I’m not really supposed to tell you this, but I don’t even love chicken salads.
Er, didn’t. Past tense.
Friends, meet this healthy GARLIC HERB CHICKEN SALAD. She is basic and simple and 10-minute-fast while still being (obvs) rocked out with flavor. She is also clean, real, get-back-your-glow food for a Monday dinner. And she is, as of this moment, my favorite chicken salad ever slash the best healthy chicken salad slash the only chicken salad that I like.
This salad – she knows us. She knows what we need and love. She is packing in the juicy summer tomatoes, fresh garden basil, rotisserie chicken (psh, girl knows you don’t have it in you to actually cook your own chicken in the summer), brown rice and/or quinoa, and Parmesan if you wanna fudge on the clean eating part just a lil bit.
And that creamy part that makes it hold all together? Healthy chicken salad means we are working with NO mayo. We’re talking about a mixture of: a handful of walnuts, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, more basil, and a little knob of garlic — all of which makes a clean, creamy dressing that rivals any of the best mayo-based sauces that a chicken salad has ever seen.
I get it, guys. I am right there with you.
You grilled out on Friday and went out for a big ol brunch on Saturday and then last night the cookie brownies made an appearance in your kitchen and now you are FEELING IT. Holy Monday, you are feeling it. And by you, I mean me. It’s summer, and the living is good, and the eating is even better. How much do you guys love it? I love it A LOT.
But I also love the feeling of getting a grip on the amazing summer eating situation by channeling the best of fresh, vibrant summer flavors into something that fits the clean eating bill. Especially on a Monday.
Boom. We are all over this healthy chicken salad as meal prep situation.
A post-weekend detox never tasted better.
RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU LOVE THIS KINDA FOOOOOD.
Garlic Herb Chicken Salad – this healthy chicken salad is CREAMY and CLEAN with no mayo! like a cross between herby bruschetta and chicken salad. Super easy, too!
- 2 cups cooked mixed brown rice and quinoa (I use the pre-cooked Seeds of Change mix)
- 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped (store-bought rotisserie chicken works like a charm)
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
Creamy Basil Dressing:
- 1/2 cup walnuts (can sub almonds)
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup basil
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of two lemons
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Toss the brown rice / quinoa, chicken, and tomatoes together.
- For the dressing, whiz everything together in the food processor until mostly smooth and a little bit creamy. Taste and adjust as necessary.
- Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients – letting it all sit together for 30 minutes helps the flavors become x-tra delicious.
Other add-in possibilities: greens – I like to add a handful of chopped baby spinach just before serving, Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese – I mean, not super healthy, but your secret is safe with me! pepperoncinis for a salty tangy bite, roasted corn, and maybe more seeds or nuts like pepitas, pistachios, or almonds. Possibilities abound! Go wild.
This salad lasts for a few days (like, 3 max) in the fridge once it’s tossed. The tomatoes water the whole thing down a bit, so keep those separate until just before serving if you can.
One More Thing!
This recipe is part of our best healthy summer salads page. Check it out!