This healthy chopped chicken salad is a great way to bring all the flavors of spring and summer to your table. It makes a great fresh lunch and is easy to use as a meal prep recipe.
Chicken salad is my readers favorite, especially my Chicken Salad with Spicy Mayo Dressing, my Grilled Chicken Avocado Salad, my Chimichurri Chicken Chopped Salad and my Pesto Chicken Salad Recipe. If you didn’t check them out yet, you’re missing something really good. They’re all very healthy and easy to make just like this new chopped chicken salad that I’m sharing today.
It’s packed with fresh whole ingredients. It’s gluten free and can accommodate nearly any eating plan. It’s low carb so it’s perfect for paleo eating. All the fresh ingredients fit with the Whole30 diet.
It’s great to eat as a lunch or side dish. And it’s just as easy to use for meal prep so you have healthy lunches ready for any busy day. Want some more salad recipes? Try these 50 Healthy Salad Recipes! Or if you want a protein packed side, try my Quick Easy Bean Salad. If you’re in the mood for a tasty dessert after this salad, try my Strawberry Chia Pudding!
What ingredients can I use in chopped chicken salad?
The basic ingredients that you will always use in chopped chicken salad are the cooked chicken breast and lettuce. Get creative with the other ingredients or use whatever you have on hand. Some of my favorites are:
- Avocado: for an extra serving of healthy fats!
- Cucumber: adds a refreshing crunch.
- Red onion: I love the bite that red onions give salads but if you find them to be too strong, try soaking the onions in cold water beforehand.
- Bacon: for flavor and protein!
- Cherry tomatoes: you can also use grape tomatoes as well.
- Bell peppers: any coloured bell peppers are perfect for salads.
- Cooked sweet potato: for extra fibre and vitamins.
- Black beans: be sure to rinse them first if they’re from a can.
- Cheese (if you eat dairy products): the more the merrier.
- Dried fruit like cranberries: for extra sweetness.
- Nuts: for a nice added crunch.
- Fresh herbs: adding some fresh parsley or dill (maybe both!) will give the chopped chicken salad an extra boost. You can also try basil, cilantro, or tarragon.
- Eggs: for an extra hit of protein (like my Easy Egg Salad Recipe), you can add a hard boiled egg to the salad.
How to make homemade salad dressing
It’s easy and healthy to make your own salad dressing. When you take just a minute to make your own salad dressing, you know that it does not contain any preservatives, additives or extra sugars. You can always be sure that it fits with your eating plan.
The basic recipe for homemade salad dressing is one part acid to three parts oil. For the acid, you can use any kind of vinegar or, as I do in this recipe, citrus fruit juice.
Extra virgin olive oil is a common choice for salad dressing but you could also use other oils to subtly alter the taste.
Other ingredients can be as simple or complex as you choose. A little red pepper, salt and black pepper will give it plenty of flavor. Or you can experiment with fresh herbs, garlic, flavored salts or any other seasoning.
Homemade salad dressing will last for two weeks. So you can make a large batch of this salad dressing and keep it in the refrigerator to use on any salad you make.
You can also check out this post on how to make basic vinaigrette if you want to make a different dressing.
How to Make Chicken For Chicken Salad
- Preheat oven to 425F. Season chicken with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Line the baking dish or roasting pan with parchment paper and place the chicken breasts in a single layer. Pour olive oil on top of the chicken breast and rub it into the chicken breasts.
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until it gets an internal temperature of 165˚F. To know exactly when it is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and transfer chicken breast to a cutting board. Allow cooling down for about 5 minutes before chopping them. When you let the chicken rest, it lets the juices redistribute instead of running out when you slice the breasts immediately.
How to Assemble the Salad
- In a large salad bowl, add first the lettuce, and then top it with cucumber, avocado, red onions, and cooked bacon.
- Make the salad dressing.
- Add the diced breast chicken.
- Toss everything together and enjoy.
How long does chopped chicken salad last?
You can keep this chopped chicken salad in the refrigerator for three to four days, which makes it a perfect meal prep solution.
This recipe will make four servings. You can divide the chopped chicken salad into four portions and be prepared for lunch for the next four days.
I recommend always keeping the dressing and the salad separate when you won’t be eating it right away. The longer the dressing sites on the lettuce, the more likely it will be soggy when you eat it. To keep all of your ingredients crisp and fresh, wait to put the dressing on until you are ready to eat.
You can also freeze the baked chicken and pull it out whenever you feel like making this salad!
The salad makes a complete meal on its own, so you really don’t need to serve anything additional with it. If you want to add some extra fiber and make the salad more filling, you could mix in some cooked cauliflower rice, lentils, or quinoa. You can also use on your meal-prep too.
More salad recipes to try:
- Another Easy Salmon Salad Recipe
- Salmon Chopped Salad Recipe
- Easy Mediterranean Salad Recipe
- Shrimp Avocado Tomato Salad Recipe
- Super Easy Avocado Cucumber Tuna Salad
Chopped Chicken Salad (Meal-Prep)
For the chicken breast
For the salad
- 5 cups lettuce - chopped
- 1 cup cucumber - sliced
- 1 avocado - sliced
- ½ cup red onions - sliced (skip it if you are following keto diet)
- ¼ cup cooked bacon - chopped (nitrate and sugar-free. ButcherBox has great quality bacon)
For the salad dressing
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of red crushed pepper
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
For the chicken
- Preheat oven to 425F. Season chicken with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Line baking dish or roasting pan with parchment paper and place the chicken breasts in a single layer. Pour olive oil on top of the chicken breast; rub over with your fingers.
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until it gets the internal temperature of 165˚F. To know exactly when it is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and transfer chicken breast to a cutting board. Allow cooling down for about 5 minutes before chop them.
For the salad
- In a large salad bowl, add first the lettuce, and then top it with cucumber, avocado, red onions and cooked bacon.
- In a mason jar, pour the lemon juice, olive oil and add salt and black pepper. Whisk everything together until combine.
- Taste to check the seasoning and pour over the salad.
- Add the diced breast chicken. Enjoy!
- Place an even amount of chopped chicken salad into 4 different medium glass containers. Cover with the lid and place in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- You can use chicken leftovers in this recipe if you already have cooked chicken in the fridge.
- Add other types of veggies in this salad if you prefer such as cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, baked sweet potato and so on.
- If this salad will be your lunch at work, bring the dressing in a separate container to avoid the salad to get soggy.
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If you make this recipe, follow @primaverakitchen on Instagram, snap a photo and hashtag it #primaverakitchen. I'd love to see what you're making!