Avocado Chicken Salad

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Avocado Chicken Salad is loaded with fresh corn, creamy avocado, seasoned chicken, crispy bacon, tangy red onion, and the best basil vinaigrette!

Avocado Chicken Salad is flavor-packed AND healthy! For other fun variations on chicken salads, be sure to try our famous chicken salad recipe, pineapple chicken salad, or this honey mustard chicken salad.

Overhead image of Avocado Chicken Salad.

As you see from the list above, we love chicken salad here on Chelsea’s Messy Apron. And this is a new favorite to add to the collection! It’s made a whole lot healthier, without any mayo or sour cream. I’m using one of my favorite dressing recipes that I shared last year with this Caprese salad. It’s made with fresh basil, shallots, lemon, garlic, olive oil and several other healthful ingredients. 

Overhead image of the green dressing that goes over this Avocado Chicken salad recipe.

Is this chicken salad supposed to be cold?

Most chicken salad recipes are served slightly chilled or at room temperature. This one is no exception! Although the corn, chicken, and bacon are cooked, they’re all best with the other ingredients (and dressing) at room temperature. You don’t want the ingredients too hot or too cold (just like The Three Bears). 

How long will chicken salad last?

Chicken Avocado Salad is at its best right after it’s made. Generally, most recipes with avocado need to be eaten soon after they’re made, since avocado browns quickly and gets squishy.

Do you cook the avocado?

Not for this chicken salad! I prefer uncooked avocado. That said, if you WANT to grill the avocado alongside the chicken and corn, below are the directions for doing that.

Overhead image of the corn and chicken on a plate, freshly grilled.

 How to grill avocado (optional)

  • Prep the grill: Heat the grill fully and then clean the grill grates. Generously oil the grill grates. I do this by drenching a rolled-up paper towel in vegetable oil and (holding with tongs) rubbing over the hot grates. 
  • Prep the avocado: Cut a ripe avocado in half and remove the seed. Drizzle the flesh with fresh lime or lemon juice and brush lightly with olive oil.
  • Grill: Gently place the avocado (cut side down) on the grill, over medium-high heat (~400 degrees) for 2-3 minutes. Using a metal spatula, pull the avocado off the grill and sprinkle with fine sea salt. Dice and add to the salad.

Overhead image of the ingredients assembled for this easy Avocado Chicken Salad.

What to serve with Avocado Chicken Salad

Honestly, this is a great all-in-one dish; you’ve got plenty of protein (chicken and bacon), plenty of veggies (avocado, red onion and corn) and a delicious dressing to top it all off. It’s quite filling, thanks to the protein from the meat and healthy fats in the avocado and olive oil.

That said, a few sides that would pair well, potluck style:

Image of the dressed chicken and avocado salad

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Avocado Chicken Salad

5 from 2 votes
This Avocado Chicken Salad is loaded with fresh corn, creamy avocado, seasoned chicken, crispy bacon, tangy red onion, and the best basil vinaigrette!
Print Recipe

Avocado Chicken Salad

5 from 2 votes
This Avocado Chicken Salad is loaded with fresh corn, creamy avocado, seasoned chicken, crispy bacon, tangy red onion, and the best basil vinaigrette!
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword avocado chicken salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 -4 servings
Calories 542kcal
Cost $6.82

Ingredients

Chicken Avocado Salad

  • 1 large (or 2 small) chicken breast (~1 and 1/2 pounds)
  • Olive oil and chicken seasoning (we use Mrs. Dash chicken seasoning)
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 cup avocado, diced (~1 medium)
  • 4-5 slices center-cut bacon cooked and crumbled (depending on personal preference, we like 4)
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced (~1/2 small red onion) Note 1
  • 1 cup corn (~1-2 cobs)

Basil Dressing

  • 1 small garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon shallot minced
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

  • PREP CHICKEN: Halve the chicken breast(s) horizontally and pound the pieces to even thickness (don't want the chicken super-flat, just an even thickness so it will cook evenly). Drizzle each side with olive oil, salt, pepper and chicken seasoning. Flip pieces and repeat -- oil, salt, pepper, seasoning.
  • COOK CHICKEN IN SKILLET: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes until golden and browned and then flip. Cook until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F; carryover heat will bring it to 165 degrees, about 4-5 more minutes depending on size/thickness of chicken.
    ALTERNATIVELY COOK IN GRILL PAN OR ON GRILL: Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F.) Generously oil the grill (I drench a rolled-up paper towel in vegetable oil and, holding it with tongs, rub it over the grill grates. Don't skip this step.) (Grill pan: brush 1 tablespoon oil over the pan) Place the prepared chicken on the grill. Grill for 8-10 minutes, flipping once, or until chicken juices run clear and internal temperature is at 160 to 165 degrees F. (at 160 degrees, carry-over heat will take it to 165 degrees F).
    Tent chicken with foil and let stand for 5-10 minutes before chopping into bite-sized pieces.
  • CORN: Heat a grill pan to high heat or preheat grill to medium heat (400 degrees F). Shuck corn and discard silks. Drizzle corn with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rub the oil and salt/pepper into all sides of the corn. Place the corn on the heated grill over direct heat. Grill corn about 10-12 minutes total, rotating every 3-4 minutes until bright yellow and lightly charred (Alternatively, cut raw kernels off the cob). Let grilled corn cool completely before cutting it off the cob.
  • DRESSING: In a food processor, pulse the garlic and shallot a few times. Add the basil and pulse until finely chopped. Add the red wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Pulse a few times and while running, drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until smooth. (Avoid pulsing the mixture too much, as sometimes oil can have a metallic reaction with the processor blades and alter the taste of the dressing.)
  • ASSEMBLE: Add cooked and chopped chicken, diced avocado, crumbled bacon, corn, and diced red onion to a large bowl. Drizzle dressing right on top and toss to combine. Enjoy immediately. Salad doesn't sit well and is best eaten the same day.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: To take away the "bite" of red onions, submerge diced them in a bowl or cup of ice-cold water. Let the onions sit for at least ten minutes (stir 1-2 times) and then thoroughly drain and add to the recipe.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 542kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 687mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for getting us through summer veggie season with so many fresh, flavorful recipes! This is our favorite for corn. I appreciate the simple technique suggested for grilling corn also!!

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