Warm Chicken & Avocado Salad (Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-Free)

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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.


Warm Chicken Avocado Salad (Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-free, Low-Carb)

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.

 

Paleo Chicken Avocado Salad (Whole30, Keto, Low-Carb, Gluten-free)

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). 

Grilling chicken for salad

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.

Warm Chicken Avocado Salad (Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-free, Low-Carb)

 

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

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Paleo Chicken Avocado Salad

Warm Chicken Salad With Avocado

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: European

Description

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.


Scale

Ingredients

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
  • 1214 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)

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the chicken slices with the Moroccan spices and salt and rub in with your hands.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Notes

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.

BY IRENA MACRI

About me: I share nutritious recipes focusing on vegetables, paleo and gluten-free diets. I create cookbooks and meal plans to help you get healthier and lose weight. I’m currently finishing an advanced diploma in Nutrition & Weight Management. More about me here.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) for purchases made through these links. This income helps to cover the operational costs of the blog. Thank you xo

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Comments

18 Comments
  1. OMG this looks good. I eat a lot of chicken for protein but usually boil it and add a tablespoon of hot piri piri sauce to take away the blandness. This looks MUCH better.

    1. It is really delicious and pan frying it with some coconut oil adds loads of really good fat which your body needs. I use a pre-mixed Moroccan spice but you can make your own. 🙂

    1. If you can’t find a pre-made Moroccan seasoning/spice mix, the spices and ratios are as follows (this is to make a little batch you can store in a jar):
      1 tbsp paprika powder
      1 tbsp turmeric powder
      1/2 tbsp ground cumin
      1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
      1 tsp ground dry rosemary or oregano
      1 tsp garlic powder
      1 tsp onion powder
      1 tsp sea salt
      1 tsp black pepper or lemon pepper

      You can grind seeds and dried herbs using mortar and pestle. Mix together and store in an air-tight, dry container.

      Irena 🙂

    1. Mustard is made from a seed and most varieties are ok to include. The ones you need to avoid are those with added sugar. French mustard, like Dijon, contains no added sugar but something like American yellow mustard or honey mustard will have added sugar and should be avoided. I hope that clears up your confusion. 🙂

  2. This recipe is the best !!!!! I’m not a big fan of avocado but i love it taste in this salad. I put some baby spinach to it and make it even better.

  3. Yum!

    This tasted so good. It is now a tasty healthy regular in our house and has inspired me to try other tasty warm salad ideas. Thanks for helping make healthy dinners fun and tasty for our little family 🙂

  4. This was very yummy and quick to make. I just used whatever salad ingredients I had about. Avocado is always a hit in a salad and it goes so well with the salad dressing and spiced chicken. This was the first time I cooked meat in coconut oil and it went so well. This will be a summer regular in my household. Thanks for the great recipe

  5. Okay, I can’t resist trying this recipe out either, I LOVE chicken, and I LOVE avo, so this is right up my alley. Okay, 3 recipes of yours to try now, that will keep me busy for a while!

    Thanks again for your great work!

    Peter

  6. Well this looked so good I had to try it out! Made the spice mix from your recipe above. It was absolutely delicious. As it was cool tonight I threw some brocolini and spinach in the pan instead of the salad – so good. One problem though! It looked so good in the pan that I gobbled it down – forgetting the avo, lol. It was fabulous without it, and I’m sure the leftovers will be even better tomorrow, with the avocado! Thanks for a fast easy weeknight dinner 🙂

  7. Absolutely delicious. Will make this again. Used what we had on hand chicken thigh (instead of breast), spring onion (instead of Spanish onion) and served on spinach leaves. Thanks for sharing.

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