There are very few lunch options as healthy and well rounded as a classic chicken salad. This paleo recipe takes that lunchtime staple and makes it even better by adding a delicious homemade paleo mayo that goes perfectly with the juicy chicken pieces and fresh veggies. The mayo is made with ingredients such as apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard that makes sure it’s both healthy and flavorful. Meanwhile, the salad itself, of course, has cubes of boneless skinless chicken breasts mixed with some great veggie choices.
Classic Chicken Salad
The chicken salad itself doesn’t contain anything too out of the ordinary. It is, after all, a classic mixture for a reason — there’s nothing here that needs changing. You’ll obviously be using chicken breast cubes to add the protein into the salad. The rest of the ingredients used are fresh parsley, lemon, diced red onion and celery, a minced garlic clove, Dijon mustard, and whole black peppercorns. They all combine perfectly to provide lots of essential nutrients while making one great tasting salad. The black peppercorn in particular is a wonderful addition, and it’s been widely used for centuries in many traditional medicines. Not only is it incredibly savory, but it also has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help protect against diseases like cancer. (1)
Make Your Own Homemade Paleo Mayonnaise
The chicken salad is just fine to enjoy all on its own, but to really take this recipe to the next level you will be including the tasty homemade paleo mayonnaise. It’s fairly simple to prepare, requiring a single egg yolk to be placed in a bowl before adding salt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. As you whisk these ingredients together, gradually begin to add either avocado oil or a light olive oil into the mixture until it resembles the thick texture of regular mayonnaise. The choice of avocado oil or olive oil is entirely up to you — both options will add a moderate amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats to the mayo that will provide some great cardiovascular and antioxidative benefits. (2)(3)
This recipe ends up making enough of the homemade mayonnaise to use with the chicken salad while still leaving around half of the batch left over. The remaining mayo can be safely stored in the fridge for future use. When the chicken salad is combined with this delicious creamy mayo, it can of course be enjoyed as is. I like to take it a step further though and make paleo-style ‘sandwiches’ with it by wrapping it in lettuce. Give it a try.
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup avocado oil or light olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ lemon, sliced
- ¼ tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt, black pepper to taste
- In a pot place the chicken, lemon slices, black peppercorns and season with salt.
- Add enough water to cover the chicken breasts, plus one additional inch.
- Cover the pot with a lid and cook over medium heat 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the mayonnaise.
- In a bowl, place the egg yolk.
- Add the salt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and whisk until combine about 30 seconds.
- Add ¼ cup oil a drop at a time, whisking constantly, until mixture is emulsified and thick.
- Gradually add remaining oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until mayonnaise is thick.
- Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch cubes and add to a bowl.
- Add the celery, onion, parsley, garlic, Dijon mustard and half of prepared mayonnaise.
- Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and serve.
- Refrigerate the rest of mayonnaise for another use.
- Serve the salad in sandwiches with lettuce.
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