This healthy Blackened Chicken Salad will quickly become your go-to salad to stuff in sandwiches and lettuce wraps. It’s creamy, spicy, and has a hint of sweetness and is a lunchtime staple along with this buffalo chicken salad and cranberry almond chicken salad.
Classic chicken salad will always have a place in my heart but sometimes it’s fun to mix things up. This Blackened Chicken Salad does just that. Using a homemade cajun seasoning made with ingredients you have at home in your spice cabinet, you can take the creamy salad in a completely different direction. Paired with crunchy carrots and green onions, it’s such a yummy twist on chicken salad and tastes amazing tucked into sandwich bread or wrapped up in lettuce.
For anyone wondering, this is also a copycat of the Whole Foods Blackened Chicken Salad. It’s one of my favorite things from their deli case but at $13.99 pound, it’s much more economical to make it at home. To make things quick and easy, I usually start with leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken. Then for the dressing, I like to use a combination of Grek yogurt sour cream. Using sour cream adds a richness I love and I almost always use sour cream in my chicken and tuna salad recipes. To that, I add lemon juice for brightness and a touch of honey for sweetness. It balances out the spices.
Now let’s talk about the spices. I like to make mine from scratch so I have control over the proportions in the blackening season, but a store-bought Cajun or blackening season would work just as well. For my blackening seasoning, I like to use paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne. If cayenne is too spicy for you, you could use chili powder instead. It has a milder flavor and is less spicy.
Low carb Blackened Chicken Salad? If you want a low carb or keto version of this salad, you can make a few easy changes. Leave out the honey to start. Then replace the yogurt with either full-fat yogurt or mayo. Do the same for the sour cream, opting for full-fat sour cream. Then use half the amount of carrots and add some celery for crunch.
Vegetarian Blackened Chicken Salad? Instead of the chicken, you can use a vegetarian chicken product like this one or just use chickpeas. To keep a salad like consistency, mash about half of the chickpeas gently with a fork before mixing them into the salad.
Ways to Serve this Blackened Chicken Salad
- Sandwich: There is a reason chicken salad sandwiches have stayed popular for years. With this spicy chicken salad, I like to use sourdough bread that’s slightly toasted and add lettuce or sprouts.
- Salad: Served on a big bed of greens with plenty of fresh veggies. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and apples for a really delicious combination.
- Low Carb Wrap: For a low carb sandwich option, use a low carb wrap or tortilla. My favorite options are Flatout Light Wraps, Ole Tortillas, and La Tortilla Factory Tortillas.
- Crackers and raw veggies: Sometimes I like to have this salad as a snack or a snack style lunch. Paired with some crunchy crackers and sliced raw veggies, it’s a perfect appetizer, snack, or lunch.
- Tomato cups: For a fun presentation, you can carefully hollow out tomatoes and serve this chicken salad inside the hollowed out tomatoes. It’s also a lower carb way to enjoy it.
- Cucumber boats: Similar to the tomatoes, you can also scoop out the inside of a cucumber using a spoon and fill it with the tuna salad. It adds a nice crunch to the dish and is a really fun way to serve it.