Our Keto Curry Chicken Salad is a healthier version than most as we use a delectably zingy citrus cumin vinaigrette. A satisfying main meal salad for any occasion that is sooo good for you!
This is a healthy curry chicken salad recipe; we skip out on the mayo, sultanas and nuts that you find in most chicken salad recipes. Instead, we use fresh a, colourful array of veggies, and grilled curry chicken tenders all tossed in a zingy citrus dressing - delicious AND healthy!!!
Table of contents
What do I love about this low carb curry chicken salad?
The wonderful spicy aromas especially if you take the time to toast the cumin seeds, it gives them a wonderful nutty flavour and works well with the citrus juices, mint leaves and the Madras chicken tenders.
Let’s Talk Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chicken tenders - perfect as they are soft juicy and well ‘tender’ but you can use chicken thighs instead. But, if you prefer to use chicken breasts, be careful that you don’t overcook them as they can become dry.
- Madras curry powder - now, of course, I would prefer that you either make your own or that you visit a specialty spice shop to buy your Madras. But, you can also find it in the spice section of several larger supermarkets or just use a plain curry blend instead.
- Coconut oil - I just love the wonderful aroma it brings to the chicken, swap for some extra virgin olive oil if you have to.
- Mixed salad leaves - used to bulk-up this salad, swap with baby spinach, rocket/arugula leaves or a soft leaf lettuce or cos/romaine lettuce would also work well here.
- Carrot and cucumber - for a pop of colour and crunch, you could try adding some coloured peppers as well or instead.
- Avocado - for added creaminess and to boost the satiety of this salad keeping you fuller for longer. Try some cooked edamame instead.
- Fresh mint - used for its fresh aroma, swap for coriander/cilantro if you like.
- Citrus cumin vinaigrette - this zesty aromatic dressing just pairs so well with all the flavours of this salad. If you want a fuss free version just use some lime juice and extra virgin olive oil and if you can be bothered to add a few cumin seeds you won't regret it!
You Will Need
Our Top Tips
- If you marinate the chicken the night before and allow the flavours to develop it will be even tastier. The coconut oil will harden in the fridge, so bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking.
- You can tell your chicken is ready to turn over when you see it turn white around the edges.
- It is done when it feels slightly firm yet spongy (not rock hard) when you press down on it with your tongs or fork.
- Do not overcrowd your pan with the chicken tenders as they will not fry and turn golden brown but will end up stewing.
- Take the time to toast your cumin seeds for this salad as it gives them a wonderful nutty flavour that works well with the citrus juices and the fresh mint.
How to Make It (step-by-step)
Step 1 - Marinate the chicken.
Cut your chicken tenders in half lengthwise to make 12 pieces.
Then place them in a medium bowl with one tablespoon of the melted coconut oil and the madras powder.
Season with salt and pepper and mix until combined, allow to marinate while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2 - Prepare the vegetables
In the meantime, prepare your vegetables.
Peel your carrot, wash it well and cut off the tops and ends, cut it in half lengthwise and slice on the diagonal.
Wash your cucumber, cut in half and remove the seeds with a teaspoon, then slice on the diagonal.
Wash your mixed salad leaves and then either pat or spin dry using a salad spinner for extra dry leaves and a tastier salad.
Wash the mint, shake and pat dry then strip the leaves from the stems.
Peel your avocado, remove the pit, cut it into slices and squeeze some lemon juice on top to prevent it from browning.
Transfer all your cut vegetables into a large mixing bowl.
Step 3 - Cook your chicken
Heat a non-stick frypan or chargrill pan on your stove until hot, add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil, then add the chicken tenderloins, a few at a time. You don't want to overcrowd the pan as they will stew in the juices and not brown.
Cook the chicken tenders in the hot pan until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. See our top tips for how to tell if your chicken is cooked.
Step 4 - Shake-up vinaigrette
Add all your vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar, season and shake until emulsified (this just means that the oil and citrus juices have come together).
Step 5 - Assemble your salad
Place all your vegetables in a mixing bowl, pour the dressing over the salad, season with salt and pepper and toss until the salad is well coated with the dressing.
Arrange the salad on one side of a large salad platter and the chicken tenders on the other. Serve within an hour of preparing and enjoy!
Keto Curry Chicken Salad makes a substantial meal on its own or you can serve it as part of an Indian feast alongside your favourite mains such as -
Common Questions (FAQs) & More Tips
You can easily prepare and cook the chicken the day before.
Make the vinaigrette a day or two in advance, it keeps well in the fridge. But, bring it to room temperature before using it in your salad as the oils would have hardened.
It can be prepared an hour or two in advance, just leave out your vinaigrette to add to your salad just before serving.
Also, make sure that you squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice on your avocado slices to prevent it from browning or add your avocado at the last minute.
Make it without the dressing, pour the dressing into a separate container, to add to your salad just before eating.
Squeeze lots of lemon on your avocado, so that it does not brown or cut into the salad the day before.
Instead of salad greens use cos/romaine lettuce or massaged kale as they hold up better
Ensure that your mint leaves are dry before adding so that they don’t discolour.
Consider making it on a cos leaf and adding the vegetables and chicken on top with the vinaigrette on the side.
This salad will keep for a day or two (at the absolute most) in the fridge, even though the leaves may have wilted.
Store it in an airtight container, without the excess liquid.
You know whenever there are salad leaves involved I am going to suggest using a salad spinner - right? Well, use a salad spinner for extra dry leaves and a tastier salad!
A good non-stick pan or char-grill pan for cooking your chicken is also handy to have.
This is a low-carb salad that is suitable for keto, paleo, gluten-free and nut-free diets.
Each of our serves contains approximately 450 kcals and total net carbs of 7 grams. (Please note we use a nutritional database to calculate the nutritional information and it should be considered an estimate).
Looking for more main meal salads?
- 1 Char Grill Pan or Non Stick Frypan
- 1 Salad Spinner
- 6 chicken tenderloins (approximately 350 grams or 12.3 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, metled
- 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder*
- 60 grams mixed salad leaves (2 cups, tightly packed approximately 2.11 ounces)
- 100 grams carrot (1 medium, approximately 3.5 ounces)
- 100 grams Lebanese cucumber (1 medium, approximately 3.5 ounces)
- 350 grams avocado (1 medium, approximately 12.3 ounces)
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
- Cut your chicken tenders in half lengthwise to make 12 pieces. Then place them in a medium bowl with the melted coconut oil, the madras powder, then season and mix until combined, allow to marinate while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.
- Peel your carrot, wash, trim the ends, cut it in half lengthwise and slice on the diagonal.
- Wash your cucumber, cut in half and remove the seeds with a teaspoon, then slice on the diagonal.
- Wash your mixed salad leaves and spin dry using a salad spinner.
- Wash the mint, shake and pat dry then strip the leaves from the stems.
- Peel your avocado, remove the pit then cut into slices.
- Heat a non-stick frypan or chargrill pan on your stove until hot, then add the chicken tenderloins. Cook the chicken tenders, in batches, in the hot pan until lightly browned and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. See my tips in the post on how to tell if your chicken is cooked.
- Add all your vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Place all your vegetables in a mixing bowl, pour the dressing over the salad, season with salt and pepper and toss until the salad is well coated with the dressing. Taste and adjust to your liking.
- Arrange the salad on one side of a large salad platter and the chicken tenders on the other. Serve and Enjoy!
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