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California Chicken Salad

This creamy, crunchy and sweet California chicken salad is the perfect on the go lunch. Serve it with bread, buns, in a salad or even as a dip with your favorite chips or crackers. 

Why you'll love this recipe:

  • This California Chicken Salad recipe comes together in minutes when using a store bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Both kids and adults will love this recipe. 
  • You can serve chicken salad a number or ways making this a versatile recipe for the week. 
  • This recipe requires almost zero prep and can be ready in as long as it takes you to chop up your ingredients and mix it all together. 
  • It not only packs protein but has tons of delicious flavors. 
California chicken salad

Can you make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes! This recipe is best chilled so I would suggest you make this California Chicken Salad and store it in the fridge for when you’re ready to serve it. Enjoy it throughout the week. 

Is this good for meal prep?

This recipe is great for meal prep. I would suggest switching up your meals using the California chicken salad throughout the week. Here are some ideas: 

  • Wrap it with a Tumaro’s wrap or on a pita.
  • Serve over a bed of greens.
  • Wrap in lettuce cups.
  • Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato. 
  • Serve on open face toasted bread.

Do I have to use a rotisserie chicken?

You can use any shredded chicken for this California Chicken Salad. You can also use the canned chicken from Costco, which I love! Linked here in my Macro Friendly Costco Haul. To lower the fat use only chicken breast. This recipe does use a rotisserie chicken with the skin removed which has a higher fat content. If you use shredded chicken or boiled chicken I would suggest you add rotisserie seasonings to your chicken prior to combining it as it will be bland. A good spice combination would be salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, thyme and onion powder. 

What is California Chicken Salad?

California Chicken Salad is a classic Whole Foods Market dish. The salad is made with chicken breast, red grapes, celery and pecans with a creamy mayonnaise and poppy seed dressing. This is my take on it using Greek yogurt and rotisserie chicken. 

California chicken salad

Can you make this recipe dairy and gluten free?

To make this California Chicken Salad recipe dairy and gluten free use your favorite dairy free yogurt and milk.

Ingredients and Substitutes:

These are the main ingredients and substitutions. See recipe card below for full ingredients list and instructions for California Chicken Salad. 

Rotisserie Chicken: you can substitute with any boneless, skinless shredded chicken breast. See the note above regarding seasonings. Rotisserie chicken makes this recipe quick and easy to prep. 

Seedless Red Grapes: your favorite grapes will do although to avoid seeing the Dentist I’d recommend always choosing seedless. 

Red Onion: you can omit entirely if needed. 

Celery: celery adds a great crunch to this recipe but you can omit entirely if needed.

Pecans: toasting your pecans adds a great crunch and earthiness to the dish. You can use untoasted as well or even swap with sliced almonds. 

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These are the main ingredients and substitutions for the creamy poppy seed dressing. See recipe card below for full ingredients list and instructions. 

Greek Yogurt: after tasting many Greek yogurts over the last year I can say Fage is my go to. You can substitute with your favorite non fat 0% Greek yogurt or dairy free alternative. 

Dijon Mustard: Dijon mustard adds the perfect amount of spice to this recipe. If you need to substitute I would choose a grainy mustard not yellow. 

Syrup: to add sweet and cut the tang of the Greek yogurt this recipe calls for light pancake syrup. You can find this near other syrups or swap with 100% pure maple or honey. 

Milk: any milk will do. I am using 2% but you can use almond or coconut for a dairy free alternative. 

Poppy Seeds: these are traditionally in the California Chicken salad but can be omitted if needed. 

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How to make this chicken salad

Step 1

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pecans on a baking sheet. Toast for 5 minutes while you prep the California Chicken Salad ingredients. 

Step 2

Remove all the meat from the rotisserie chicken and discard the skin and bones. From a medium sized rotisserie chicken I removed 1 lbs. 4.7 oz. of meat. Shred, chop and place in a large bowl. 

Step 3

Quarter the seedless red grapes, dice and chop the celery and red onion and add to the chicken. 

Step 4

In a small bowl mix the poppy seed dressing ingredients together well. 

Step 5

When the pecans are toasted, chop and add to the chicken. 

Step 6

Pour in the dressing and mix together well to get everything evenly coated. 

Step 7

Serve on bread, buns, lettuce cups, in a salad or wrap, or simply eat it by itself. Nutrition facts are for chicken salad only. 

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If you like this recipe be sure to check out some of our other easy meals!

Yields 

8 servings 

Approx. 150 grams

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“ohsnapmacros California Chicken Salad”

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings
1 rotisserie chicken, pulled from the bone (see notes)
1 cup (150g) seedless red grades, quartered
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 red onion (100g), chopped
45g chopped pecans, toasted
Poppy Seed Dressing
1 cup Fage Non Fat 0% Greek Yogurt (210g)
2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp. lite pancake syrup
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. poppy seeds

Nutritional Information

218 Calories
11 Fat (g)
9 Carbs (g)
16 Protein (g)
0.7 Dietary Fiber (g)
984 Sodium (mg)

Directions

1.

Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pecans on a baking sheet. Toast for 5 minutes while you prep the California Chicken Salad ingredients.
Mark as complete
2.

Remove all the meat from the rotisserie chicken and discard the skin and bones. From a medium sized rotisserie chicken I removed 1 lbs. 4.7 oz. of meat. Shred, chop and place in a large bowl.
Mark as complete
3.

Quarter the seedless red grapes, dice and chop the celery and red onion and add to the chicken.
Mark as complete
4.

In a small bowl mix the poppy seed dressing ingredients together well.
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5.

When the pecans are toasted, chop and add to the chicken.
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6.

Pour in the dressing and mix together well to get everything evenly coated.
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7.

Serve on bread, buns, lettuce cups, in a salad or wrap, or simply eat it by itself. Nutrition facts are for chicken salad only.
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