Avocado Chicken Salad (+Video)
his Avocado Chicken Salad is the ultimate, quick, easy, light lunch or dinner that also happens to be fresh, filling, healthy, flavorful, gluten-free and DIVIENLY delicious with ZERO mayo! This avocado chicken salad recipe is loaded with creamy avocados, tender rotisserie chicken, smokey grilled sweet corn, crunchy cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, hearty black beans, sweet mangos, and fresh strawberries all doused in tangy, garlicky mojo dressing that packs so much zesty, sassy flavor. The hearty chicken, avocado and veggies make it a meal and the sweetness of the mangos, strawberries and corn cut through the tangy dressing; it’s match made in foodie heaven. You can dress this avocado chicken salad up or down by adding more or less of your favorite ingredients. It’s also prep ahead friendly but so quick and easy you won’t need to!
Prep Time
30minutes
Cook Time
Prep Time
30minutes
Cook Time
Avocado Chicken Salad
Ingredients
Avocado Chicken Salad
  • 3cups shredded chickenI use rotisserie chicken
  • 2 large avocadospitted chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1cup cornfrom 1 grilled corn on the cob
  • 1/2 English cucumbersliced and halved
  • 1 mangochopped
  • 1cup strawberriessliced
  • 1cup cherry tomatoeshalved
  • 1/2cup black beansrinsed and drained
  • 1/4cup chopped red onions
  • 1-2 jalapenosdeveined, seeded (save seeds)
  • 2tablespoons cilantrominced
Mojo Dressing
  • 1/4cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4cup orange juice
  • 2tablespoons lime juice
  • 1teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1tsp kosher salt or sea saltplus more to taste
  • 1/2tsp EACH ground cumin, dried oregano
  • 1/4teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/8teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Add the salad dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine or to a jar and shake. The dressing tastes best chilled before serving so place it in the freezer if serving soon or the fridge if you have a little time.
  2. Time permitting, char the corn on your grill or in a cast iron skillet per directions in notes, otherwise, add directly to the salad.
  3. Add shredded chicken to a large serving bowl and drizzle with about half of the dressing; toss to coat. Let the chicken marinate while you chop the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Add all remaining salad ingredients to the chicken. Drizzle with dressing and gently toss to combine.
  5. Taste and season with additional freshly cracked salt and pepper. For spicier, add in some of the jalapeno seeds. Best served immediately.
Recipe Notes

TIPS and tricks 

  • Ripe avocados: set yourself up for success by starting with the best avocados with just the right amount of ripeness – I can’t stress this enough!  As previously discussed, (see post section), you want ripe avocados that yield slightly when gently squeezed and avoid avocados that are hard or overly soft.  If your avocados aren’t ripe enough, you will have hard, bitter salad.  If the avocados are too ripe, they will be mushy or brown and unusable.
  • Rotisserie chicken: is juicer and more flavorful than using shredded chicken breasts plus it is an easy shortcut.  If you want  to make y our own shredded chicken, see the post for details.
  • Prep the salad dressing first:  the mojo dressing is very best chilled – no one wants lukewarm dressing!  Plan on making the dressing earlier in the day and refrigerating it or pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving if you’re running low on time.
  • Customize ingredients: all of the ingredients are just a guideline.  You can use more or less of each ingredient, add other vegetables or omit some completely.  The ingredient list is up to you to make it YOUR favorite avocado chicken salad!
  • Don’t skip the sweet: there is one caveat to customizing the chicken salad. The sweetness of the corn, mangos and strawberries balance the tanginess of the dressing and are sublime. If you omit an any of these ingredients, you’ll want to add something sweet in its place or possibly add some honey to the dressing.  Other sweet options include: blueberries, peaches, clementine oranges, craisins, pineapple or grapes.
  • Mangos: are so juicy and sweet and absolutely exquisite in this salad. If you are intimidated by choosing  or cutting mangos, check out my How to Cut A Mango Post that teaches everything you could ever want to know about mangos.
  • Choose consistency:  for a chunkier salad, stir to combine the ingredients; for a creamier salad, mash the avocados more.
  • Prep ahead:  this avocado chicken salad requires some chopping but the good news you can break up the chopping by doing some now and some later or you can prep all of the ingredients ahead of time for an easy recipe win that comes together in minutes (directions to follow).
  • Other Proteins:  this avocado chicken salad is CHICKEN salad, but it also works well with other proteins, particularly shrimp.
  • Salt to taste: if you taste your avocado chicken salad and it’s bland, it is easy to remedy – it probably just needs salt!  Add salt or lime juice to taste and keep adding until it tastes just right. Also, try kicking up the heat if that’s your thing with additional jalapeno, or cayenne pepper or chipotle chile powder.

HOW TO CHAR CORN

For this avocado chicken salad, you can use corn straight off the cob or you can grill it or char it in a skillet.  I love grilling corn because it results in deeply sweet, succulent, smoky corn, instead of just sweet corn.  If you don’t have time, don’t worry about it, if you do, you will LOVE it!

TO GRILL CORN ON THE COB:

  • Peel the corn
  • Remove all the silk
  • Lightly brush all over with olive oil
  • Season with salt and pepper on all sides
  • Grease and heat grill to high heat
  • Grill corn over direct heat for 10-12 minutes, turning until lightly charred on all sides, closing the lid in between rotations.

TO CHAR CORN IN A SKILLET:

If you don’t have corn on the cob or have access to a grill, you can still char frozen, canned, or fresh corn in a cast iron skillet:

  • Heat one tablespoon olive oil in large cast iron skillet over high heat.
  • Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn starts to char, approximately 5 minutes (a few minutes longer if frozen)
  • Transfer kernels to a large bowl to cool so they don’t continue to cook.

Storage 

The dressing will helps delay the oxidation, but proper storage is essential to prolong the life of your avocado chicken salad. Cover avocado chicken salad with plastic wrap pressed DIRECTLY on the surface of the salad so it is touching. Refrigerate for up to three days.