Curry Chicken Salad

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This curry chicken salad takes the concept of a classic chicken salad and gives it a unique, spiced-up twist! It features sweet raisins, crunchy cashews, and crisp celery tossed in a creamy, curried dressing with fresh cilantro.

If this recipe is your kind of jam, you’ll also love my Avocado Chicken Egg Salad and this fantastic Hawaiian Macaroni Salad!

A hand picking up a curry chicken salad lettuce wrap.


Here’s a story about how I jazzed up a classic chicken salad into something really spectacular. I was thinking about how much we love to shake things up in the kitchen here, always adding a little twist to our favorites. Thus, one afternoon, I was in the mood for something familiar yet with a bit of a kick, so I added some bold spices to my usual chicken salad recipe and came up with this curried chicken salad!

It has all the classics—succulent chicken, crisp celery, and crunchy nuts—but I threw in some sweet raisins and spiced it all up with curry powder and a dash of turmeric in the creamy mayo dressing. It’s seriously tasty!

You can slap it on some bread, scoop it into lettuce cups, or grab some homemade naan and dig in. Any way you serve it, this curried chicken salad is a fun and flavorful twist on a good old classic that you’ve got to try. Trust me, it makes lunch anything but boring!

Why You’ll Love This Curry Chicken Salad Recipe

A unique twist on a classic. Everyone loves a good old-fashioned chicken salad. This recipe takes the much-loved classic and adds an Indian-inspired spin with curry powder, turmeric, and cilantro.

Versatile. There are so many different ways to serve a chicken salad. Between two slices of sandwich bread, on a salad, in lettuce wraps, with Lavash bread—you name it!

Customizable. In the mood to get creative? This recipe is a great canvas for experimentation. Swap out the chicken for chickpeas, try different nuts or dried fruits, or go with a totally different flavor profile. It’s all up to you.

Labeled ingredients for curry chicken salad.

What You’ll Need

Take your shopping cart and wander the aisles while grabbing all the ingredients you’ll need to make a curry chicken salad recipe. Scroll to the recipe card below for precise measurements.

For the chicken

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts – Boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders would also work.
  • Salt and black pepper – To season the chicken for flavor.
  • Olive oil – To coat the chicken.

To make the dressing

  • Mayonnaise – Not a mayo person? Use plain or Greek yogurt instead.
  • Greek yogurt – If you want to skip the yogurt and use just mayo, that’s Ay-Ok.
  • Honey – Agave would work just as well.
  • Spices – Curry powder and turmeric. The turmeric is optional, but it does bring a pretty yellow/orange color to the salad.

For the salad

  • Veggies – Celery and red onion.
  • Raisins – You could swap the raisins out for cranberries or chopped dried apricots if you’d like.
  • Apple – I used a Honeycrisp apple, but you can use any varietal you’d like.
  • Dry roasted cashews – Feel free to use walnuts or pistachios instead.
  • Fresh chopped cilantro – Not a cilantro person? Parsley will work just fine.
  • Salt and pepper – Used to enhance the flavors of the salad.

How To Make Curry Chicken Salad

This not-so-classic chicken salad brings a delicious twist to your table. Follow these simple steps to create a curried chicken salad that’s packed with flavor and textures.

  1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Roast the chicken. Rub the chicken with salt, pepper, and olive oil until well-coated. Bake for 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the largest breast reads 165°F. Remove the chicken from the oven and rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting it into cubes.
  3. Make the dressing. Whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, honey, curry powder, and turmeric in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Assemble the salad. Combine the chicken, celery, onion, raisins, apples, cashews, and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat.
  5. Season. Taste the salad and season it with salt and pepper. If you’d like to add some extra curry powder, you can do that too.
  6. Chill. Let the chicken salad cool to room temperature, then cover it with plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  7. Serve. Serve it cold in lettuce wraps or between two slices of bread.
Salad with chicken bites, raisins, chopped apples, and celery in a glass bowl.

Tips for Success

  • Let it rest. Give the chicken about 5 minutes to rest after roasting and before cutting into it. This will give the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the meat, leaving you with more tender, flavorful bites.
  • Dress it while it’s hot. It’s best to dress this chicken salad while the chicken is still hot. The meat will absorb the flavors of the dressing better that way.
  • Don’t skip the chill. While you could eat this chicken salad right away, it’s best to let it cool to room temperature and then chill it in the fridge for a couple of hours (or overnight) to give the flavors a chance to meld.
Three lettuce wraps with chicken salad arranged on a wooden board.

Fun Variations

  • Save some time. Use rotisserie chicken instead of roasting your own. Just remove the meat from the carcass, cube it, and toss it with the dressing and ingredients for the salad.
  • Make it vegetarian. Instead of roasted chicken, try toasted chickpeas or cubed tofu or tempeh. The meat eaters in your life will love it too.
  • Different nuts. I love cashews, but you could swap them for walnuts or pistachios. Macadamia nuts or sunflower seeds would be fun too.
  • Dried fruit options. Instead of raisins, try chopped dried apricots. Cranberries are another option.
  • Go traditional. The curry and turmeric are so great in this salad but, if you want a more “traditional” chicken salad, you can leave them out. Maybe mix in some Dijon mustard and swap the cilantro out for chopped fresh parsley and dill.

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to enjoy this chicken salad is between two slices. Grab your favorite loaf of bread from the store or make your own slow cooker bread. I’ve even been known to serve it wrapped up in a flour tortilla or leave the bread behind and scoop it up with lettuce wraps.

A chicken salad sandwich pairs nicely with cajun fries (they’re SO good!) or with a side of lemon rice, too! If you need something lighter, try my berry avocado salad or any other salad. For a tasty twist, substitute the chicken in my famous cobb salad with this curry chicken salad.

Piled-up curry chicken salad sandwich with chopped chicken, celery, apples, and more.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Seal any leftover chicken curry salad in an airtight container. You can store it in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge before diving back in.

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Curry Chicken Salad

This curry chicken salad is a fun take on the classic mixed with juicy chicken, raisins, cashews, and celery tossed in a creamy dressing with cilantro.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 4


For the chicken

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (about ¾ to 1 pound)
  • teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the dressing

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, optional for a brighter yellow/orange color

For the salad

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • cup raisins
  • 1 small apple, cored and diced
  • cup dry roasted cashews
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper, to taste
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  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Roast the chicken. Rub the chicken with salt, pepper, and olive oil until well-coated and arrange it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the largest breast reads 165°F.
  • Rest. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 8 to 10 minutes before cutting it into cubes.
  • Make the dressing. While the chicken is baking and resting, whisk together the mayo, Greek yogurt, honey, curry powder, and turmeric in a small mixing bowl.
  • Assemble the salad. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, celery, onion, raisins, apples, cashews, and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss to coat all of the ingredients.
  • Season. Taste the curry chicken salad and season it with salt and pepper to taste. You can also add extra curry powder.
  • Chill. Allow the chicken salad to cool to room temperature before covering it with plastic wrap and chilling it in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  • Serve. Serve it cold in lettuce wraps or between two slices of bread.


Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 1146mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 244IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. A_Boleyn says:

    Looks delicious.

    1. Katerina says:

      Hi! 👋
      It’s SO nice to hear from you again! Hope you’ve been well and enjoying life. 😊

    2. Katerina says:

      Thank YOU! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! 🙂