This post may contain affiliate links.
I first made this Curry Chicken Salad for a friend's baby shower. My friend's 'baby' is now a teenager and still, for me, this salad is a go-to dish for picnics, celebrations, and even weekday lunches.
It's the flavor combination of this curried chicken salad: spicy, salty, and sweet, that keeps me coming back. And I love how every bite is different.
It's unusual for this kind of salad to be so light. Often curry chicken salad is goopy and the flavor is all about the dressing. This one is flavor-rich without the goop. The dressing is just yogurt, curry powder, apricot preserves, salt and freshly ground black pepper: creamy and subtle. Instead the buttery cashews, tangy-sweet grapes, tender chicken and crunchy celery are the focus flavors.
You can make enough to last for a few days, but you'll want to stir in the cashews just before serving so they keep their crunch. Perfect for a desk lunch, quick weeknight dinner, or get-together dinner contribution.
More Must-Try Salad Recipes
- Strawberry Spinach Salad (Loaded with sweet strawberries, pecans and creamy goat cheese!)
- Spinach Salad with Bacon (This one has been a favorite in my family for decades!)
- Corn Salad (When corn is in season, we eat this salad on repeat!)
- Zucchini Salad (It took me about a dozen tries to perfect this recipe! SO GOOD!)
- Chicken Salad with Grapes (A new riff on this salad sans curry with toasted almonds and dried apricots!)
How to Make Curry Chicken Salad
Step 1: Whisk yogurt and curry powder together in a small bowl. Add apricot preserves and whisk until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 2: When you're ready to eat, combine chicken, grapes, cashews, and celery in a serving bowl. Pour dressing over and gently stir to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Serve.
Curry Chicken Salad
For the Dressing
- 1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad
- 1 pound cooled chicken breast cooked, cut into 1" pieces (baked, barbecued, or poached in salted water)
- ½ pound red or green seedless grapes
- 4 ounces roasted cashews
- 4 ribs celery coarsely chopped
- 16 leaves butter lettuce or romaine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon minced chives (optional)
- To make the dressing, whisk yogurt and curry powder together in a small bowl. Add apricot preserves and whisk until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Combine chicken, grapes, cashews, and celery in a serving bowl. Pour dressing over and gently stir to coat. Serve as is or scooped over leaves of butter or romaine lettuce and sprinkle with chives. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Serve.
Mmmm - we love curry chicken salad! I'm going to have to make this for my son we comes home!!
I love to hear that, Annie! Thank you!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Love the addition of apricot jam! And I'm such a huge fan of curry anything! I could eat this everyday for lunch, I'm sure 🙂
David @ Spiced says
I love how you add a bit of apricot preserves to this one, Marissa! I do enjoy a good chicken curry dish, but I've never thought of switching that up into salad form. Sounds delicious, and it definitely needs to be on our summer menu! 🙂
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Do you have any idea how much I love anything curried? So much. I'm swooning over this!
Curry is amazing, isn't it? Thanks, Kelsie!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
I'm not a huge fan of goopy either, Marissa! 😉 Naturally I am LOVING this salad! Gimme all the flavor minus the goop! This is perfect for summer picnics and easy entertaining! Pinning! Cheers!
Thanks, my friend! xo
Kevin O'Leary says
Curry chicken salad is one of my all-time favorites. Looks so good!
Thank you, Kevin!
Chicken, celery, and grapes is one of my favorite salad combinations. Although I'm not a huge fan of curry, I'm intrigued with this dressing. I especially love the addition of apricot preserves - very nice touch. Well done, Marissa!
The apricot preserves give it that little extra 'something'! 😉 Thanks so much, Ben!
Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes says
I use a very similar dressing, with olive oil, for a couscous dish with raisins and almonds. How I love this idea Marissa! For some reason I stopped eating grapes in the last years, except baked. I saw some in the market this week, but I doubt their flavor,,, it's winter here. Love this recipe!
Thanks so much, Paula! You have me intrigued about baking grapes!
I love that this is full of so many different flavors and textures and not just smothered in mayo!
So much better without all the goop! 😉
I love the sweet and salty combination, adding some spice sounds nice too. I usually make chicken salad with craisins but I'm interested in trying it with the grapes!
Craisins are a great idea too!
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan(dot)com says
So love that you used yogurt with curry powder as a dressing - such a wonderful combination of spicy, salty, and sweet with that dressing!!
Thanks so much, Sashi!
House in Tillford says
Very interesting combination! Never had grapes in a savoury dish before
I hope you'll give it a try!
I'm new in the food bloggers world :)!
This salad looks so nice and fresh! creamy and crunchy at the same time! Beautiful! A I guess that grapes make the difference with their freshness-sweetness :)!
And I love the idea of the dressing too!
I would be glad if you could find the time to come and say hallo :)!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I love the sound of that dressing-so simple and light yet with lots of flavour added to it 😀
Thank you, Lorraine!
Looks delicious! I’m trying it today. Any idea on how many days it can be refrigerated for leftovers?
Hi Brittany! The salad will last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, but I recommend storing the cashews separately and mixing them in just before serving. Otherwise they won't hold their crunch.