Today I’m sharing my absolute favorite curry chicken salad recipe. This super simple recipe is a crowd-pleaser and is the perfect way to use up leftover roasted chicken. Celery, red onion, and cashews add the perfect crunch while the tart apple adds the perfect pop of contrasting flavor. The beauty of this recipe is it gets better each day.
I know I’m in the minority here but I hate mayo. Absolutely everything about it is disgusting to me. I hate it on my sandwiches. It is just an all-around no for me. Even the thought of chicken salad sounded gross until I had this recipe. I LOVE curry chicken salad. My toddler loves it and my favorite part is that it is even better the next day.
How I fell in love with Curry Chicken Salad
When I graduated from college I took a job at something called a destination farm. Basically, it is one of those family-run farms that you visit where you can u-pick fruits and vegetables, feed farm animals, and has hayrides.
I started out by working in their apple orchard. They grew over 70 apples and it was my job to guide customers to the right apples. I absolutely loved that job. The pay was absolute crap. I was making minimum wage with a Bachelors’s degree but that’s another story. I learned so much about different types of apples including what they were good for like eating, baking, or saucing.
After the apple season was over I moved into their produce section and then finally moved into their bakery. The bakery job was so much fun. I started as a “pie wrapper” which basically meant I wrapped pies and pastries and made sure the pie table was stocked for customers. Eventually, I moved my way up to making pies and pastries. It was a lot of fun.
But like I said before I was making minimum wage on the Central Coast of California. It’s a very expensive place to live and therefore I was broke.
Cue the curry chicken salad. This farm that I worked at also had a deli that would sell prepackaged containers of deli salads and things for customers to picnic and enjoy. The perk was that food was pulled from the shelves on day 2 and given to staff to eat. I ate this free food as often as I could and was always delicious.
I was very hesitant to try the curry chicken salad at first because chicken salad sounded gross and ew mayo. But it has cashews and curry in it and I love curry. So I tried it and I fell in love. After I left that job I started to miss it so I made my own recipe and have been enjoying it for almost 10 years now.
How to make Curry Chicken Salad
- 4 cups of shredded chicken
- 2 stalks of celery diced
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 small apple diced- I prefer Pink Lady apples
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews
- 3/4-1 cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon curry
- Salt and pepper to taste
Put roughly 4 cups of shredded chicken in a bowl. Dice up 2 celery stalks, 1/4 cup of red onion, and 1 small apple. Add them to the bowl and top with 1/4 cup of cashews.
Add 3/4-1 cup of mayo (as much as you would like to evenly coat everything) and 1 tablespoon of curry. Mix until combined. Salt and pepper to taste. You can eat it immediately but tastes best when it has been refrigerated for a few hours.
Notes on making Curry Chicken Salad
I prefer roasted or rotisserie chicken for this recipe but any shredded or chopped chicken will do.
For the apple in this recipe, I prefer something sweet and tart like a Pink Lady. I have also done red grapes and dried cranberries instead. You just want something a little sweet and tart that gives a really nice pop of flavor.
I really love cashews in this recipe but you can really use any nut you’d like or leave them out altogether.
I am not exact with my measurements when I make this recipe. Everything is about flavoring to your liking so if you feel it needs more or less of something or you only have a certain about chicken this recipe is very forgiving.
If you’re interested in more made-from-scratch recipes you can check them out here.
I’ve never had cashews in chicken salad, but they’re my favorite nut so I bet it’s delicious!
Ive never even had chicken salad! Definitely doing this recipe when I do indeed try it!
Kathy Pollard says
I adore curry in chicken salad, and your recipe sounds perfect!
Oh man, yum! I’m sure my family will love this twist on our regular chicken salad – thank you!