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Sesame Chicken Salad

A little sweet. A little savory. A bit of zing. This sesame chicken salad is easy to prep and balanced to perfection.

Sesame chicken salad

Is there a versatility award for delicious flavors? If there is, I nominate sesame for this year.

Okay, so sesame isn't just a flavor. It's a plant. With seeds. That can make oil.

But you know what comes with all of those things? Flavor—really good flavor. And that flavor can be showcased in a lot of different culinary contexts.

Are you a dessert person? Have some sesame seed balls (jian dui) or even some black sesame ice cream.

Have some sesame on your veggies, your meats, and in your stir fry.

Sesame (and toasted sesame) can be a welcome addition just about anywhere. So let's make a sesame chicken salad that takes advantage of that nutty goodness and turns it into one of our new favorite meal prep options.

Sesame chicken salad ingredients

So, how are we going to do this? The sesame flavor in this recipe is going to come from a sesame ginger vinaigrette. (I could make a whole separate intro in praise of ginger, but I'll leave that for another time).

There are plenty of options for making your own; if you've got time, that could be a great option to customize the flavor to your liking. I used a store-bought vinaigrette when making this recipe and imagine I'll do that most of the time I make this dish because, well, I'm busy. There's no shame.

You'll notice a few other time-saving choices in the ingredients list below—here's the rest of what's involved in this recipe:

  • canned chicken
  • coleslaw mixture (shredded cabbage / carrots)
  • chopped almonds
  • greek yogurt
  • sesame vinaigrette dressing
  • salt
  • cilantro
  • optional topping: avocado

I could probably append the "optional topping: avocado" to 90% of my ingredients lists without an issue. It can be an extra creamy addition here.

How to make sesame chicken salad

After getting all the ingredients, you'll want a comfortably large mixing bowl to work with. Here's what'll happen:

  • Add the canned chicken, coleslaw, and almonds to a large mixing bowl. Mix.
  • In a separate bowl, add the greek yogurt, sesame vinaigrette, and salt. Mix well.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad into the large mixing bowl.
  • Stir until the dressing has coated all the ingredients.
  • Top with cilantro and avocado.
  • Enjoy!

It's a chicken salad, so you're really just inviting a bunch of yummy ingredients to a party and asking them to play nice together. Not a bad gig!

What's a good substitute for mayonnaise in chicken salad?

If you have to ask this question, you didn't read the recipe quite as closely as I'd hoped! I'll give you another chance.

What'd you notice? Probably the Greek yogurt! I think it works really well in playing the role of mayo for those times you want to lessen the fat content and maybe up the protein content.

Speaking of that... you might be wondering:

Is chicken salad healthy?

And that answer to that is... it certainly can be!

Chicken salad can absolutely be a part of a nutrition plan that keeps you fueled and doesn't have an unnecessarily high content of things you don't need.

The truth is, there are plenty of healthy chicken salad recipes and plenty of not-so-nutritious ones. It's like asking "is soup healthy?" It's a good question, but it really depends on the soup!

It's important to look at the big picture and think about how a given meal can contribute to your goals.

While there are some good general guidelines to follow, everyone has different dietary needs for health, and I certainly don't claim to be an expert! However, I can attest to the fact that this meal fits in well with my macronutrient goals when I'm planning out meals.

What does sesame vinaigrette taste like?

Well, a vinaigrette is a dressing that uses oil. Sesame tastes like sesame. A few other key ingredients (such as ginger) add their own flavor profile. I suggest you try it!

What is best to eat chicken salad with?

I like chicken salad by itself, to be honest. I like it even more with some crunchy crackers or on a sandwich. When I prep this meal for the week, I usually make sure to buy a box of crackers to enjoy with it.

How can I meal prep this recipe?

I'm glad you asked! I make a double batch of this sesame chicken salad and split that whole thing into four servings. I often pick a fruit (such as grapes, apples, or strawberries) and a serving of my favorite crackers.

How do I store this sesame chicken salad?

After making a big bowl, I divide the servings up into airtight containers, where I'll keep it in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Looking for more recipes?

Try another chicken salad variation:

Try another one of these Jordo's World faves:

This is sesame chicken salad. There are two bowls filled with the chicken salad and topped with cilantro. There are crackers next to the chicken salad, in a bowl and scattered about.
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Sesame Chicken Salad

A little sweet. A little savory. A bit of zing. This sesame chicken salad is easy to prep and balanced to perfection.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy chicken salad, sesame chicken
Servings: 2
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Jordan Smith

Equipment

  • Mixing Bowl

Ingredients

  • 12.5 oz canned chicken
  • 1.5 cups coleslaw mixture shredded cabbage / carrots
  • 2 tbsp chopped almonds
  • cup greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp sesame vinaigrette dressing
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • optional topping: avocado

Instructions

  • Add the canned chicken, coleslaw, and almonds to a large mixing bowl. Mix.
  • In a separate bowl, add the greek yogurt, sesame vinaigrette, and salt. Mix well.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad into the large mixing bowl.
  • Stir until the dressing has coated all the ingredients.
  • Top with cilantro and avocado.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.5g | Protein: 32.2g | Fat: 10.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.3g | Cholesterol: 78.1mg | Potassium: 624.3mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 5.4g | Vitamin A: 0.7IU | Vitamin C: 41.6mg | Calcium: 6.8mg | Iron: 3.7mg

Recipe Rating




Raquel

Wednesday 10th of August 2022

This recipe is so delicious and easy to make! I doubled the recipe to have lunches all week long. I was a little skeptical about the canned chicken but I fully trust Jordo and tried it anyway. If you are at all worried about that, don’t be! This will be added into my meal prep rotation for sure.

Al

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

This has been a big hit in our house.

Catherine

Sunday 7th of August 2022

Just made this for meal prep lunches. Tastes great and super easy! Omitted the cilantro as my husband is not a fan, but I think I will add green onions next time. I think this would work with canned tuna as well.