Hawaiian Chicken Salad with pineapple, macadamia nuts, and fresh herbs. A lighter version of a classic salad with Hawaiian flavors!
I’m not crazy about most fast food restaurants or even fast casual restaurants. I would rather make a fresh and flavorful meal at home. Chipotle is always an exception because I can never turn down a burrito bowl with guacamole. And the other exception is a local restaurant that serves fifteen different types of chicken salad. I dream about this place. Everyone can find a flavor that they love, but my personal favorite is the chicken salad with pineapple and macadamia nuts. I recreated my own version of the salad and added a subtle spicy kick with cayenne pepper.
Chicken salad makes a great lunch for both kids and adults. Chicken salad on a croissant is the best thing ever. I also love to serve it with salad greens or crackers. The addition of the pineapple and macadamia nuts adds a tropical element to a classic recipe.
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.