This chicken salad with turmeric uses fresh turmeric root for a nutritious antioxidant boost to this creamy, crunchy, gluten-free lunch salad. Serve with toasted bread or lettuce wraps for an easy lunch.
Chicken salad and I go back to childhood.
I first started eating it when my dad would make tuna melts for lunch and I would deem them completely gag worthy and inedible (I refused all fish until sometime around 13 years old – funny now that I love all seafood).
His compromise to me was the same lunch just with chicken instead of tuna.
I’ve loved them ever since. Although, I tend to use leftover shredded chicken instead of canned these days.
For some reason, I’m fine with canned salmon like in this salmon salad or these crispy salmon bites and even ok with canned tuna these days like in this tuna waldorf salad or these tuna patties with apples and cheddar but canned chicken gives me pause.
I’ve done a grown up version of those childhood chicken salad melts with this chicken salad cheddar melt and a few other variations like this honey chicken salad with apples and sage and this garlic yogurt chicken salad sandwich but today, I’m using up the rest of the fresh turmeric in this antioxidant/anti-inflammatory chicken salad.
That box of fresh turmeric root lasted quite awhile in my fridge but I’m happy to report that after the baked turmeric oatmeal, the Instant Pot coconut pork and the turmeric chicken skillet this is the last of turmeric recipe posts for a bit!
Turmeric chicken salad is an easy recipe.
It’s great for lunch, super adaptable to what you have on hand or your taste with the simple nutritious and anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric.
How To Make Turmeric Chicken Salad
Like most chicken salads, this is an easy one-bowl recipe. Nothing fancy, just combine the ingredients and mix well.
The main players are:
- shredded chicken – you can use breast or thigh meat, whichever you prefer (try this quick and easy air fried frozen chicken breast recipe if you need a quick way to cook some meat for this salad)
- plain Greek yogurt – no mayo here!
- freshly grated turmeric root
I used to despise mayo in all things but have recently come to use it in a few select ways. Chicken salad is not one of those ways, however. I find mayo-laden lunch salads to be so gross and remind me of that gloppy stuff you see sitting in deli counters all day long.
For that reason, I always use Greek yogurt when I make chicken salad. It adds a nice healthy protein-boost while still giving you that creamy texture you want in lunch salad.
Other ingredients in this turmeric chicken salad recipe are:
- fresh tarragon
Tarragon and sage are my favorite herbs for chicken salad. Fresh tarragon has such a lovely flavor (I absolutely love it in these skillet lamb chops) that’s a bit different than the more commonly used herbs but I think goes really well with the subtle gingery kick of the turmeric.
Cinnamon and sugar might be a bit surprising to see in here but again, they complement the raisins and turmeric perfectly.
If you don’t like raisins, try another dried fruit like cranberries, blueberries or tart cherries. Golden raisins would work just fine too if you have those on hand.
How Do I Serve Chicken Salad with Turmeric?
My favorite way to eat this turmeric chicken salad is on toasted rye or pumpernickel bread like shown. The rye flavor is a lovely contrast to the sweetness in this recipe.
Any wrap would be another great bread-like option.
Another idea is to serve the salad in lettuce cups or cheddar cups.. Bibb or romaine lettuce leaves are perfect for this use because of their shape. Lettuce wraps are a great way to keep this meal low-carb.
You can also make a salad with any variety of leafy greens and scoop some of this turmeric chicken salad on top.
All in all, this easy turmeric chicken salad recipe can be made in 10 minutes, 5 minutes even if you can shred and chop quickly!
Besides that lovely yellow color, the turmeric root also brings a nice nutritious boost and lovely gingery flavor.
When you round it out with cinnamon, a touch of sugar and sweet raisins, it’s the perfect bite and a fun twist to the traditional chicken salad recipe.
Add it to your lunch plans!
Love this recipe for turmeric chicken salad?
Turmeric Chicken Salad
- 6 ounces shredded cooked chicken, breast or thigh
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ” piece fresh turmeric, grated (*see note for using dried ground turmeric)
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- salt and pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Stir until well combined.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with toasted bread, lettuce wraps or on top of salad.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.