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overhead view of cashew chicken salad in serving bowl

Healthy Cashew Chicken Salad (dairy free)

The key to this healthy cashew chicken salad is in the dressing. It's made with avocado oil mayonnaise and real food ingredients! Great for food prep, too!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
cool time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 389kcal
Author Sara


Cashew Chicken Salad Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken breasts (preferably organic)
  • 1 apple chopped (I prefer sweet apples)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (sliced or whole)

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy Greek yogurt (see notes)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt (more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 and place chicken breasts in a large baking dish.
  • Bake chicken breasts for about 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the breast reaches 165. Baking time will vary pending how thick your breasts are. Once cooked through, allow chicken to fully cool before shredding or cutting.
  • While chicken is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Keep the dressing in the fridge while the chicken is cooking and cooling.
  • Once your cooked chicken has cooled (about 30 minutes), take your cooled chicken and shred it or cut it into cubes. I prefer shredded chicken for this recipe.
  • To shred the chicken, I recommend using a hand-held blender. Cut the chicken breasts in halves or quarters (this makes it easier to shred) and put in in a large bowl. Turn blender on med-low speed and "blend" until chicken is shredded. Trust me... it works and makes great shredded chicken! You can use two forks as well if you don't want to break out the blender.
  • Add the shredded (or cubed chicken) to a large bowl and mix in the chopped apples, chopped celery, cashews, and prepared dressing.
  • Allow the finished salad to sit in the fridge for a few hours before eating (it's best when it's cold, but you can eat right away if needed).
  • Serve over a bed of spinach or in a sandwich. Try adding avocado, green onions, and/or tomatoes as additional toppings!
  • Enjoy!


  • I highly encourage organic chicken or chicken that has been certified humane. This ensures quality treatment of the animals as well as chickens that weren't treated with antibiotics. 
  • I recommend organic specifically for the celery, apples, and cashews. 
  • This chicken salad will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Dressing Notes
  • For the mayonnaise, look for avocado oil mayonnaise (Primal Kitchen makes a great one). Most mayonnaise contains unhealthy oils and other ingredients. The key to keeping this dressing clean is all in the dressing/mayonnaise. 
  • I use Kite Hill almond milk Greek yogurt since I'm mostly dairy-free, but any Greek yogurt will work. Just make sure it's unsweetened and if made from cow's milk, preferably organic. 
  • The honey in the dressing is completely optional. It adds a slight sweetness, but I've made it without the honey before and it's great without as well!


Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 474mg | Potassium: 704mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg