Everybody in my family loves a big plate of chicken salad, I swear one of my stepdaughters can eat her body weight in curry chicken salad. Knowing any chicken salad I make will not go to waste I often experiment with new versions. My new creamy arugula chimichurri chicken salad has been my most recent success! The heat from raw garlic and red pepper adds a ton of flavor to both the chicken and chickpeas. I served it for lunch on a plate of greens but I think it could be a great sandwich on a nice crusty bread with some arugula leaves and sliced tomato.
In this creamy chicken salad I used a mix of sour cream and mayo but if you are looking to avoid either plain Greek yogurt would be a perfect substitute. I know many people love the tang of yogurt, but I did not have any in the house so I used my favorite creamy chicken salad dressing standby of sour cream and mayo. The chicken was just basic boneless skinless that I roasted off with some garlic, salt and pepper. I like having cooked chicken on hand for easy meals so I make a big pan of it pretty frequently. Meat from a rotisserie chicken would work perfectly as well.
I am not going to lie creamy arugula chimichurri chicken salad has left me with a little lingering garlic breath, but it was so worth the extra mouthwash. I think it might rival the house favorite curry chicken and has definitely earned a spot in the regular salad rotation. The chimichurri I made for this dressing was arugula based, for a few reasons. First, I bought a huge thing of arugula on sale and I need to use it or I was going to lose it. Second, I thought the peppery flavor would be a nice twist on the standard parsley chimichurri, and it was good. In fact we tossed a little on a flank steak a few days ago and liked it as much as the “normal” chimichurri. From now on I think I will switch between making the parsley and arugula chimichurri based on what’s on hand. If you don’t have the time or desire to make chimichurri from scratch, store bought will work perfectly.
Creamy Arugula Chimichurri Chicken Salad
Creamy Arugula Chimichurri Salad Dressing
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 4 tsp Arugula Chimichurri recipe below
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 large cooked chicken breasts diced
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 4 stalks celery diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside. Dressing can be made a few days in advance and left in the refrigerator until needed. Taste dressing and adjust salt as needed.
For the salad dice the chicken and celery fairly small so its easy to eat. Gently fold togethor the chicken, celery, chickpeas and Creamy Arugula Chimichurri Salad Dressing. I like to half the tomatoes and use them as a garnish rather than mixing in as they can cause the dressing to get runny. Taste and add salt and black pepper if needed. Server the chicken salad either on a plate with greens or as a sandwich.
- 1 bunch fresh Arugula
- 3-6 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp Adobo Seasoning
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Mix all the ingredients except the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Drizzle in the oil as the processor runs. Blend until the sauce is a smooth.
Taste and adjust the heat, salt and acid. The sauce can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for days. Any not used in the Creamy Arugula Chimichurri Salad Dressing can be used on steak, pork or other meat as a condiment.