Hawaiian Chicken Salad is made with pineapple, macadamia nuts, and fresh herbs. This lightened up version of chicken salad comes together easily.
Chicken salad makes a great lunch for both kids and adults. Chicken salad on a croissant is the best thing ever. Or serve it with some salad greens for a low carb option, or some crackers for a snack or lunch.
Why You’ll Love It
The addition of the pineapple and macadamia nuts adds a tropical element to a classic recipe. The recipe comes together quickly and easily. The salad is a healthy option. The recipe uses Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a lighter dish.
The Greek Yogurt adds a subtle tanginess. It helps create a light and fresh flavor and is the perfect compliment to the fresh pineapple and macadamia nuts. You won’t even miss the mayo!
Make this chicken salad in advance and enjoy it for lunch throughout the week. Or serve it at a gathering or pack it for lunch on-the-go. This convenient salad is a taste of the tropics!
Ingredients You Need
- Chicken Breasts – Either precooked or cooked following the recipe instructions below.
- Add-ins: Pineapple, macadamia nuts and chives are three simple flavors that add freshness and crunch to this salad.
- Spices: Use a combination of dijon mustard, garlic, paprika, ground cayenne, salt and pepper.
- Greek Yogurt: This recipe uses Greek yogurt to lighten up the salad, but you can substitute with traditional mayo, if desired.
Cooking Chicken Breast for Chicken Salad
To cook the chicken breast for the salad, fill a large sauce pan full of water. Add the chicken breasts and garlic cloves. Bring to a full boil, then turn off the heat and cover the pot.
After 12 minutes, check to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. You can also cut into the chicken to check for doneness.
If they are still pink, return to the pot for another 15 minutes. Drain the chicken and cool slightly.
How to Make Hawaiian Chicken Salad
After you cook the chicken, the salad comes together in three easy steps!
- Step 1: In a large bowl, add the cooked chicken, pineapple, macadamia nuts and scallions.
- Step 2: In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients – salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, Dijon mustard and yogurt.
- Step 3: Add the yogurt mixture to the bowl with the chicken mixture and toss to combine.
If you love chicken salad, try this Barbecue Chicken Salad or Harvest Chicken Salad for more options!
Hawaiian Chicken Salad
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- whole garlic clove
- 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- Fill a 3 to 3.5-quart sauce pan full of water. Add the chicken breasts and garlic clove. Bring to a full boil and then turn off the heat and cover the pot. After 12 minutes, remove one of the breasts and cut into the thickest part to check to see if they are done (they should be cooked through and register at least 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). If there is any pink, return to the pot for another 15 minutes. Drain chicken through a colander, discard the garlic clove and cool slightly.
- Chop or shred the chicken into small pieces. Add the chicken, pineapple, macadamia nuts and scallions to a large bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, Dijon mustard, and yogurt.
- Add the yogurt mixture to the large bowl with the chicken mixture and toss well to combine.
- Serve on bread, over salad greens or with crackers, as desired.
- Greek Yogurt: You can use mayo instead of Greek Yogurt for a more traditional chicken salad.
This recipe was originally published in 2015. It was updated with new photos, process notes and tips in March 2021.
I tried this recipe and I think it doesn’t need the cayenne pepper. I love spicy food but didn’t like it here. I used fresh pineapple and it seemed to break the chicken down (as those enzymes will) and I couldn’t find the macadamia nuts, needs more for flavor and crunchiness. I will try this again with a few modifications.
Such a perfect lunch recipe!
My mom has been looking for some new easy lunch recipes with new flavors so this recipe will be perfect for her! Thank you!
Looks so good! I love Hawaiian flavors so I can’t wait to try this one!