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A classic lunch gets deliciously updated in this nutritious variation of chicken salad that features chewy wheat berries with a bold curry kick. This salad has it all; it's creamy, crunchy, fresh, hearty, and flavorful. It's also easy to make and there are endless ways to enjoy this flavorful spin on chicken salad!
If you love the toothsome texture of wheat berries, also try our warm wheat berry salad with squash, kale, currants, and walnuts, or wheat berries with caramelized onions and pecans.
This recipe was originally published in 2013. We've updated the post with some new photos and more information, but we've left the delicious recipe exactly the same.
We've spiced things up with this curried variation of chicken salad. The bold flavors of curry combine with creamy mayonnaise, sweet raisins, chewy wheat berries, and crunchy walnuts. The base of this beautiful salad is the wheat berries, which cook for 30-40 minutes while you make the rest of the magic happen.
You can keep cooking to a minimum by using up your rotisserie chicken leftovers, or simply poach a chicken breast while the wheat berries cook. Pack it for a picnic or serve it for dinner then take it as a nutritional lunch tomorrow.
It's a great recipe to use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken. If you need to cook chicken, simply simmer a chicken breast in a small pot of water seasoned with salt and pepper for 20 minutes then shred it using two forks. Easy!
What are wheat berries?
Wheat berries are a small, round, ancient grain that are chewy in texture and nutty in taste. They're the intact whole kernel from a wheat plant and because of this, they have an exceptional nutrient profile. They're a slow-digesting complex carbohydrate (good for blood sugar control), low in calories, high in fiber and protein, and loaded with other vitamins and minerals. To prepare them, simply boil them in water until chewy. They're a versatile, robust grain with a unique taste and texture that holds up well in the fridge for make-ahead meals.
How long does this curried chicken salad keep?
This salad is hearty and will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You may even find it tastes better the next day!
What can I use instead of wheat berries?
You could use cooked short-grain brown rice, kamut, or spelt in place of wheat berries.
How do I toast the walnuts?
To toast the walnuts, place them on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven for 8-10 minutes, or until they are light brown and fragrant.
How to serve curried wheat berry chicken salad
Serve this chicken salad variation over a bed of greens, use it as a filling in a wrap, on a piece of toast, or in a crunchy lettuce leaf. Or warm up on a rainy day by enjoying it with a comforting bowl of garlic soup.
It also travels well so it's perfect for a picnic or to take for lunch.
While it's a nutritious meal on its own, it also makes a delicious side dish for the main meal. We like to serve it family-style with a main like our creamy tomato pasta, easy baked lasagna, or cheesy white bean tomato bake.
Also, try these cilantro lime chicken salad cups!
Other popular chicken salad recipes
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion (minced)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 cup chopped kale (inner stem removed)
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 1 ½ cups cooked shredded chicken (see notes)
- 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (plus more for serving)
- 1 medium carrot (grated)
The Creamy Curry Dressing
- ½ cup mayonnaise (can be light)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Place the wheat berries in a small pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until the wheat berries are chewy. Drain the water from the pot.1 cup wheat berries
- Mix the creamy curry dressing ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.½ cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon curry powder, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it is soft and light brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and let them cook for 1 minute. Add the kale and chili flakes and cook for about 1 minute more, or until the kale starts to soften.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 medium onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 1 pinch chili flakes, 1 cup chopped kale
- Add the cooked wheat berries, onions and kale, shredded chicken, cherry tomatoes, raisins, walnuts, sesame seeds, and grated carrot to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the top then toss well to coat.1 ½ cups cooked shredded chicken, 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes, ½ cup raisins, ½ cup chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 medium carrot
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.