This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Snapple. The opinions and text are all mine. #TrueTeaTaste
You might think I am crazy, but I don’t care for mayonnaise unless it is homemade mayonnaise and I don’t always have the energy for a quick batch of blender mayo.
Pesto Avocado Chicken Salad swaps out the heavy mayonnaise for creamy avocado.
Pesto Avocado Chicken Salad swaps out the heavy mayonnaise for creamy avocado. Pesto adds flavor and lime juice brightens shredded chicken from precooked rotisserie chicken.
It is summer! Time for long sunny days, picnics and spending quality time with family. I don’t know about where you live, but we somehow missed spring here in Baltimore.
It was freezing (literally) one day and the next *BAM* summer had arrived. Not spring to be seen.
For my summer meals I like to eat on the lighter side and pair the meal with a refreshing drink. Pesto Avocado Chicken Salad and Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea are the ideal combo.
Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea is made with all-natural ingredients and comes with three levels of sweetness.
For our summer meals, we also prefer dishes that aren’t labor intensive and keep the house cool. To cut time and heat, I visit my local Giant grocery store and pick up a rotisserie chicken or grilled chicken breasts from the salad bar, getting just enough for Avocado Pesto Chicken Salad.
PRO TIP: Buy a cooked store bought rotisserie chicken, go ahead and remove the meat, shred it and freeze it for when needed. It makes this a quick and easy recipe! Really any cooked chicken will work.
A buttery croissant roll from the bakery makes the ideal bread for a chicken salad sandwich. If you can’t find a fresh croissant, try for brioche or another soft, but hearty, roll.
To complete my avocado chicken salad meal, I swing through the beverage aisle for a few bottles of refreshing Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea. Make sure to check out the two new varieties: Sorta Sweet Honey Green Tea and Rooibos.
Pesto Avocado Chicken Salad cuts out the heavy mayo, making this a lighter version of the classic picnic favorite. Adding fresh lime juice not only gives it flavor, but prevents the avocado from turning brown.
To bring for a picnic or potluck, pack all off the fixings, croissant rolls and avocado pesto chicken salad in separate containers and assemble right before eating. I’ve even rolled mine up in lettuce making a carb and gluten-free version!
PRO TIP: You can make your own basil pesto or buy the store bought stuff. Making your own allows you to use less olive oil, which will help the texture. If you use a bottled pesto, try to get as much of the pesto and less of the oil as you can.
Chicken salad sandwich lettuce wraps! The best lettuce to use for lettuce wraps is a large piece of iceberg or Bibb lettuce.
Are are some common chicken salad sandwich toppings:
- Bibb lettuce
- Iceberg lettuce
- Fresh tomato
- Red onion slices
- Fresh basil
- Sliced Grapes
We hope you enjoy our healthy chicken salad as much as we do! It is an easy recipe, yet so satisfying and flavorful. If easy chicken salad isn’t up your alley, you can also make it into a tuna salad or even use shredded deli turkey.
If you liked this easy sandwich recipe, you might also enjoy these:
Tools for making chicken salad without mayo:
Airtight Plastic Containers– For storage of your delicious pesto chicken salad!
Questions you might have about how to make avocado chicken salad:
How do I pick a ripe avocado? A ripe avocado will give slightly when pushed near the stem, but not be mushy. Hard avocados are not yet ripe. If you plan to make your easy chicken salad in a few days, then buy an avocado that has yet to ripen.
Can I make avocado chicken salad ahead of time? It really depends on your definition of “make ahead”. If you mean a couple of hours, sure! Keep in mind that even though the lime juice will help to prevent oxidation (the avocado from turning brown), it won’t totally prevent this from happening.
Before serving, give it a few quick stirs and also test for seasoning. Your chicken salad filling might need a little salt to revamp its former flavor, a common issue with any chilled food.
Can I add bacon? You can can top your chicken salad salad with strips of bacon or cooked, drain and crumble bacon to add directly to the chicken salad mixture. Bacon makes everything better!
What can I substitute for avocado? Avocado really makes this dish, but so does the pesto. If you don’t want to use avocados, substitute plain Greek yogurt. Make sure it is greek yogurt so you get the thick, creamy texture needed to hold the chicken salad together.
Can I freeze the chicken salad filling? I don’t recommend freezing this one. It doesn’t thaw well.
What can I substitute for the chicken? You can substitute cooked shrimp or canned tuna fish for the chicken.
What other things can I add to this mayo free chicken salad? Other good options are thinly sliced green onion (scallions), celery or even some nuts for crunch.
Can I use lemon juice instead of lime juice? Sure you can! You can even omit the citrus juice, but the chances of your avocado turning a little brown are very high.
Pesto Avocado Chicken Salad
- In a medium mixing bowl, mash avocado, pesto and lime juice together. Fold in chicken and season with fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
- Load each halved roll with lettuce, tomato and red onion. Generously spoon avocado pesto chicken salad between the two. Top with other half of bread.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!