Recipe: Post Workout Protein-Packed Chicken Salad

This chicken salad includes chopped natural unflavored almonds, and uses Greek yogurt with a bit of seasonings as the dressing, making it super protein-packed. It’s up to you how to serve it. You can use it to top Romaine leaves or another leafy green, scoop it up with your favorite crackers, or use a few hearty slices of bread, or a tortilla, to turn it into a sandwich or wrap. You can even add chicken salad to a hollowed out tomato or bell pepper, or serve it on a bed of mixed greens. So many options! And speaking of options, this recipe makes a very good, basic chicken salad, and there are some variations below because it’s fun to change things up once in awhile so you don’t get bored. The possibilities are endless.

It’s a big timesaver to use leftover cooked chicken for this recipe — rotisserie is perfect for this, or you can cook a few extra chicken breasts for dinner one night to use in the salad and get you through with a week’s worth of snacks or lunches. And if you want to turn this into a heartier meal, maybe for dinner, then try serving this up with a side of grilled or roasted veggies to get even more plant-powered goodness into your day. But it’s easy as can be to make ahead and will keep for days and days in the fridge. And it really is one of the best things to pack into your cooler to keep you fueled up.

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Protein-Packed Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup natural almonds, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
7-8 ounces Greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Romaine lettuce leaves, whole grain bread, tortillas, or crackers, for serving

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Place diced chicken, almonds, celery, and green onions into a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, lemon juice, honey, if using, garlic powder, and a good pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour into the bowl with the chicken and stir well to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to serve.

To serve, spoon some of the chicken salad onto a a lettuce leaf, make a sandwich or wrap, or serve with crackers.

Makes 6 servings.

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– Add 1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, diced apricots, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, etc.).

– Add 1 teaspoon curry powder plus 1 cup halved grapes or 1 small, diced green apple for another classic version.

– Use 1/2 cup diced cucumber instead of, or in addition to the celery.

– Substitute diced fennel bulb for the celery and add 1 small, diced green apple plus 1 tablespoon of chopped fennel fronds.

– Amp up the savory by adding 1/2 cup sliced or diced olives and 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes plus 1 tablespoon dried or 2 tablespoons fresh Italian herbs (oregano, basil, marjoram, etc.).

– To make Ranch chicken salad, add 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

– Add 1/4 cup finely chopped herbs — your favorite! Mint and parsley are especially good.

– Take it to the border by adding in 1 teaspoon chili powder, use lime juice instead of lemon, substitute corn for the celery, and top with tomato slices, avocado, and cilantro. If you want it spicy, add a diced jalapeno!

– Sub the chicken for a vegetarian option by using white beans or chickpeas — two 15-ounce cans, drained, work nicely. You can mash the beans a bit, or leave them whole.

– Add 1-2 teaspoons each of Dijon mustard and honey for a delicious Honey Mustard Chicken Salad.

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Credits: Photos and recipe by Lindsey Johnson

28 thoughts on “Recipe: Post Workout Protein-Packed Chicken Salad”

  1. After reading this post, it makes me want chicken salad bad, and almonds is a great and crunchy addition to the salad! This post AND the survey I took, made me want Blue Diamond Almonds too. I will have to gets some on my next visit to the market. :)

  2. Great recipe! I could really go for some of that right now. Took the survey, too. Thanks for having such a unique blog!

  3. I took the survey! I am looking forward to attempting the honey mustard version (with Dijon) this weekend!

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