Main Dish

Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad

Autoimmune Paleo, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Low-Carb, Low-FODMAP, Nut-free, Paleo

Updated February 28, 2020
Read Time: 4.9 minutes

chicken salad with carrots, cranberries, green onions, cilantro and lime

This is the perfect chicken salad for a summer picnic: refreshingly tangy and sweet with a satisfying crunch. Like many of the delicious recipes created in our kitchen, this one was born out of desperation: What on earth am I going to do with all these limes?!

In a moment of frugality, I had thought it would be a great idea to buy the 2 lb bag of limes instead of buying the two or three individual limes that I actually needed, because it was cheaper. But then I was stuck with a 2 lbs of limes and the burning question: what pairs well with limes?

Thankfully, it turns out that limes are a very versatile little citrus fruit. They can be used in a variety of dishes including taco skillets, pot roasts, curries, soups, and salads to name a few. Lime, paired with cilantro and dried cranberries, makes this delicious chicken salad stand out from the crowd.

How to Make Cilantro-Lime Chicken Salad


3-4 lbs of cooked chicken, shredded
6 carrots, peeled and diced
2/3 cup dried cranberries (1/3 cup for Low-FODMAP)
6 spring onions, chopped
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup lime juice
1 TBS maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper


Mix and enjoy! For serving suggestions and storage tips, see below.

Notes: To keep this recipe Low-FODMAP, only use the green parts of the the spring onions and keep in mind that one FODMAP friendly serving of cranberries is 1 TBS per person. This recipe makes about 6 servings, so you will need to decrease the dried cranberries to 1/3 of a cup.

bowl of cilantro leaves and sliced limes

How to Serve Chicken Salad

This cilantro-lime chicken salad is good enough to eat right out of the bowl! But, if you’re looking for variety or serving this chicken salad to company, you might want to liven things up a little bit. Here are a few fun ways to serve chicken salad:

  • If you need a carb fix, try your chicken salad sandwich between two toasted slices of crusty artisan bread.
  • If you’re in a hurry and need to eat on-the-go, make a chicken salad pita pocket or wrap for a quick, portable, healthy meal.
  • If you’re following a low-carb diet, serve your chicken salad over a hearty salad and garnish with avocado.

What Goes Well With Chicken Salad?

Choosing a side dish for chicken salad can be difficult. You’ll want to choose a side dish that will balance out this protein-rich meal. Carbohydrates and vegetables are common suggestions. Here are a couple ideas:

  • If you’ve enveloped your chicken salad in a tasty carbohydrate, like a wrap or pita pocket, you might want to choose a hot soup or a fresh salad to complement your meal.
  • If you’ve served your chicken salad over greens, a warming soup or bowl of fresh berries makes a pleasant, low-carb side.

How Long Does Homemade Chicken Salad Last?

In our house, this chicken salad never lasts more than a couple days! But that’s because we enjoy it so much. Refrigerated at 40 degrees or below, homemade chicken salad will last three to five days. But, if it’s been left out for two hours or more, it’s best to toss it to prevent food posioning. Use your judgement: if it smells weird or looks different, don’t eat it!

Can I Freeze Chicken Salad?

Unfortunately, chicken salad is not one of those foods that freeze well. Your once crunchy vegetables will lose their crispness and it will be very enjoyable. So, if you’re getting close to the three to five day mark and still have leftovers, bring some to work! Your co-workers will thank you.

Printable Recipe Card

Want to have a copy of the recipe handy while you’re cooking? Save and print this graphic or download it to your phone for easy viewing.

cilantro-lime chicken salad recipe

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