent the salad from discoloring too much, but it will darken slightly. A change in color of color doesn’t mean it’s going bad, it simply means the sauce is oxidizing.
How to Serve Avocado Chicken Salad
Avocado Chicken Salad can be enjoyed SO many different ways! You can eat it plain, OR:
- Avocado Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps. You can either fill butter lettuce with chicken salad to create low carb lettuce wraps or pile it on top of lettuce to create a green salad base.
- Avocado Chicken Salad Wraps. Fill a tortilla with chicken salad along with lettuce, fresh tomatoes, bacon, etc..
- Avocado Chicken Salad with Grains. I love my chicken salad on top of brown rice or wild rice. It would also be delicious with quinoa, cauliflower rice or broccoli rice. I could even see it gently warmed and served over Spaghetti Squash.
- Avocado Chicken Salad Toast. Toast some bread and create an open faced sandwich by piling on chicken salad along with tomatoes and optional sprouts and/or lettuce.
- Avocado Chicken Salad Pita. Pile the filling in a pita with all your favorite topping such as cheese, tomatoes, bacon, etc.
- Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich. And now my FAVORITE way to eat Avocado Chicken Salad, in a Flatout’s Foldit Flatbread! To assemble, line flatbread with juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce, tangy cheese and crispy tortilla strips and top with Chicken Avocado Salad. Flatout’s Foldit Flatbread is super soft so it wraps the filling perfectly and I am in love with their Roasted Garlic Foldit Flatbread – this garlic infused flatbread seriously makes everything better. Their Foldits also come in Ancient Grains, Classic White, 5 Grain Flax, and Rosemary and Olive Oil – so the Foldit and filling possibilities are endless as are the locations to eat them!
Is Avocado Chicken Salad Healthy?
YES! If you’re looking for a healthy yet deeply satisfying meal, look no further than Avocado Chicken Salad! The filling ingredients are packed with nutrition and the star avocado is a nutritious powerhouse.
Studies have shown that cholesterol levels are significantly are reduced when you eat 1 to 2 avocados a week – and this salad has two avocados! Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5-ounce serving of avocado:
- Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
- Folate: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Potassium: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
- 10 grams of Fiber: 36% of the DV
- avocados also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
Looking for more avocado recipes?
- Avocado Hummus
- Avocado Pasta
- Tomatillo Avocado Ranch
- Avocado Cilantro Lime Rice
- Southwest Salad with Salsa Avocado Dressing
- Avocado Southwest Egg Rolls
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