Sunday, February 23, 2014

Paleo Curried Chicken Salad

Confession time. When I shop at Trader Joe's I often grab something that makes me a big fat paleo "cheater."

While you might be envisioning some cookies or cereal, my straying is a little less indulgent and fun. I'm a sucker for their curried chicken salad. It's a little spicy and a little sweet. Has just the right combination of textures (thanks to cashews, raisins and carrots). It's not too slimy, as I often find to be the case with store-bought chicken and tuna salads. Also, it's pretty cheap and easy.

In the scheme of things I don't see this truly as a horrifying cheat. It's not a horrific lunch to have in a pinch: pretty high in protein and doesn't have any unpronounceable ingredients. The first ingredient is chicken. The second, however, is mayo made from soybean oil.

I actually was never a big mayo person, even before going paleo. I never would have dreamed of making it myself, as it just wasn't a condiment I needed to have. I've since learned, though, that homemade mayo is pretty darned easy and much tastier than the white paste in the jars.

So today I decided to make my own version of my favorite Trader Joe's salad. I used a rotisserie chicken to make things easier, but any cooked and chopped chicken would work. Obviously tweak the amount of curry to suit your tastebuds. If you want a really yellow salad, add some turmeric. I was out and frankly didn't care about the color of my lunch…

I added the honey after the caveman said the salad was missing the sweetness of the TJ's one. It tasted great without it, but I did actually find the added touch of sweet balanced the curry nicely.

Paleo Curried Chicken Salad

3 cups cooked chicken, cut into cubes or bite-size pieces
1/4 cup homemade paleo mayo
3 minces green onions
1/2 medium apple, chopped small
2 large celery stalks, chopped
3 tbs. curry powder
1 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
juice-sweetened dried cranberries & raw cashew pieces (small amount, use your discretion)
2 tsp. honey (optional)

Put chicken in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.


  1. That's funny, Susan. I've had my eye on that TJ's salad for weeks and several times now, I've picked it up, and put it back. Like you wrote, the ingredients are all recognizable but I try to stay away from pre-packaged food especially those containing soybean oil. Anyway, I have no need to try it now with your great recipe! Thank you!

    1. There are worse things you could eat, but this is much healthier & so much tastier too!