When it comes to healthy and balanced meals, you can’t go past this delicious warm chicken salad with avocado. It’s paleo and Whole30 friendly and great for those following a low-carb or gluten-free diet. The chicken is seasoned perfectly and grilled to tender and juicy, while the salad is fresh and zesty. It’s one of my favourite healthy salads and I especially love it for a satiating lunch.
Okay, team, this is definitely one of those recipes that I want you to put on your regular must-have list. For starters, it’s very tasty and easy to make and can be served for lunch or dinner. Secondly, it’s very satiating and nutritious (read notes below). And lastly, you can make the chicken and the salad dressing ahead of time, making it an excellent meal prep recipe.
I honestly make this at least once a week and find it a good template to create different versions with whatever veggies are in season and maybe mixing up the dressings and chicken spices.
CHICKEN SALAD NUTRITION
This chicken and avocado salad is a jack of all trades, so to speak. It’s rich in multiple nutrients – such as Vitamins A, C, E, K, folate and B6 – calcium, iron, plus loads of lean protein, healthy fats and fibre. Being both nourishing and easy to make, it’s become my go-to, fuss-free recipe for a quick lunch or dinner.
The serving size of the chicken in this recipe is about 125 g / 4 oz each but I would increase it to 150-200 g for men or those training. You can also up the avocado amount for extra calories if trying to gain muscle/weight.
Macronutrients per serve: 500 calories, 35 g fat, 20 g carbohydrates (this is with a touch of honey in the dressing but can be omitted), 9 grams fibre, 30 g protein.
HOW TO MAKE This CHICKEN AVOCADO SALAD
There are three key elements to this dish: grilled spiced chicken, salad base and the dressing.
I am using free-range chicken breasts for this recipe (about 125 g / 4 oz per serving) but you could use chicken tenderloin (which are super soft) or skinless thighs (which will be more caloric and fatty but oh so delicious, great for those doing keto who want to up the fat content and replace the tomatoes and peppers with lower carb veggies).
The chicken is rubbed with a Moroccan spice blend or you can use Ras El Hanout (an exotic blend of warm spices, best of the house so to speak). You can find these in most of the supermarkets and online or make your own (see my recipe notes below). You don’t really need to marinate the chicken, which makes this recipe so quick and easy!
While the chicken is cooking, I usually make the rest of the salad and the dressing. All-in-all, it takes about 20 minutes.
Make ahead tip: if using this recipe as part of meal prep, cook the chicken and make a batch of dressing and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make the salad fresh!
Chicken Salad Dressing
The dressing for this salad is very simple. Lemon juice and olive oil with a touch of mustard and honey. Honey can be omitted for a Whole30 or keto version or replaced with another sweetener of choice. Sometimes, I will add a pinch of dried herbs or garlic powder if I’m feeling a little wild. This salad will go with lots of other salad dressings and you can find a selection of paleo salad dressings here and sugar-free dressings here.
CHICKEN SALAD VARIATIONS
As I mentioned above, this recipe is a great template that you can adapt to create new variations of this salad. Here are some suggestions:
- Use Mexican spice blend, Italian mixed dried herbs, or my paleo stir-fry sauce to marinate the chicken in to create a different flavour profile.
- Use beef, pork, turkey or prawns instead of chicken for something different.
- Swap the dressing for a ranch, Caesar, Asian or Italian balsamic.
- For a lower-carb/keto version, swap the red peppers and tomatoes with cucumber, radish, and shaved zucchini.
- For extra minerals (and healthy fats), add pumpkin seeds (zinc), sunflower seeds (magnesium), crushed Brazil nuts (selenium), or sesame seeds (calcium).
MORE RECIPES TO TRY
Kale Chicken & Apple Salad
Kohlrabi Chicken & Pear Salad
Thai Chicken Larb Salad With Red Cabbage
Turmeric Chicken & Kale Salad With Honey Lime Dressing
Salad A Day recipe eBook with 45+ Satiatin Balanced Salads
This warm chicken avocado salad is satiating and delicious. It’s rich in protein and healthy fats and is paleo, Whole30, gluten-free friendly. You can make the chicken ahead of time as part of your meal prep.
For the chicken
- 250 g / 8 oz chicken breast (about 1 + 1/2 chicken breasts ) sliced into strips
- 1 tablespoon mixed Moroccan spices blend or Ras El Hanout (see notes below)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil for cooking
For the salad
- 1 avocado, halved and sliced
- 2 cups mixed salad leaves of choice
- 12–14 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 red bell pepper/capsicum, sliced
- 1/2 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
- A handful of fresh parsley or coriander, roughly chopped
For the chicken salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Generous pinch of salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon honey (optional, omit for Whole30)
- Sprinkle the chicken slices with the Moroccan spices and salt and rub in with your hands.
- Heat coconut oil (or olive oil) in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken slices and cook for 4-5minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove and rest for a few minutes.
- Prepare the salad ingredients and whisk together the salad dressing. Toss the salad (except for avocado) with the dressing and divide between two bowls. Top with a few slices of chicken each and sliced avocado.
I often buy a premade Moroccan spice or Ras El Hanout blend but you could also use a combination of the following spices: cumin powder, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and dried oregano.