Keto Curry Chicken Salad
If you’re searching for new low carb lunch ideas, look no further than this keto curry chicken salad. It’s an easy recipe to make with common ingredients, and only takes about 10 minutes to throw together (when you use leftover cooked chicken). Serve it in lettuce cups and you’ve got a simple keto meal that tastes delicious.
How to make keto chicken salad
Many chicken salad recipes are already keto friendly, since they’re typically a blend of chopped chicken, mayonnaise, and small amounts of veggies (like celery or onions) – none of which pack in excessive carbs. However, a lot of curry chicken salad recipes contain raisins or other fruit like grapes, which is a no-go for the keto diet.
For this curried version, we’re leaving out the fruit but still packing in a lot of flavor. To make this, here’s what you’ll need:
- Cooked chicken
- Green onions
- Curry powder
- Butter lettuce
It’s great to use this recipe as a way to make a “new meal” from leftover chicken. For example, we often make roasted chicken drumsticks or leg quarters for dinner (with some sides of course). The night we do that, I’ll cut the chicken off the bone and store it chopped in a container in the fridge. That way, it’s all ready to make this recipe within the next day or two for lunch or dinner, and it feels like a whole new meal.
OK, back to how to make it – once you’ve got your cooked chicken, you’re just going to mix it up with the mayo, celery, green onions, curry powder, a small pinch of salt, and pecans. Stir it all up and you get this beautiful vibrant chicken salad.
Then, just scoop it out into the butter lettuce leaves to make little lettuce cups. Such a delicious low carb meal!
What if you don’t have cooked chicken?
If you don’t have leftover chicken on hand and want to make this recipe, you’ll just need a little extra time to cook some chicken from scratch. When you’re working with raw chicken, I recommend two cooking options, depending on the type:
For drumsticks, legs, and thighs, take the time to roast those in the oven. I usually roast them at 425 F for somewhere between 30-50 minutes, depending on which cut it is. Using a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees makes for more precise timing and ensures they’re cooked through.
For chicken breasts, you can poach them relatively quickly. Simple cover the chicken in broth in a small pot, bring to a simmer uncovered, and cook it for about 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pot for 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature at this time; it should be around 165 degrees (if not, bring to a simmer again for a few more minutes).
Once you’ve got your cooked chicken, you can proceed with making the recipe as described.
Here are some questions you might come across as you prepare this recipe:
- What type of lettuce is best for lettuce wraps? We usually go with butter lettuce, which is like a little lettuce cup. The texture of butter lettuce is fairly tender, but still has a little crunch – kind of like in between romaine and spinach. If you can’t find butter lettuce, bibb, romaine, or collard greens can all work as alternatives for this recipe.
- Can you use a keto bread for this? Sure! Feel free to skip the lettuce cups and throw this keto curry chicken salad on a slice of low-carb bread instead. A few options could include ALDI’s zero net carb bread, Base Culture keto bread, or Sola Golden Wheat bread. Keep in mind these low carb breads could be acceptable to some keto followers and unacceptable to others, depending on the rules you set for yourself. We’ve talked about each bread and whether they are keto-friendly in more detail over on our keto tuna melt post, so check that out if you’re curious.
- What is curry powder? If you’re not familiar with it, curry powder is a spice blend containing ingredients like turmeric, coriander, cumin, and other spices. There’s no one “official” curry powder blend. While in American we use it for a lot of Indian-inspired dishes, it’s actually not traditional in that sense. It’s thought that curry powder was developed by the British in an attempt to imitate the combinations used in Indian cooking. Even though it’s not traditional, it still tastes great in a variety of dishes, including this one.
Each lettuce cup contains just 134 calories and 0.5 grams of net carbs. Here’s the percentage breakdown for macronutrients:
- 67% fat
- 3% carbohydrate
- 30% protein
As you can see, this can definitely be a great meal to incorporate in the keto diet.
I hope you’ll give this keto curry chicken salad recipe a try! If you do get a chance to test it out, I’d love for you to leave a recipe rating or comment below.
Keto Curry Chicken Salad
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 tsp curry powder
- Pinch salt
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 8 butter lettuce leaves (or bibb, or romaine)
- Combine the cooked chicken, mayonnaise, celery, green onions, curry powder, salt, and pecans in a medium bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Scoop the chicken salad into the lettuce leaves and enjoy!
- This recipe makes 6 to 8 lettuce cups depending on how much you fill up each cup. The nutrition analysis below is based on eight.
- Generally, a serving would be 2 lettuce cups with a side dish, or 3-4 lettuce cups without a side dish.