For those who seek to avoid cooking at all costs, I have a feeling that you will probably be fans of this recipe.
In fact, I’m not sure that this recipe should have a place here because technically, you don’t have to cook anything! Well, you do have to toast the almonds, so I guess that counts.
Chicken salad is truly one of my all time favorite summer lunches. If it’s on a menu somewhere, you can bet I’ll order it. It’s so versatile and goes with a whole slew of delicious ingredients like grapes, apples, walnuts, scallions, fresh dill etc. It’s so easy to get creative with it! However, I have often had this yummy salad drenched in globs of mayonnaise, yearning to find the chicken and taste those aforementioned delicious ingredients. Ugh.
Has anyone else experienced this? I bet I’m not the only one. In my effort to avoid that minor sandwich drama again, I came up with a lighter, healthier spin on things with my Blueberry Almond Tarragon Chicken Salad. I start by taking a major shortcut and dicing up two chicken breasts from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Rotisserie chickens are one of my all-time favorite cooking time savers. For $8-9 bucks, I can pick up a fully cooked chicken and use it to make salads, sandwiches, or even add it to a hearty chicken soup. I find I can really stretch it, plus I save all that time not having to cook a whole chicken. It’s a worthy convenience for sure! (Stay tuned! I’m working on another post on how you can use one store-bought rotisserie chicken to make three different meals – including dessert! JUST KIDDING! This isn’t Iron Chef!)
Ok, Back to the salad. Instead of mayo, I opt for healthier Greek yogurt. It gives the salad a lighter, tangier twist. The lemon juice also gives the dressing a nice little zing. I like to toss in a couple of deliciously crunchy ingredients too, like chopped celery and toasted almonds. These add a little bit of color as well as some excellent texture and fiber.
The generous addition of tarragon gives it a yummy, herb-y flavor as well. Just adjust the amount depending on your liking. I happen to love the flavor so I add 1/2 a tablespoon. Lastly, I gently toss in some perfectly summer ripened blueberries for little bursts of sweetness throughout. If you find that you just really need the creaminess of mayo, of course, feel free to add a tablespoon or two, but this is really a light & fresh take on one of my favorite summer salads.
I absolutely loved this on a salty pretzel bun, but feel free to serve it over spinach leaves, tucked into some pita bread, or scoop it up with some corn chips. It’s summer, be free, and enjoy! 🙂
- 2 - Chicken Breasts (I used a store bought rotisserie chicken), diced into ½ inch pieces
- 2 - Celery stalks with leaves, rinsed and diced finely
- ¼ C. Toasted Almonds
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ TBS. Dried Tarragon
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 3 TBS Lemon Juice
- ½ C. Fresh blueberries
- On a small baking pan lined with foil, spread ¼ c. of almonds on the pan and toast in the toaster oven for a few minutes. Be careful not to burn them!
- Dice the chicken breasts & celery with the leaves, and place into a bowl.
- In another bowl, mix together the ¾ C. Greek yogurt, 3 TBS lemon juice, ½ TBS dried tarragon, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the yogurt dressing over the chicken and celery, and mix until coated.
- Toss in the blueberries and toasted almonds and mix gently being careful not to squish the berries or crack the almonds as best you can avoid it.
- Your salad is ready! Serve over lettuce leaves or on top of your favorite sandwich bread, and enjoy!