Chicken Salad Salad

Melanie Lorick
by Melanie Lorick
8 Servings
1 hr

Think fast – what is your favorite chicken salad recipe of all time (and it can’t be your mama’s)? I grew up eating chicken salad sandwiches from Chick-fil-a…remember those? And, even though I know they weren’t perfectly healthy, I was still sad to see them get cut from the menu. My adult self also loves the chicken salad from Zoe’s. Some of you are probably citing Chicken Salad Chick as the “go to” these days and I have it on my bucket list to try before long. If I’m not grabbing something to-go, though, I do like making a lighter version of this awesome comfort food at home. It takes a little extra time to make it from scratch, but the added love just adds flavor and a sense of accomplishment (usually 😉). In a time where our society is working on health and wellness more than ever, I feel a little better when I cut back on the carbs and incorporate more greens instead.

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Look at those gorgeous pomegranate seeds - my secret ingredient for this delicious chicken salad recipe!

Recipe details
  • 8  Servings
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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  • 3 medium organic, free-range chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup toasted, chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, preferably full fat
  • 1/3 cup dried organic cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced (both green and white ends)
  • 1/2 lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 tbsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (or EVOO)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce (optional)

If desired, add pecan halves to dry skillet and toast over medium heat until you smell a delicate nutty flavor. Gently move skillet while cooking to ensure even pecan contact with skillet surface. Transfer to a cutting board to chop pecan pieces to desired size. One cup of pecan halves will equal 3/4 cup pieces.
In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt with garlic powder and lemon juice until thoroughly combined. Place in refrigerator to chill while the rest of the meal is prepared.
Using a grill pan or skillet, coat with avocado oil and warm over medium heat. Generously salt and pepper on each side before adding to skillet. Sometimes, I salt and pepper one side, add the chicken to the skillet - salt and pepper side down - and add more to the bare side while cooking. Reserve about 1/2 tbsp salt for later.
While the chicken cooks, finish chopping the scallions and green pepper if you did not finish ahead of time.
Remove the chicken once it is cooked through, approximately 25 minutes - depending upon the size of the chicken breasts. Transfer to a separate bowl and shred with two forks until the chicken pieces are to your desired size.
Add the Greek yogurt mixture, scallions, green pepper, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, and pecans. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
To make this a chicken salad "salad" place over a bed of greens, like a mixture of baby spinach and shredded romaine lettuce. Or, consider using an ice cream scoop to place one or two "spheres" of chicken salad on a large piece of lettuce.
Melanie Lorick
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