Smoky Summer Chicken Salad.
No more sad summer chicken salad lunches!
This smoky chicken salad is going to make you want to have chicken salad every.darn.day.
Loaded with flavor. Super easy. And totally versatile!
It may come as a surprise, but I have to freaking LOVE a chicken salad recipe in order to share it. I still have nightmares from my childhood of chicken (or tuna… or egg…) salad swimming in mayo, with barely any flavor, and worst of all – loaded with celery.
I just can’t.
I never HATED any of the salads like some people do, but the experience from a deli or cafeteria left a lot to be desired. So when I started making my own versions, I was blown away at how much I loved them.
And yes, in case you think you’re going crazy: I’ve made a chicken salad similar to this before. My sweet corn and bacon chicken salad is creamier than this but just as good. But the winner by far is my lemon almond roasted chicken salad. You guys love this!
First off, this isn’t even my own recipe.
This recipe comes from Lacy (again!) and is a chicken salad she has been loving for years. She has wanted to recreate it forever, so we got down to business.
It’s SO GOOD.
The smokiness? We grill the chicken which imparts a smoky flavor (you could totally grab a rotisserie chicken in a pinch) but we also dropped some liquid smoke in the mix! Just a tiny tiny drop. Makes it tastes SO good.
We added both corn cut from the cob (or course because #summer) and tomatoes. They are just so sweet right now, so combined with the smoky flavor? We knew it would be everything.
Scallions and cheddar cheese also found their way into the bowl.
The dressing is a yogurt and mayo hybrid with some seasonings and again, the liquid smoke. It’s amazing!
This salad is SO delish served in lettuce cup (like the very crunchy iceberg ones). But it also works on top of salads and inside of sandwiches. I grabbed the multigrain croissants from my local grocery store and the combo was just dreamy. They are fabulous.
It’s also pretty amazing when you stand over the bowl with a fork and eat it like that. Or scoop it up with chips. I am very very into this.
Smoky Summer Chicken Salad
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or chopped
- 1 cup sweet corn kernels (raw, grilled, cooked, frozen, etc!)
- ⅓ cup sliced scallions
- ¼ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your grill to the highest setting.
Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Brush them with olive oil. PLace the chicken on the grill and cook for 6 minutes per side. When finished, let the chicken rest for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, cube or shred the chicken.
Place the chicken, tomatoes, corn, scallions and cheese in a large bowl. Toss it together.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayo, lemon juice, liquid smoke, salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture and toss well. Combine and stir until every bit is covered. Serve the chicken on croissants or toast with lettuce or microgreens.
This stays great in the fridge for about 3 days. It tastes even better!
Crunch! Flavor! I can’t get enough.