Chicken salad is one of our favorite lunch foods. It’s simple to make and just as easy to customize. Serve it up on a bed of lettuce to keep things gluten-free, or eat it on a whole-wheat pita to get your daily serving of complex carbs. We like to switch things up from time to time, though, so we don’t get bored! This Curried Quinoa Chicken Salad recipe is the perfect way to put a fun new twist on lunch. The quinoa adds a ton of extra protein while the veggies add fiber, ensuring you’ll feel fuller for hours after eating it.
The best part about this recipe? You can use leftover chicken to make this Curried Quinoa Chicken Salad! That means you can cook a whole chicken using our Instant Pot Apple Cider Glazed Chicken recipe and use the leftovers to make this chicken salad for lunch. If the slow cooker is more your style, our Everything Chicken tastes good on, well, everything. It’s an easy way to meal prep and cook once to create multiple meals.
You could also pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, but make sure you peek at the ingredients before putting it into the cart. Sometimes store-bought chicken has added sugar, sodium, oils, or preservatives.
A Quick Note About Frozen Peas
You’ll notice our recipe calls for frozen peas. In case you’re wondering, sometimes frozen food is more nutritious than fresh food! For example, peas aren’t in season in the winter time. They’re really only harvested in the spring. Once they come off the vine, their nutrition content starts to wane. Freezing them at the peak of harvest ensures the vitamins and minerals will be readily available.
If you’re making this recipe in the springtime and you can find fresh peas at the farmer’s market, feel free to use fresh. Otherwise, stick to the frozen variety. They’ll not only taste better, but they’ll be more nutrient-dense, too.
Red Curry Vs Yellow Curry
In India, there is a multitude of different curry options! Most local grocery stores tend to carry two varieties: red curry and yellow curry. You may also find green curry, but that type is typically only available as a paste and not as a powder.
For this recipe, we’d recommend using yellow curry powder. The main component of this mixture is turmeric, a spice that’s well-known for its high antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory properties. It has a mild flavor and the perfect amount of spice to carry the other flavors in our Curried Quinoa Chicken Salad.
Red curry would be acceptable, too, but it tends to have more chili peppers than yellow curry. Those peppers can overpower the delicate flavors of the apples and raisins. It would create a beautiful red color, though, so go ahead and use it if you love the extra spice.
We can’t wait to hear what you think of our Curried Quinoa Chicken Salad recipe! Let us know if you made it in the comments.
Yield: 8 servings | Serving size: about 1/2 cup | Calories: 295 | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Carbohydrates: 38 g | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 6 g | Protein: 21 g | Cholesterol: 43 mg Sodium: 216 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 7
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced small
- 1/2 cup celery, diced small
- 1 green apple, diced small
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup peas (frozen is best)
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 2 cups boneless and skinless chicken breast, shredded
- In a sauce pan, bring the chicken broth and curry to a boil on medium heat. Once boiling, add the quinoa. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat, and let sit (keeping covered) for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, celery and apple. Cook just until onions begin to turn translucent - about 5 minutes. Add the salt, peas, raisin, and chicken. Mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork and add to the chicken mixture. Combine well and remove from heat. Serve the chicken salad hot or cold.
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