Smoked Chicken Salad
Updated: May 4
This recipe is my go to when I have some leftover smoked chicken from dinner the night before. I love the tender smoky chicken, sweet apples, crisp celery and earthy onions balanced with a tangy dressing and lots of crunchy pecans, every bite is a wonderland of flavors and textures! Perfect for an easy dinner or nutritious lunch, either way, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
How to Enjoy Smoked Chicken Salad
This simple smoked chicken salad is a great way to enjoy the smoked chicken from Sunday's dinner for Monday's lunches! I love to serve it up a variety of ways for my family to enjoy!
On a brioche bun with butter lettuce, thick sliced tomatoes and a few pickled jalapeños
On Plantain Chips
In a Wrap with butter lettuce and cherry tomatoes on the side
Over cucumber slices
Open face on a thick slice of homemade sourdough and with sprouts
Over a bed of mixed greens and extra apples
In a butter lettuce wrap
Over some crackers
With organic corn chips
Anyway you choose to have it, I know you will love this tasty and delicious chicken salad!
Why Chicken is So Good For You!
We all know that chicken is a tasty and fantastic source of protein, but do you know why it is so good for you? Chicken, along with many other sources of animal protein, such as beef, eggs and fish, are a complete source of protein. This means that all nine essential amino acids are present and available to you when you eat these foods. When it comes to nutrients, anything labeled as "essential" means that your body cannot make or synthesize this nutrient, so it must be provided to your body by the foods you eat.
As mentioned above, there are nine essential amino acids that we must eat everyday to provide our bodies energy as well as the building blocks necessary in everyday functions such as growth and repair, immune support, and in the synthesis of our hormones and neurotransmitters.
The nine essential amino acids and their roles are :
Histidine: necessary for the production of histamine and also plays a role in nervous system health
Valine: necessary in energy production as well as muscle growth and repair
Phenylalanine: building block for neurotransmitters like dopamine and epinephrine (adrenaline), and in the production of other amino acids.
Leucine: necessary in stimulating wound healing, muscle repair, and blood sugar regulation.
Isoleucine: necessary in immune function and energy regulation.
Tryptophan: necessary building block for serotonin.
Methionine: necessary in detoxification, metabolism, and in your body's ability to absorb selenium (supports thyroid health) and zinc (necessary in production of HCl in your stomach).
Threonine: necessary in skin and connective tissue health.
Lysine: necessary in hormone production and your body's ability to absorb calcium (bone, heart, muscle and nerve health.)
Why Dark Meat Chicken?
Dark meat poultry is actually more nutrient dense that it's white meat counterpart. There are certain dishes I love to add white meat poultry and others that I love dark meat, this dish being one of them. Dark meat poultry does contain more fat which gives it its juicy and delectable flavor, making it a great choice for grilling, salads, kababs and more. Additionally, dark meat is also higher in nutrients such as vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B12 and C, as well as iron and zinc.
So get that smoked chicken diced up and let's get cooking!
Smoked Chicken Salad Ingredients
16-20 oz Smoked Chicken, diced or shredded
1-2 stalks Celery, finely diced
1/2 small Red Onion, finely diced
1 small Apple, diced
2/3 cup No Sugar Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Fresh Lemon juice
1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
Optional: dried cranberries, chopped pecans, pepitas, raisins
How to Make Smoked Chicken Salad
1. Roughly dice the smoked chicken and add to a large bowl.
2. Dice the onion, celery and apple and add it to the chicken.
3. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper and any seeds/nuts or dried fruits you want.
4. Mix well and enjoy!
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Q: My salad is a bit dry, what should I add to it?
A: Try adding a bit more mayonnaise and lemon juice, sometimes the chicken will absorb all of the dressing!
Q: I only have roasted chicken, is there any way to make it taste smoky?
A: You can try adding a smoked salt or smoked paprika and see how that tastes. Add a little at a time until you find the desired flavor you want.
Q: How long will this keep?
A: Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
If you like this recipe, check these out!
Bacon Potato Salad: Mustard based potato salad filled with plenty of salty olives and savory bacon!
Smoked Chicken Texas Twinkies: These succulent and mouthwatering Paleo and Whole30 chicken stuffed jalapeño poppers are next level! They will have you kissing those flavorless cream cheese filled ones "good-bye" forever!
Poppyseed Apple Kale Slaw: You will love this fresh, crisp and summery poppyseed apple kale slaw! It is beautifully balanced with a creamy and tangy dressing, sweet-tart green apples, and earthy kale!
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy