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Cilantro Chicken Salad

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This easy chicken salad recipe is made with scallions, cilantro with a hint of lime. It’s a tasty twist on traditional chicken salad with some Latin flavor!

cilantro chicken salad with avocado
Cilantro Chicken Salad

I often keep chicken salad on hand for quick weekday lunches, and I like to play around with the flavors so that it never gets boring. For this Cilantro Chicken Salad, I added lime juice, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder for a Latin twist. Some other favorite chicken salad recipes are this Classic Chicken Salad, Dill Chicken Salad and Ranch Chicken Salad.

Cilantro Chicken Salad in a bowl

Chicken salad is also a great way to use up leftover chicken breast from a whole roasted chicken. You can also poach the chicken in chicken broth or use my air fryer chicken breast, to make this salad.

How to make Chicken Salad

This cilantro lime chicken salad recipe is super easy to make and takes only about 15 minutes if your chicken is already cooked. I typically buy supermarket rotisserie chicken or use leftovers from when I roast a chicken myself. It makes for a juicy, tender chicken salad with minimal effort. If you don’t want to use a rotisserie chicken, you can also cook the chicken breasts in the slow cooker or poach them on the stove.

How to Serve Chicken Salad

The great thing about chicken salad is that there are so many ways that you can eat it. Just another reason why it’s one of my favorite easy lunches!

  • Wrap: Wrap it in a whole-wheat tortilla or lettuce leaf for a low-carb alternative.
  • Stuffed: Stuffed into avocado or fresh summer tomatoes
  • Salad: Serve over lettuce and add some tomatoes and avocados for extra veggies.
  • Open-Faced Melt: Put some chicken salad and a slice of Monterey jack cheese on a slice of wheat bread and warm in the oven until the cheese melts.
  • Veggie Bowl: Scoop the chicken into a hollowed-out tomato or half of an avocado.
  • Chips: Eat the chicken salad with tortilla chips.


  • Sub the chicken for canned tuna.
  • If you don’t want to use mayo, try it with Greek yogurt or light sour cream.
  • Add celery or bell pepper for crunch.
  • Swap the scallions for red onions.
  • Add a serrano or jalapeño pepper for an extra kick.

chicken salad ingredientsCilantro Chicken AvocadoChicken Salad Recipe

More Chicken Salad recipes you may like:

Cilantro Chicken Salad

4.97 from 32 votes
This easy chicken salad recipe is made with scallions, cilantro with a hint of lime. It's a tasty twist on traditional chicken salad with some Latin flavor!
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Cilantro Chicken Avocado
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Serving Size: 1 /2


  • 7 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
  • 2 tbsp light mayonnaise, full fat for Keto
  • 1 small scallion, chopped
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
  • low sodium chicken broth, check labels for Keto or use bullion


  • Combine cooked chicken, mayonnaise, scallions, lime juice, and cilantro.
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and chile powder.
  • Add a little chicken broth if chicken seams too dry, 1 tbsp at a time.

How to Poach Chicken Breast:

  • Cover chicken breast in broth in a small pot, add water if it doesn't cover the chicken.
  • Add salt and pepper, a piece of celery and it's leaves (you could add herbs like parsley, garlic, onion, or whatever you want) and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, cover tight and let it sit for 15-20 minutes or until thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees.
    poached chicken breast
  • Chicken will be cooked through. Let it cool and cut into small cubes.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 /2, Calories: 160.5 kcal, Carbohydrates: 3 g, Protein: 23 g, Fat: 6 g, Saturated Fat: 0.5 g, Cholesterol: 61.5 mg, Sodium: 151.5 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g, Sugar: 1 g


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137 comments on “Cilantro Chicken Salad”

  1. I make this all the time. So easy and flavorful. On my really lazy days, I buy precut chick strips (I cut them smaller) and omit the last four ingredients – it still comes out great. Love this recipe!

  2. This chicken salad is really perfect, can’t go wrong with it and surprisingly full of flavor with few ingredients. Love putting it in halved avocados, but might try as a wrap tonight instead. 

  3. Welcome to my website specialized in health, healthy nutrition and weight loss

  4. Avatar photo
    Jennelle Zajac

    Made double this batch and when seasoning, I DUMPED about 1/4 cup of garlic salt into it! Tried to salvage it as best I could. It was delicious – even though I oversalted it. I will definitely make this WW Personal points-friendly dish again, but next time more carefully. Thank you for making WW easy with your delicious recipes!

  5. I had to double the spices and add some lime zest, was bland as written for me. My spices are not old so that wasn’t the issue but I did forget to salt my water before poaching the chicken. Made it in advance to let the flavors blend better – delicious!

  6. Made this today with leftover rotisserie chicken.   I added some diced celery for extra crunch.   Delicious!

  7. A friend had us over for dinner last night and served this dish. Absolutely delicious! It will become one of our favorite chicken salad recipes!

  8. Avatar photo
    Madeline Theis

    We love chicken salad; and I love the idea of using coconut yogurt. I haven’t seen it yet at the stores that I frequent, but I bet it might be at Sprouts?

  9. I just got my ingredients at Sprouts, going to make this for next weeks lunches. I got spinach wraps for it too! Cant wait to try it!

  10. I used canned chicken breast. (I know, I know…) This was such a quick and easy recipe — absolutely delicious. Perfect summer time dish when you don’t want to turn the stove or oven on! 

  11. Avatar photo
    Donna Gilreath

    Mayonnaise is not healthy.  It’s calorie dense, made with preservatives, and high proportion of Omega-6 fatty acids.  

    1. That’s why she gives all the alternatives. If you think her recipe is too fattening, why bother commenting at all? Why not just scroll on by? It’s just that easy!

  12. Quick, easy, and delicious. Used for lettuce wraps. I will be making this recipe again for sure.

  13. This was excellent, with a few tweaks as I found the suggested measurements to be a bit sparing. 

    -I eyeballed the Mayo and probably used WAY more than 2 tsp. 
    -juiced one lime and added lime zest (gave it a lovely tang)
    -Added way more cumin for flavor 

    So fresh! Definitely a new favorite. 

  14. Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs! I like the many different recipes out there. And this one was easy and delicious!!!!

  15. Gina, I have made a number of your recipes over the years, but this is the first time I’m commenting. I just made this cilantro chicken salad, and it’s delicious! So simple, yet so very, very tasty. I’ll be making this over and over again for sure. Thanks for all you do!

  16. How much ratio for chicken to steamed halibut. I have a freezer full of halibut from Alaska, We had this in Mexico as a dip with Tortilla chips and want to create it myself.

      1. It would be impossible to answer every question asked. I’m smart and cook, so I will answer… the ratio of chicken to halibut is the same, however the halibut is not as firm so you may need less of the dressing. You can figure out any point difference if needed.

  17. This is such a perfect summer meal. It’s fresh, but has layers of flavor. So good. It’s also good with canned tuna.

  18. Tried this and it was fantastic. Served it over romaine. I added extra lime juice just because I had more in the lime I squeezed and was remembering the tip to add chicken broth if it was dry so why not. Delish and will definitely make again.

  19. I have made this several times, so good! Sometimes I add in homemade guacamole and use less mayo. Also, Trader Joe’s Chili Lime seasoning adds a nice taste.
    Love all your recipes. My husband and I have been cooking your recipes since May and have lost several pounds. Thank you!

  20. I’m so happy I found your site!.. I’m going to get my groceries tomorrow and start cooking your recipes, I’m on WW so you are helping me and inspiring to me!

  21. Gina, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your passion for healthy food with us. I tell everyone about this site. This recipe is in my top 5 – made this cilantro lover very happy! Thank you!

  22. Avatar photo
    Katherine Smith

    This is wonderful — love the hint of southwestern flavors (cumin, chili powder and cilantro). Also because I always have these ingredients on hand which makes it super easy. Served it in small avocado halves and it was a perfect lunch! Will be making again and again

  23. I have a comment/ some confusion. This is the 3rd recipe I have entered into my app and created a food off of the nutritional information and my points calculations are different than yours. The app is telling me this is 3 points, not 1.

    1. The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting 0 points foods such as eggs, chicken, fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, that is why.

      The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”)

  24. Avatar photo
    Patty Haralampoudis

    I have a quick question – I see that this recipe counts as 1 freestyle point on Weight Watchers.  However, when I put in the various nutritional information in the WW app so it can calculate the points based on this information it comes up as having being 4 points.  Not sure why?  Any help you could provide for the discrepncy would be very much appreciated!  Thank you!

    1. The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting 0 points foods such as eggs, chicken, fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, that is why.

      The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”)

    1. I find that Hellmann’s (or Best Foods, depending which side of the Rockies you are on!!) “Low Fat Mayonnaise Dressing” tastes the best. This one is 15 cal/tbl = 0 Freestyle Points, using it’s nutrition label. It is 1 FSP for 2 tbl. -db

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  26. Avatar photo

    Hi I made this for my lunch this weekend , it came out so well and also yummy . My friends had come home so tried this out and they loved it . Did find it a bit difficult while removing the pulp from the tomato but once I got that done , the rest was easy as I followed the recipe . I usually order online from this Asian Online restaurant called 48 East . They too had the same dish , so once I ate it from there , I thought of cooking on my own on a weekend as I am busy during weekdays with work . So I would like to thank you for this wonderful yet delicious recipe . Please do upload more yummy recipes as I have a passion for cooking and would love to try out new things on the weekends .

    1. I swapped for plain Greek yogurt – worked great. I just upped all the seasonings quite a bit. Not sure abou the points.

  27. This was one of the best chicken salads I have ever had. I normally don't comment on recipes, but I am going to start. I thank you for your website. I'm a college student and sometimes it's time consuming surfing the internet for recipes, looking up reviews, etc. I know if I go to skinnytaste that I will be satisfied with whatever meal I decide to cook. I have NEVER been disappointed, and I am very picky when it comes to how my food turns out. Thank you again!

  28. This recipe was very good! At first my husband wasn't sure what to think when I told him I was making chicken salad for dinner. I poached the chicken as recommended above. I didn't have cumin and I added celery and grape tomatoes cut into fours. 🙂 My hubby loved it!! I will be making this again. Thank you!

  29. This recipe is amazing! I will be getting some more chicken tonight to make it again! Great job Gina!

  30. Avatar photo
    Stephanie Holloway

    I made this today and put it in a croissant with some avocado, romaine lettuce, and red onion. SO YUMMY!!! My husband and I LOVED it!

  31. @Anonymous 8/25/12, there is a delicious mayo alternative on the market that is dairy and egg-free, it's called Veganaise and it's amazing! I like it so much better than mayonnaise. You can find it at Kroger/Ralphs/Fred Meyer and Whole Foods.

  32. I just made this and its delicious! I bet you could do it with canned tuna, too. I don't really like canned tuna, but with these ingredients I would eat it! Thanks Gina!

  33. Love this recipe, thank you Gina! One question for anyone – I am lactose intolerant and can't have any dairy including eggs, which also means I can't eat anything with mayo in it. Is there a substitute for the mayo in this recipe that I can use? Also thought it would be good to find a similar substitute for the mayo in tuna salad. Thanks! -Molly

  34. Avatar photo
    Katie Strawder

    I love love love your recipes!! I just made this and it is soo yummy! I plan on taking it to the beach with me tomorrow for lunch. I added some tomatos from my aunts garden to this and it's so delicious. I have been making lots of recipes from your site and even my hubby likes everything so far.

  35. Just made this for my lunch tomorrow and it is fabulous! Thanks for all the great recipes. Makes eating healthy much more fun!

  36. Avatar photo
    The Double Dipped Life

    I've made this over and over again. I do add a little more mayo, but no broth. LOVE it! Thanks for the great recipe!

  37. I just made this the other day. It's such an original taste. I did need an extra tablespoon of mayo to bind everything together, as well as 1 tbs of chicken broth. Very delicious. I've been eating it over a toasted english muffin.

  38. I made this for lunch today. It was delicious!! I have yet to try one of your recipes and not like it. Thanks for contributing to my weigh loss and love of food!

  39. Made this for lunch today! It was delicious! Thank you for the great recipes! This is my new favorite recipe site!

  40. Wow!! Every recipe is awesome!!!!! You're the best!!! Thank you!!!!!!! My life made simple by you

  41. I just made this and it turned out great!! I used some leftover chicken I had from grilled strips with mexican flavor so it worked out perfect with the cilantro and lime, very tasty! Going in the boyfriend's lunch tomorrow and I have a plump tomato all ready for my lunch 🙂 Thanks for all the great recipes!

  42. Delish! Had on lavish bread and added sprouts and avocado, and replaced half the mayo with fage yogurt.

  43. Tried this today (after making chicken broth/shredded chicken in the crockpot yesterday) and it is SO yummy!!! I love your website. Thanks for sharing these great recipes with us all 🙂

  44. So yummy!!! I added a little bit of finely chopped red onion and the zest of the lime. I ate mine on pita chips and it was awesome!!!

  45. I dont like chicken reheated. It just has weird taste. . .or maybe I have weird taste buds. Either way, this is a GREAT way to use up leftover chicken.

    I love that the recipe is for just 2 servings. So easy to half it or double it.

    My favorite way to eat it is on baked tostitos scoops.

  46. I am eating this as I type. Another winner. Mine turned out just like your photo. I served it on a bed of chopped romaine and I used canned white meat chicken since it is all I had on hand. Turned out great. Thank you

  47. I just made this for lunch using leftover chicken from your baked chicken with dijon and lime recipe. Both were delicious and very flavourful. My plan is to cook my way through your recipes all summer. Let the cooking begin! Keep up the great work and the inspiration. 🙂

  48. Awesome recipe Gina!! I just made it tonight and I am so excited to make it again. The flavors together just make for a delicious Chicken Salad!

  49. OMG YUM!!!!! I used a little less mayo and a little chicken broth ("cause you KNOW how I feel about mayo) and I gotta tell you with the addition of the cumin, garlic powder and chili powder I didn't even detect any mayo taste!! I also didnt have any scallion so I chopped celery into it which gave it a nice crunchy texture. The cilantro taste was the perfect little zing!! Haha ,oops, I just realized I completely forgot the lime juice but it tastes great all the same!! Can't wait for lunch tomorrow, gonna have this loaded onto celery stalks!!!

  50. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Any recipe that requires tomatoes, I love making an egg white, scallion and tomato omelet.

  51. You mentioned using the rest of the scooped out tomato for cooking…any suggestions of what to use it for? Thanks! 🙂

  52. This recipe is the BOMB! I love it! Hubby made it for a quick dinner tonight and it is awesome! We had it on an Arnold select sandwich thin and a bowl of cream of asparagus soup on the side, delish!!!

  53. Made this for dinner last night and am enjoying it for lunch as I type this. So yummy and super easy!

  54. Love this recipe too — I haven't tried one of yours that I don't like.

    I added a serrano pepper for some kick.

  55. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Yes, I use boneless chicken breast. This is the easiest way to make perfect shredded chicken!

  56. Chicken in the crock pot- if I just use boneless breasts will this work alright? I don't want to spend a lot of time picking things out 🙂 The broth is a bonus, what I really want is easy shredded chicken!

  57. Avatar photo
    Amber and Brian

    Yummy! I made this for lunch as a sandwich. I boiled some chicken in chicken broth, and added whatever vegis i had on hand. In my case, red onions, tomatoes, celery and bell pepper(and of course used the cilantro,lime, and seasonings per your recipe). It was delish!

  58. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Thanks Hannah! If you only knew how little time I had to shoot this, lol! It was like 6:30 am right before driving my daughter to school and heading off to the train to go to work!

  59. Gina, just wanted to give you props on this photo, it is my favorite one I think. Great composition and detail (you can see drips on the tomato)…. amazing! You talented lady!

  60. I just made this for my lunch, and I even served it to myself in the hollowed out tomato. It's so much fun to eat something so good and so pretty! Thank you Gina for the great site. I love your recipes!

  61. Avatar photo
    Colleen B. Haverhill, Ma

    Hey Gina,
    Have you ever tried Chicken Larb? It is an Asian chicken salad made with sliced onions,scallions, lime juice , fish sauce ,& sugar (I use Stevia instead)and chicken. It is very yummy, low carb(when you use the stevia) & low fat.

  62. I just went to make this and realized I had run out of mayonnaise! I forgot that I had thrown the jar away a couple of days ago.. so I used light sour cream instead. It was so good! I also used chipotle powder instead of chile powder, gave it a nice kick. On top of an Oroweat roll. YUM! Thanks Gina!

  63. I made this last night and it was very good. I used it in a sandwich last night and did the hollowed out tomato for lunch. Thanks again for another great recipe!

  64. Please don't ever quit this website because it has been such a lifesaver for me, and I love your ideas!

  65. Avatar photo
    Courtney Wise

    Hey Gina, I've been SCOURING the internet for a healthier chicken salad recipe – this was wonderful! Just ate it after my work out and am totally satisfied. Thank you!

  66. Avatar photo
    Laura Johnson

    Just found your blog today and LOVE it!! Everything looks so good. I am excited to try so many of these recipes! I'll be back often!

  67. I cut the top off then used a small sharp knife to cut around. Then I carefully scooped out the flesh with a spoon. I reserved the rest of the tomato to use later for cooking.

  68. This looks wonderful. I think my kids would even enjoy sharing this with me for lunch. Any hints on the best way to hollow out a tomato(what kind, the right tools, etc.)? I'm afraid I would butcher it without some help.

  69. Yum! You are my hero, Gina! I have been doing WW for a while now, and your recipes are such a treat. My husband is a fan too, which is a big bonus.