Curry Chicken Salad

$5.61 recipe / $1.12 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.85 from 40 votes
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I was definitely slow to get on the curry bandwagon. In fact, I distinctly remember not liking curry spices for the first 20 years of my life. Luckily, people grow and change over time and I eventually came around to curry (thanks to recipes like quick curried chickpeas!). Now I just want to put curry in everything, like this Curry Chicken Salad!

Out of all of the recipes I’ve made with curry spices, this Curry Chicken Salad might just be my favorite. Something about the curry with the creamy mayo/yogurt dressing is just perfect! Not to mention the subtle sweetness of the raisins to balance the earthy spices and ALL THAT CRUNCH. …Mmmm.

See this recipe used in my weekly meal prep.

Originally posted, 7-16-2012, updated 9-10-17

A bowl of Curry Chicken Salad sitting on a wooden plate, surrounded by crackers.

Chicken salad is never really “cheap”, but when you get your chicken on sale, it approaches affordable. And then when you consider the fact that you can sometimes pay $10/lb. for pre-made chicken salad at the deli, this is actually quite a steal. So, even if you have to save this for a special occasion, bookmark this recipe because you won’t be sorry you did!

Mayo-Yogurt Combo Magic

I chose to use both mayonnaise and yogurt in the dressing for this Curry Chicken Salad because they each have their own unique flavor qualities that they bring to the party. Yogurt is light and tangy and is a classic pairing with curry spices, while mayonnaise offers a deep creaminess. If you need to you, you can just use yogurt or just use mayonnaise, but I’m telling you that the combination fo the two is magic. ;)

Can I Use Rotisserie Chicken for this Curry Chicken Salad?

Absolutely. If you don’t want to go through the process of cooking your own chicken breast or happen to have leftover rotisserie chicken, go ahead and chop it up and use it in this recipe. You’ll probably want about 3 cups of chopped chicken for this recipe.

Front view of a bowl of Curry Chicken Salad surrounded by crackers.

Love chicken salad? You might also like Chicken Salad with Apples or Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Salad.

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Curry Chicken Salad

4.85 from 40 votes
Curry chicken salad is a quick and tasty alternative to your traditional chicken salad with exotic curry spices, sweet raisins, and crunchy almonds.
Curry Chicken Salad is a quick and tasty alternative to your traditional chicken salad with exotic curry spices, sweet raisins, and crunchy almonds. BudgetBytes.com
Servings 4 1 cup each
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients

DRESSING

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise ($0.41)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt ($0.19)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice ($0.02)
  • 1/2 tsp honey ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp curry powder ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)

SALAD

  • 2.5 cups chopped cooked chicken* ( $2.95)
  • Pinch salt & pepper ($0.05)
  • 2 stalks celery ($0.34)
  • 3 whole green onions ($0.12)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds ($0.87)
  • 1/2 cup raisins ($0.57)

Instructions 

  • Make the dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, curry powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Taste the dressing and adjust the curry powder or salt if needed.
  • Season both sides of the chicken breasts with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook the chicken breast in either a countertop grill or in a skillet until cooked through. Allow the cooked chicken breast to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • Finely dice the celery and slice the green onions. Place the green onion, celery, sliced almonds, and raisins in a large bowl.
  • Chop the chicken into small cubes and place them in the bowl with the celery, onion, almonds, and raisins. Stir to combine. Pour the dressing over top and stir to coat.

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Video

Notes

*You can use pre-cooked chicken, like rotisserie chicken, or cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts on a grill or in a skillet. You'll want about 2.5 cups once chopped, which for me was two breasts or about 1.5 lbs. raw.

Nutrition

Serving: 1CupCalories: 431.08kcalCarbohydrates: 22.38gProtein: 28.08gFat: 27.25gSodium: 746.7mgFiber: 3.65g
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Overhead view of Curry Chicken Salad on a wooden plate with crackers.

How to Make Curry Chicken Salad – Step By Step Photos

Curry Chicken Salad Dressing Ingredients

To make the dressing for the Curry Chicken Salad, combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp honey, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper.

Chicken Salad Dressing mixed

Stir the dressing together, give it a taste, and adjust the salt, honey, or curry powder if needed (every brand of curry powder is a bit different, so you may prefer more or less). Refrigerate the dressing until you’re ready for it.

Season Chicken Breasts
You’ll need about 2.5 cups chopped cooked chicken, which for me was two chicken breasts, or about 1.5 lbs. when raw. 

Grill Chicken Breasts

Season the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper, then cook it using a grill or in a skillet. I used a grill pate that fits on top of my range top, but you can also use something like a George Foreman Grill, or a cast iron skillet. Another easy option is to use a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Chop Chicken breasts

Allow the chicken to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad, then chop it into small pieces.

Dice Celery
While the chicken is cooling, you can prepare the rest of the salad. Finely dice 2 ribs of celery and slice 3 green onions.

Curry Chicken Salad Ingredients in bowl

Add the chopped chicken, diced celery, sliced green onions, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, and 1/2 cup raisins to a large bowl (I used golden raisins).

Add Dressing to Curry Chicken Salad Ingredients
Add the prepared curry dressing…

Curry Chicken Salad Mixed

Then stir until everything is coated in dressing. And then it’s ready to eat! I ate a bunch just by itself with a fork, but it would also be good with crackers or stuffed into a pita.

Macro view of Curry Chicken Salad in a bowl This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

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  1. This was so yummy! Had this with some wheat thins and sharp cheddar cheese for lunch, felt like an adult lunchable haha. The only substitution I made was craisins instead of raisins.

  2. I’ve made this so often and everyone loves it. I use cranraisins instead of raisins and I’d I don’t have celery on hand I substitute celery seed. It is the dressing that makes it!

  3. Simple, delicious and customizable curry salad. Recommended.

  4. Love this!! There is a curry chicken salad I get from a market (Eatzi’s anyone?) and this is a close approximation. My only critique is there is no kick. We ended up adding some more salt, extra curry powder, ground red pepper, and some turmeric to the dressing, and it was delish! Also added some extra pasta to round it out in place of putting it on crackers or something. Will definitely make again!!

  5. This was easy and delicious. I used pumpkin seeds instead of almonds because I didn’t have any on hand.

  6. I used (roughly) this recipe with chickpeas instead of chicken. I would definitely recommend making it to these proportions and then tasting as you adjust outwards – my curry powder needed an extra teaspoon-worth to be noticeably curry-like rather than yoghurty, and then I added a bit of extra lemon juice and honey to balance out the resulting heat. Adding sultanas provided a further sweet balance to the spice of the curry, and I ended up adding about 1/3 teaspoon of garam masala to increase complexity too.

    1. And almost forgot: I added the red onion and cilantro from the curried chickpea salad recipe too. Definitely a bit of a frankenmonster of the two recipes, but tasty!

  7. I subbed in pumpkin seeds & craisins. Added some extra curry and a dash of cumin. I’m so excited to eat this for work lunches.

  8. This is one of my favorites. We’re vegetarian, so I substituted two cans of drained, rinsed chickpeas mashed up for the chicken.  A couple of times I’ve had fresh grapes that needed to be used, so I put them in instead of raisins. It’s so good. Great for picnic or travel sandwiches. 

  9. Do you think plain Greek yogurt will be ok? I can’t find plain yogurt 

  10. Due to a grocery shopping mix-up, I used cucumbers in this instead of celery and it worked really well. I didn’t try it, but I bet this would also be great (but a little sweeter, and probably more expensive) if you used dried cranberries instead of raisins.

  11. Delicious! It tastes just like the curry chicken salad from the Whole Foods deli counter. YUM.

    I used chicken thighs vs. breasts because that’s what we had, and it turned out great. :)

  12. *chef’s kiss* Just made this today. Made a couple of substitutions for things I didn’t have on hand – chopped pecans for the almonds and craisins for raisins – and used rotisserie chicken. It was absolutely fantastic. Even my picky husband loved it!

  13. So I decided the middle of June was the perfect time to roast a turkey I had in my deep freeze from last year’s thanksgiving turkey sales. I used leftover turkey breast meat in this recipe instead of the chicken, but otherwise I followed the recipe. I will make a few adjustments the next time I make it just due to personal preferences (substituting grapes for the raisins and omitting the almonds entirely). I also completely missed the part that said to adjust the curry and salt to your taste, so I will probably double the amount of each next time. The salad also felt a little “dry” to me, so I may increase the amount of dressing in general, but this was likely due to me using turkey breast instead of chicken. I served in a pita with some baby spinach and sliced tomatoes. Yum!