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Southwest Chicken Salad


I’ve been holding out on you. You see, this has been my go-to lunch for the last 4 years and I’m just now telling you about it.


I make a big batch of this chicken salad on Sunday and then eat it all throughout the week as my lunch. It’s one of those things that just seems to get better and better with time in the fridge.


And I never seem to tire of it. Probably because I’m obsessed with southwest flavors, as I told you about in my favorite Mexican inspired recipes HERE (omg, please make this asap) and HERE and HERE.


One day I’ll eat this tasty chicken salad in a tomato, the next day I’ll eat it in avocado halves and then the day after that I’ll do a lettuce wrap. All super delicious (and extremely nutritious), may I add.



But this time of year, nothing beats this chicken salad in a garden fresh, juicy summer tomato. Swoon.


I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have these past few years! And don’t forget to leave me a comment if you try it – I love hearing from all of you 🙂  

Southwest Chicken Salad
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken (about 3 chicken breasts)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 green onions, sliced, both green and white parts
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • For serving: tomatoes, avocados or lettuce
  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Serve in a tomato, avocado halves or use lettuce as a wrap!
  3. Enjoy!

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    I’m definitely going to have to make this! Yum!

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    I thought cooked chicken goes bad in 2-3 days. How do you eat this throughout the week? I would love this!

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    Sorry one other question. I like to avoid GMO’s. Do you have any suggestions other than Mayo?

    • Primally Inspired

      My mayo recipe doesn’t have GMO’s! Click the underlined mayo link to find the recipe. It literally takes me 30 seconds to make my homemade mayo and it’s all homemade and natural with no GMO’s 🙂

      But if homemade mayo isn’t your thing, you could do greek yogurt or smashed avocado.

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    Beautiful photos! So artsy and professional! I’m going camping this weekend, and I’ll bring this for lunches. Thanks!

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    So pretty the picture and like me a cook of a family that lves to eat a healthy food, i try to serve them tomrrow lunch and im pretty sure that they love this. Thnks your homemade mayo recipe!!!!

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    Wow making it right now. Waiting for the chicken to cool before I add it to the other ingredients…. And wow smells so good. Thx for sharing!

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    OK, I’m a cooking dunce. When you say ‘cooked and shredded chicken’, how do you cook it? I hate it when recipes say that because I figure asking this question makes me look dumb, but I really want to make this so I’ll just ask it! 🙂 Thanks!

    • Primally Inspired

      No, no, no you are definitely not asking a dumb question! I knew I should have posted that in the recipe because I hate that, too!! I didn’t specify only because there’s so many ways to cook chicken and all the cooking times vary based on what type of meat or cut you have. Boneless breasts take a lot shorter cooking time than Bone-In Breasts. If you have a whole chicken, it will take a lot longer than chicken thighs, etc. It starts to get really complicated. lol.

      Here’s all the ways you can cook chicken. My examples are boneless chicken breasts only because they are the most popular and what most people tend to use. You can use any type of cut, though!

      You can put boneless chicken breasts in a pot of water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cover for 20 minutes or until no longer pink in the center. You don’t have to use boneless breasts – you can use any cut, but bone in cuts of meat take longer. Let cool and shred.

      You can also bake chicken. Put a small amount of oil/fat in a bakingi pan and put the boneless breasts in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until no longer pink in the center. Let cool and shred.

      I also love putting chicken in the crockpot with about a 1/2 cup of water or broth and setting it to low for 6-8 hours. Remove just the chicken from crockpot and shred. The crockpot way also seems to taste the best to me.

      Hope that helps!!

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    I’d like to add that I LOVE making chicken salad with leftover rotisserie chicken. Delish!!!! Cannot wait to try your version!

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    Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly Kelly
    you have another winner winner chicken dinner here! What FABULOUS flavors!!!!
    I used a rotisserie chicken and left out the onion (because I forgot to add it to my grocery list…duh!) but it still tastes so wonderful! I really like the lime flavor…I would have NEVER thought of adding that on my own but what a flavorful addition!
    Thank you so much! Love it!!!!!

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    This is a hit! I’ve been looking for healthier, more appetizing lunches for my son to take to school, he loves it! I’ve found many more ideas on your site, thank you.

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    Wow! Just made this for lunch! Made a very small batch so just estimated the measurements. Added some Sriracha because I am a bit of a Sriracha addict. Also used my homemade mayo in which I use avocado oil for 25% of the oil. It was insanely delicious!!!

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    I thought it was a red bell pepper which would make it perfect for me!

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    I will try this as soon as our tomatoes are ready. Looks and sounds so good.Thank you, Kelly

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    Hello ? this is delicious! What is the nutritional value? Or Where can I find it?

    I used 4 tablespoons of Chipotle Lime Mayo from Primal Kitchen….. omg is it yummy.

    • Kelly from Primally Inspired

      Themis, that’s such a great idea! I love using myfitnesspal.com to find nutritional information. You can plug in ingredients and it will tally up the nutrition information. If anyone knows any other places to find the nutrition information like that, please let us know! I haven’t used myfitnesspal in a couple of years and would love to know about any others.

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    Benazir’s Kitchen

    This is an incredible dinner, I need to make this again soon!

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