While most of us will admit to at least trying to be healthier, we're not entirely ready to give up our mac 'n' cheese and lasagna cravings. Luckily, better-for-you meals don't have to be devoid of flavor and uninspiring ingredients. Consider the classic chicken and greens salad combo, for example. Judging by these 15 chicken salad recipes we rounded up from our favorite foodies, you can have a meal that's packed with flavor, nutritionally balanced, and will keep you satiated all day long.
Far from the typical arrangement of lettuce, tomato, and grilled chicken, these inventive salads will transport you around the globe, from Mexico to Greece. From a Mediterranean-inspired salad with farro and kalamata olives, to a chili-lime chicken salad with tons of veggies and a ranch dressing, find your next favorite chicken salad recipe below.
Read on for our favorite chicken salad recipes to try this week.
Peachy Chipotle Chicken Salad
The Recipe: Peachy Chipotle Chicken Salad
Why We Love It: Move over, sad desk lunch. This hearty peachy chipotle chicken salad from Half Baked Harvest is packed with rice and avocado to keep you satiated, and it's full of flavor. The bonus? A touch of pan-fried halloumi will give you the cheesy goodness you probably crave.
Pro Tip: Sprinkle with tortilla chips, fresh basil, and pumpkin seeds to finish.
Mediterranean Chicken and Farro Salad
The Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken and Farro Salad
Why We Love It: This Mediterranean chicken and farro salad from Half Baked Harvest will have you dreaming of summer in the Greek isles—while keeping you full and satisfied. The mix of farro, kalamata olives, pepperoncini, and marinated artichokes is the all-season combo you need.
Pro Tip: The roasted red pepper sauce will keep in the fridge for up to one week.
Loaded BBQ Chicken Salad
The Recipe: Loaded BBQ Chicken Salad
Why We Love It: Our favorite salads are the ones that feel more like a full meal, and this one definitely fits the bill. This loaded BBQ chicken salad from Spoon Fork Bacon is packed with the full rainbow of vegetables on a bed of quinoa and is topped with honey BBQ–glazed chicken, and Greek-yogurt ranch dressing.
Pro Tip: Bring this sturdy salad to your next summer gathering, or portion out ingredients to create individual salads throughout the week, recommends Spoon Fork Bacon.
Greek Chicken Gyro Caesar Salad
The Recipe: Greek Chicken Gyro Caesar Salad
Why We Love It: A flavorful salad that contains soft-boiled eggs, pine nuts, and crumbled feta? Sign us up. This Greek gyro–inspired take on a Caesar salad from Half Baked Harvest is so healthy and well-balanced, it's worth throwing in the handful of Greek oven fries in the mix—because why not?
Pro Tip: Half Baked Harvest's recipe notes also provides directions to make the oven-baked fries.
Rosemary Chicken Salad With Avocado and Bacon
The Recipe: Rosemary Chicken Salad With Avocado and Bacon
Why We Love It: This allergy-free chicken salad with avocado and bacon from Salt & Wind comes compliments of The Regency Hotel in New York, so you know it's tasty. It has just the right amount of healthy fat from the avocado and protein from the chicken—with a little bacon sprinkled on top because we all deserve it.
Pro Tip: Be gentle tossing the vinaigrette with the salad, and be sure to serve immediately.
Lemon Chicken Sauté Salad
The Recipe: Lemon Chicken Sauté Salad
Why We Love It: This yummy lemon chicken sauté salad from A Healthy Life For Me takes minutes to prepare, and it's delicious, too. Filled with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, and red bell pepper, it's topped with non-fat Greek yogurt, fresh dill, and crumbled feta to taste.
Pro Tip: Brown chicken on all sides, "About 3–5 minutes," recommends A Healthy Life For Me.
Mexican Chopped Salad With Buttermilk Ranch
The Recipe: Mexican Chopped Salad With Buttermilk Ranch
Why We Love It: Chipotle-lime chicken is juicy and tangy, and we also love the extra crunch that the jicama provides. Add chopped greens, bell peppers, sliced avocado, thinly sliced red onion and cabbage, and herbs; then top it all with a creamy ranch dressing.
Pro Tip: Kate Ramos from Hola Jalapeno writes that Hidden Valley Ranch Restaurant Style Dressing packets are the key to make your ranch dressing taste like your favorite steak house's.
Grilled Chicken Salad With Goat Cheese, Roasted Beets, and Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette
Why We Love It: Cranberry-crusted goat cheese offers savory tang and sweetness in this grilled chicken salad recipe from Yes to Yolks. Pear and toasted pecans add some snap, and a homemade vinaigrette pulls it all together.
Pro Tip: Can't find cranberry-crusted goat cheese? Use plain goat cheese and toss in dried cranberries instead, recommends Yes to Yolks.
Coconut Poached Thai Chicken Salad
The Recipe: Coconut Poached Thai Chicken Salad
Why We Love It: Poaching chicken in coconut broth makes Feasting at Home's recipe extra flavorful. Pairing with fish sauce and lime evokes a classic, Thai-inspired combination.
Pro Tip: Go ham on the add-ins, such as coconut flakes, sliced jalapeño, avocado slices, or sliced radishes.
Chipotle Grilled Chicken Salad With Corn, Peppers, and Arugula
Why We Love It: Grilled chipotle chicken makes Feasting at Home's salad recipe smoky and spicy. For balance, bell peppers and corn get the charred treatment, then add avocado and tomatoes, and top with chipotle-lime dressing.
Pro Tip: Garnish with cilantro, lime wedges, and queso fresco cheese.
Goddess Curry Chicken Salad
The Recipe: Goddess Curry Chicken Salad
Why We Love It: Pinch of Yum uses greek yogurt and olive oil instead of mayo, which gives this chicken salad recipe added tang. Pistachios vary the texture, golden raisins add a hint of sweetness, and lots of herbs help amplify flavor.
Pro Tip: Serve in an everything bagel, a lettuce wrap, or on top of greens.
Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad
The Recipe: Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad
Why We Love It: Added citrus cuts through this creamy chicken salad recipe from Melanie Makes. We also love the addition of torn basil, and sliced almonds for crunch.
Pro Tip: Melanie Makes recommend scooping chicken salad onto a flaky croissant, though you could also use lettuce cups if preferred.
Chinese Chicken Salad
The Recipe: Chinese Chicken Salad
Why We Love It: Shredded homemade chicken breast, fresh veggies meet Asian flavors like sesame and chili oils, tamari (or soy sauce), and fresh ginger. Sliced almonds add extra crunch to shredded Napa and red cabbage, grated carrots, scallions, and chopped cilantro.
Pro Tip: Unless you plan to serve the whole salad, don't toss the entire salad with dressing. This will keep ingredients fresh and crisp till you're ready to serve.
Tarragon Pesto Chicken Breast With Dressed Greens
Why We Love It: The addition of tarragon gives the pesto (made with walnuts, basil, olive oil), a "bold, fresh flavor," writes Boulder Locavore. Dress greens in the vinaigrette of your choice, or Boulder Locavore's Meyer lemon salad dressing, and you'll have an elevated meal in 30 minutes.
Pro Tip: Serve immediately, and add extra pesto before slicing chicken breast if desired.
Avocado Mango Chicken Salad
The Recipe: Avocado Mango Chicken Salad
Why We Love It: Mango and blueberries add a colorful shock of color and touch of sweetness to Joyful Healthy Eats's chicken salad recipe, which also comes with a homemade honey-Dijon mustard dressing.
Pro Tip: Add sliced almonds for extra crunch, and crumbled goat cheese for creamy bite.