Curry chicken salad with cashews uses just a few ingredients and has crunch and a wonderfully warm spice flavor. Delicious served hot or cold, this recipe is a great choice for using up leftover cooked or rotisserie chicken.
This curry chicken salad recipe isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it continues to be in our regular dinner rotation even 6+ years after first posting it here on the blog.
Needless to say it needed a little photo upgrade!
Most of the time this is what I make for dinner the night I bring home a rotisserie chicken. It has SO many qualities worthy of a weeknight meal recipe:
- it’s quick to make
- it uses mainly kitchen staples (with ingredient wiggle room)
- it’s just as good eaten warm or straight-from-the-fridge cold
- it can be served lots of different ways: on a green salad, a sandwich, a wrap, in a bowl by itself…
It’s one of those recipes that has you excited to eat lunch the next day because you can’t wait to dig into the leftovers. That kind of good. 🙂
As previously mentioned, many of the ingredients here have wiggle room and the chicken is no exception. A store-bought rotisserie chicken is arguably the easiest way to amass approximately four to five cups of cooked and roughly-shredded chicken, but you can absolutely cook chicken yourself and shred or slice it as you see fit.
For time purposes I use the Instant Pot if I’m cooking chicken breasts at home for use in shredded chicken recipes. You can see my method listed out in one of our Game Day favorites, healthy buffalo chicken dip.
We’re not fans of small, fine chicken pieces so we keep the shreds on the larger side for this curry chicken salad. Anything works though.
Next we have the ingredient that binds everything together: mayonnaise. Now I’m not really a mayonnaise fan in general (I’ll never spread it plain on a sandwich), but it does the trick when spiced up just right in recipes like this curry chicken salad. I’m partial to lite mayonnaise but full-boat would also work.
Sometimes if I’m running low on mayo or want to switch things up I sub in half plain Greek yogurt, like in these smoky chicken salad lettuce wraps. It really blends right in!
Then there’s apple cider vinegar for tang (use any type of vinegar), raw celery and onion for crunch, cashews for extra heft, and salt, pepper, and curry powder. Regular curry powder is my go-to, but if you like things spicy, I recommend using a Jamaican-style curry powder instead. I have both in my pantry and love swapping in a bit of heat if we’re in the mood!
Once the chicken is shredded, all that’s left is to stir everything together and adjust the seasonings as you like. This chicken salad with cashews is great served right away warm, or after being refrigerated cold.
While this curry chicken salad is a my version of baseline chicken salad, we love switching it up and making buffalo chicken salad, too. This recipe features extra zip from buffalo wing sauce and crumbled blue cheese for a ubiquitous wing flavor.
If you’re into curry powder adding a warm touch to non-traditional recipes, you might also enjoy this creamy chicken and rice soup. It combines with a slightly-unexpected pantry spice blend for the BEST flavor. Inspired by a trip to Antigua!
- One rotisserie chicken usually yields between four and five cups of cooked and shredded chicken. The amount used here doesn’t need to be precise.
- Chicken breasts really can vary in size, but I’ve found somewhere between 1.5 to 2 pounds of raw chicken breasts to yield four-ish cups of cooked and shredded chicken.
Curry Chicken Salad with Cashews
- 4 - 5 cups cooked and shredded chicken anything in this range is fine (see note)
- 2/3 cup light mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or white
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 2 tbsp diced onion
- 2/3 cup lightly-salted cashew pieces
- Shred cooked chicken and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Stir in chicken, celery, onion, and cashews until chicken is fully coated by mayonnaise mixture and all ingredients are well mixed. Refrigerate if not serving right away.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.