Chicken salad is such a wonderfully versatile dish. Since the only constant is the chicken itself, you can add more or less whatever you want to it to make a dish fit for any occasion.
If you like your food hot, then naturally you’ll be interested in making a chicken salad with some spice to it.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, then look no further. We’ve compiled a list of the best spicy chicken salad recipes to be found anywhere – dinner tonight is settled!
This dish comes from China’s Sichuan province, a region known for its love of very spicy food.
The name is sometimes translated as the unfortunately unappetizing “saliva chicken”, but “mouth-watering chicken” is closer to the spirit of the name. Traditionally the recipe would call for a whole chicken, but this one simplifies things a bit by using chicken legs only.
The chicken is cooked, then cooled in iced water. It’s then served in chili oil with an array of other seasonings like garlic, peanuts, rice vinegar, and others. One of those others is the Sichuan peppercorn.
This adds a unique flavor that in Chinese is called “mala” which translates literally to “numbing and spicy”.
Eating it will cause a spicy, numb feeling in your lips, and it’s an essential ingredient in many dishes from Sichuan.
Thai flavors go so well with a chicken salad. This one has peanut, lime, chili, soy, and cilantro. The chicken is shredded and mixed up with a whole bunch of different vegetables and it all just tastes so fresh.
One of the real game-changers here is the use of green mango, which is a staple in various Thai dishes.
They can be hard to get hold of – specialist Southeast Asian grocery stores might be good ports of call – but they add an irreplaceable sourness and crunch to this salad. The salty, nutty, umami-filled dressing makes it all irresistible and the chili paste livens everything up.
Chicken Caesar salad isn’t usually a spicy dish, but this version is. For the most part, it’s a traditional Caesar salad recipe and a very nice one too.
It takes a slightly unorthodox turn by adding Dijon mustard to the dressing, but the thing that really makes it of interest to us spice fans is the addition of cayenne pepper powder, instantly turning it from a mild dish to a fiery one.
Naturally, you can add as much or little as you like, depending on how spicy you want it. Feel free to add some slices of chili peppers as well if you like.
Barley is a lovely base ingredient for a salad, and it goes well with all kinds of different flavors.
In fact, this recipe will work with whatever kind of salad dressing you prefer.
The chicken here is fried in chili to lock in a pleasing bit of heat, but if you want, you can add to this with a spicy dressing too. It’s a very simple dish, easy to prepare, and a pleasing lunch on a summer (or any season, really) day.
Shawarma is a delicious wrap that’s one of Arab cuisine’s best-loved exports. However, if you’re looking for a version without the bread, what you want is this chicken shawarma salad.
It’s got a complex flavor profile thanks to the wide list of different herbs and spices that are in it but don’t be put off by the ingredient list because the resulting salad is worth every bite.
The recipe includes cayenne pepper powder, and this gives it the advantage of making it easy for you to make it hotter or milder as you like.
The garlic-yogurt sauce that serves at the dressing is also great, and can be used on other things too if you like – try using it to marinate chicken for tikka masala, for example.
The chicken in this salad is generously seasoned with chili powder, adobo, and Mexican oregano.
If you’re having trouble finding Mexican oregano, don’t use regular oregano – try marjoram instead, as it has a more similar flavor profile.
Aside from all this, the key ingredient is the avocado dressing.
This is a little bit like guacamole, except that it’s thinner and includes a large helping of Greek yogurt. With lettuce, corn, and tortilla strips mixed and topped with crumbly queso fresco, the salad tastes fresh and is bursting with flavor.
This chicken salad draws on the flavors of Indonesia to deliver a delicious salad. One of the ingredients is ketjap manis, a kind of sweet Indonesian soy sauce. If you don’t have any, you can use regular soy sauce mixed with honey as a substitute.
This forms part of a delicious marinade that gives the chicken not only a wonderful flavor but a delicious tenderness as well.
Apart from the chicken, the salad itself is a simple mixture of rocket, and mixed lettuce, though you could of course feel free to add in your favorite veggies.
This great chicken salad gets its spicy kick from Tabasco chipotle hot sauce and is great for putting in sandwiches, using as a dip, or eating by itself. Lemon juice adds a lively freshness to the nuttiness of the almonds, and the whole thing, though simple and easy to make, is a delight.
This salad brings serious flavors – blue cheese, spicy marinated buffalo chicken, and a spicy ranch dressing mean that your mouth is going to be taken on a wild ride.
The ingredient list is fairly long, but the one that’s responsible for the heat is Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce.
This has that authentic buffalo wing flavor, but if you want a little more heat you could add some hotter stuff as well. The chicken is marinated and grilled for maximum flavor and the blue cheese is the icing on the cake, so to speak.
You can leave it out or substitute it, but nothing will quite replace that distinctive blue cheese taste. Either way, though, this salad is one of the biggest, most flavor-loaded ones around and is a guaranteed showstopper.
Yes, we know what you’re thinking. Chicken nuggets? In a salad?
But give it a chance, because this salad elevates chicken nuggets to the level of haute cuisine. The recipe even calls for edible flowers as garnish! You’ll be making the nuggets from scratch – subbing in McDonald’s ones really isn’t in the spirit of the dish – using panko breadcrumbs, and a cajun spice blend for that heat we’re looking for.
Also involved are the salad leaves, a dressing for them, a white sauce made with crème fraîche, parmesan, and anchovies, and garlic croutons. Doesn’t sound quite so basic now, does it? It tastes absolutely wonderful, and it’s a great dish to use to surprise friends.
Now that you’ve read this article, your craving for a spicy chicken salad has probably reached unsustainable levels. The only thing left for you to do now is get to making one, quickly!