If I had to pick my favorite thing to make for lunch, this fiesta avocado chicken salad would be it. Using mashed avocado as a base makes it dairy-free AND no-mayo, and paleo/whole30! It’s packed with Mexican-inspired and Southwest flavors like lime, cilantro, cumin, and smoked paprika, with bell pepper added for crunch.
It’s easy to make in bulk (so you can pack it for lunch all week), and it’s inexpensive to make. It’s such a great healthy alternative to a plain old turkey sandwich!
When I did the Whole30, it was a lifesaver.
Paleo or low-carb? Put it on a lettuce wrap (or eat it plain). Grain grazer? Put it on a couple of soft sourdough or whole wheat toasted pieces of bread with a crisp piece of lettuce. Throwing a party? Put it in a bowl with some crackers or homemade tortilla chips on the side and let your guests have at it.
It’s super versatile.
What’s in dairy-free avocado chicken salad?
The substitution of avocado for mayonnaise is super healthy. Avocado is packed with healthy fats and is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.
Sometimes when I cut into an avocado I can’t even contain my excitement and I completely nerd out that such a creamy, delicious food GROWS IN NATURE! Anyone else do this? … *cricket* *cricket*
ANYWAY, avocado is definitely just as tasty as mayo in this recipe, especially with the corresponding Mexican ingredients.
And while I love me some mayo and usually will not shy away from it, it’s definitely made with fats that aren’t as good for you as those found naturally in avocados (even if you make your own).
The crunchy red bell peppers are slightly sweet and add a crunch that traditionally would have been the celery’s role. The cilantro and lime juice make it bright and citrusy, and the spices pack it with flavor and give it a bit of a kick.
Not a fan of spicy? Just omit the cayenne pepper.
This is an awesome flavor-charged recipe that you NEED to try as soon as possible.
Tips and tricks
- Cook chicken in the slow cooker. It’s so easy to do and cheaper than buying a rotisserie chicken. That said, you can use any already cooked chicken you want, whether it’s leftover roasted chicken thighs or leftover whole roast chicken.
- Store covered in plastic wrap with a squeeze of lime juice. Squeeze some lime on the top surface, and press a piece of plastic wrap to the top of it to store it in the fridge for up to one week. This will help the avocado from turning brown.
For as many advantages as avocados have, it does have one disadvantage: it turns brown when exposed to oxygen. The lime juice will help a bit, but for extra protection, this plastic layer will prevent oxygen from touching the chicken salad and limit how brown it turns.
I use this trick when I make guacamole or avocado salsa, as well.
- Add mayo: Even though this chicken salad recipe has no mayo as written, sometimes I like throwing a little in there for a richer taste.
- Spice it up: Add a diced jalapeño pepper in the mix.
- Add some crunch: some toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds would be a really yummy addition!
Other Chicken Salad Recipes
- Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts
- Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Raisins
- Apricot Chicken Salad with Dill
- Tzatziki Chicken Salad with Greek Yogurt
Check out all my Whole30 / Paleo Recipes here!
Did you make this no mayo, dairy free avocado chicken salad recipe? Please click the stars below to comment and Rate this Recipe
Fiesta Chicken Salad (No Mayo/Dairy Free)
- 1 avocado
- 2 cups cooked chicken such as rotisserie, shredded
- 1/2 red bell pepper finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 scallions thinly sliced (or 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion)
- juice of one lime
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Mash the avocado in a medium bowl with a fork.
- Mix the remaining ingredients together with the avocado.
- Serve on whole grain bread, serve with crackers or tortilla chips, or serve on lettuce wraps or on a bed of greens for a low-carb/paleo/whole30 option.
- For a Whole30/Paleo/low-carb meal, serve on lettuce wraps or eat plain.
- Storage: Store in the fridge for up to 5 days in a bowl with plastic wrap pressed down on the surface, and a squeeze of extra lime juice if you want. This will help prevent the avocado from browning.
- For a richer taste, mix a little mayo in with the avocado.
Nutrition Information Disclaimer
The provided nutrition information is my best estimate and does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information. Feel free to calculate it yourself using one of these tools:
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