Curry Chicken Salad (Whole30)


With Indian-inspired flavors, this Curry Chicken Salad is delicious and nutritious. Easily made with antioxidant-rich curry powder, crispy vegetables, and crunchy cashews, this is one salad you’ll want to make again and again. Enjoy as a sandwich with gluten-free bread or in lettuce wraps to be Whole30-friendly curry chicken salad.

This post was originally published on January 3, 2016, updated on January 6, 2021.

Curry chicken salad in two lettuce wraps ready for serving

The best Curry Chicken Salad recipe

That might be a bold statement, but trust us, take one bite of this salad and you’ll fall in love! Made with creamy mayo, crunchy celery and apples, warm and spicy curry powder and the bright flavors of lime and cilantro this curry chicken salad is sure to win you over. As much as we love our Waldorf Chicken Salad, the spicy and antioxidant-rich curry makes this one a delicious and robust salad that we keep on rotation for our menu.

It’s simply one of our favorite recipes when we’ve got cooked chicken on hand – either leftover from a roast chicken or a store-bought rotisserie bird. Turning leftovers into a lunch wonder is what we’re all about!

All ingredients for curry chicken salad in a bowl ready to be mixed together

Paleo and Portable and Perfectly Craveable.

We’ve packed this Curry Chicken Salad full of fresh veggies and suggest serving them in butter lettuce or leaves of fresh romaine lettuce to up your veggie quotient even more. They’re Whole30-friendly and made without any added sugars when you use a clean mayonnaise. We like the avocado oil-based mayonnaise from Primal Kitchen for it’s mild, neutral flavor, creaminess, and convenience – not to mention lack of preservatives or added sugar.

All ingredients for curry chicken salad mixed together in a bowl ready for serving.

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Ingredients for this Whole30 Curry Chicken Salad

  • Chicken – cooked and cubed or shredded chicken.  You can use leftover chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken.
  • Mayonnaise – we like using Primal Kitchen mayo, but you can always use what you have on hand.
  • Curry powder – we love this budget-friendly, organic curry powder, but you can use what you have on hand.
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Apple – any apple will work so use your favorite variety.
  • Celery
  • Red onion – we use a red onion for this recipe, but if you prefer a yellow or white, that will work too!
  • Raisins – a little added sweetness from raisins, be sure to choose soft and plump raisins.
  • Cashews – dry-roasted cashews (like these) are our first choice because they don’t contain any added oils
  • Cilantro

Confused about poultry labeling? Check this post out to learn all about how to choose the best chicken in the grocery store.

Let’s make this warm and spicy curry chicken salad

  1. In a medium bowl mix together the mayonnaise, curry powder, lime juice, and salt.
  2. Next, add the cooked chicken, diced apple, celery, and onions and stir until well combined.
  3. Fold in the raisins, cashews, and cilantro.
  4. Serve in a lettuce wrap, on a bed of greens, in a tortilla, or between slices of your favorite bread.

How to keep this curry chicken salad

Whether you’re prepping this curry chicken salad ahead of time for easy grab-n-go lunches, or you have leftovers after serving for your dinner, store the salad in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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How to serve this salad

As a sandwich – we all love a good sandwich, right?  Grab your favorite kind of bread, gluten-free if you prefer, and whip up a classic chicken salad sandwich and top it with a large lettuce leaf, sprouts, an extra sprinkle of cilantro, and cracked pepper.

In a lettuce wrap – A light and crisp lettuce wrap is a delightful way to enjoy this chicken salad. Wrapping up a hefty spoonful of curry chicken in each lettuce wrap gives it an easy-to-grab feel and is perfect for packed lunches.  Using a lettuce wrap makes this meal Whole30-friendly!

Wrapped in a tortilla – Grab your favorite tortilla and roll up a hearty spoonful of curry chicken salad for a splendid meal.

Over a bed of greens – Choose your favorite mixed greens, add to a large bowl, and top with curry chicken salad for another Whole30 option.

Served on top of cucumber slices and/or crackers – A lighter version of serving and enjoying this chicken salad is to top crisp cucumber rounds and/or crackers of your choice.

Wondering how to make the perfect chicken breast for this salad? We’ve got you covered with our How to Make the Perfect Chicken Breast tutorial. 

Curry chicken salad sandwich with lettuce and sprouts and cashews

Looking for guidance with meal planning? Check out Real Plans, a highly customizable online meal planning service that includes over 300 of our very own recipes.

Looking for more chicken salad recipes to try?  Try these:

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Curry Chicken Salad

This cool and creamy chicken salad gets a little exotic with the addition of antioxidant-rich curry powder, crisp vegetables, and crunchy cashews.

  • Author: The Real Food Dietitians
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Cuisine: Whole30, Paleo, Dairy-Free


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 12 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • pinch of salt, more to taste
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced or shredded 
  • ½ medium apple with peel, diced
  • 1 celery rib, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. red onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup raisins 
  • ¼ cup dry-roasted cashews, roughly chopped
  • 24 Tbsp. fresh cilantro


  1. In a medium bowl mix together the mayonnaise, curry powder, lime juice, and salt.
  2. Next add the cooked chicken, diced apple, celery, and onions and stir until well combined.
  3. Fold in the raisins, cashews, and cilantro.
  4. Serve in a lettuce wrap, on a bed of greens or in a tortilla wrap or between slices of your favorite bread.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 375
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Sodium: 457mg
  • Fat: 28g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 23g

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All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on Simply Nourished Recipes so credit is given where credit is due. Thank you!

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.

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