This chicken salad was inspired by my Healthy Broccoli Salad, where I replaced the usual mayonnaise with a creamy avocado dressing. I’ve always been a fan of good quality homemade mayonnaise, but it adds too much complication for everyday life, (and more calories than most people are comfortable with). Homemade mayo only keeps a couple of days in the fridge, and the smallest batch you can make still yields 1 1/2 cups! Since I almost never go through that much mayonnaise, I started looking for an alternative – enter the avocado – my new all around favorite!
So… I’ve made a few changes to this classic to make it not only healthier, but easier as well. I grilled the chicken for easier cleanup and another layer of flavor – less dishes means everyone wins! While the chicken is grilling, the rest of the salad comes together relatively quickly.
A couple of tips for the preparation:
1. Leave the grapes whole if you’re short on time, cutting them in half is the most time consuming part of this recipe.
2. Let the chicken cool completely if you want to store the chicken salad for a day or two. It’s really good if it’s mixed together while the chicken is still warm, but it can cause the avocado dressing to brown if you have leftovers.
3. Avocados vary in size, so if your chicken salad seems a bit dry, mix in a couple tablespoons of water to help combine everything.
Grilled chicken, crisp sweet grapes, crunchy celery, and buttery walnuts bound together with a supremely creamy avocado dressing!
I served this the first time as a light lunch on a bed of lettuce, and the second time we used it as a filling for lettuce wraps. It’s also awesome for a packed lunch the next day, (so awesome that I couldn’t keep Tyler out of it)! I know this salad keeps at least 2 days, but only because I hid some to see if it would keep! So… don’t worry too much about leftovers, because you probably won’t have any!
- 1 pkg boneless skinless chicken thighs, (1lb 6oz)
- 3 ribs of celery, thinly sliced yielding 1½ cups
- 2 cups of red grapes, halved (11 oz)
- ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the grill on high.
- Place the chicken on the grill and immediately lower the heat to medium high. Cook approximately 6-8 minutes per side (the time will vary depending on the size). Remove the chicken from the grill when it's no longer pink, and set aside to cool.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.
- Blend the avocado, lemon juice, and sea salt together until smooth. I made my dressing in the blender and I needed to scrape down the sides a couple of times.
- Chop the cooled chicken into bite sized pieces and combine it with the rest of the salad ingredients.
- Add the dressing and mix to thoroughly combine. Add a little water (2-4 Tablespoons) if the mixture looks a bit dry.
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