This avocado and chicken salad is perfect for days when you want a healthy meal in a hurry. Low carb and keto, it’s light but still super satisfying. It’s also a great way to use a rotisserie chicken or to use up leftovers from a roast chicken, and if you do, there’s no need to even turn on the stove! Make it ahead and bring it for lunch at work, or serve it for a lazy summer night’s dinner- it’s versatile and so very easy. The ingredients for both the salad and dressing are super simple, but the trick of macerating the onions before using them in the salad not only makes them taste amazing, but removes that pesky problem of having onion breath after! It’s a total game changer and you’ll never want to add onions to a salad in any other way!
What You’ll Need to Make this Avocado and Chicken Salad
Here’s a breakdown of the ingredients in this delicious salad:
- Avocado: full of nutrients and good fats, this is what helps to make this light salad still filling and satisfying. Pick a ripe avocado, but avoid one that is too soft as it’ll just become mush when you go to slice it!
- Chicken: using a rotisserie chicken or leftovers saves time, but freshly cooked chicken breasts would be amazing too!
- Tomatoes: I used sliced grape tomatoes in the photos because I love their sweet but not too tart taste (not to mention the beautiful colours!) but cherry tomatoes, or even diced regular tomatoes are also great.
- Cucumber: I prefer Lebanese cucumbers over continental cucumbers for salads because the skin tends to be thinner and less likely to be bitter (so no need to peel!) and they tend to have smaller seeds.
- Salad Leaves: use any you prefer/ have on hand! Optionally, give them a quick chop for easy eating.
- Red Onion: mild tasting and often used raw in salads- however they tend to cause bad post-meal onion breath when they are which makes me generally avoid them. That is until I read about how macerating them in acid removes this problem (and makes them taste delicious!) from the amazing Samin Nosrat in her book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.
- Lemon: the juice is used to both macerate the onions and form part of the dressing. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than from a bottle as it tastes infinitely better. Substitute with red or white wine vinegar if you don’t have any lemons on hand.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: forms part of the dressing, use the best you have available!
- Salt and Pepper
How to Put this Salad Together
There’s only a few simple steps in putting this salad together, but here’s some tips about how to do it in the most efficient way:
1. Macerate the Onions
Macerating is the technical term for soaking the red onions in acid in order to soften them. By doing so however, it also removes the unpleasant sharpness in the taste of the onion, and (most importantly) the associated post-meal onion breath. The onions also become a beautiful light pink colour if left to steep for long enough, which makes it quite a pretty addition to any salad.
Start by slicing your onions and juicing your lemon, leaving the rest of the prep work to be done while you wait for your onions to macerate.
Place the sliced onions into a bowl and cover with lemon juice. Leave to sit for at least 20 minutes. This can also be done ahead of time, and the longer you leave it the more mild the onion taste becomes.
Macerated onions store in the fridge in a jar for up to 2 weeks, so feel free to make a bigger batch to keep on hand (especially if you plan on making a lot of salads!)
2. Put it All Together
Chop the rest of your salad ingredients and place them in a large serving bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil into the dish with the macerated onions, season with salt and pepper and combine. Pour over your salad and mix, seasoning with more salt and pepper if required. Now sit back and enjoy!
Make Ahead and Store
Make this salad ahead of time by pre-washing and chopping your components (except the avocado) and storing them in separate containers in the fridge. Leave the avocado unsliced until on the day of serving to prevent excess browning.
Put the the salad together at the beginning of the day and use the lemon juice and macerated onions to cover the avocado if possible to prevent browning. If I’m making this to take to work for lunch, I’ll leave the avocado in the corner of my container and pile the onions and dressing on top to cover them, and just stir it all together before eating.
If you make this avocado and chicken salad please let me know how you went in the comments below!
Macerated Onions + Dressing (make this first)
- 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (see note 1)
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Other Salad Ingredients
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, sliced or torn
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 cups green salad leaves
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- Place sliced onions into a bowl and cover with lemon juice. Set aside for at least 20 minutes to macerate (see note 2).
- Prepare other salad ingredients and place into a large serving bowl.
- Once onions have macerated, combine extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper with the lemon juice and onions to form a dressing and pour over the salad ingredients. Mix and season with additional salt and pepper if required.
1. Substitution for Lemon Juice: Substitute with red or white wine vinegar if required.
2. Make ahead: Macerated onions can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The longer the onions sit in the acid, the less sharp the onion flavour becomes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 40g
Nutritional information provided is an estimation only and has been calculated without any substitutions.