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This basic AIP chicken salad recipe plus several variations is an easy, last-minute, portable lunch option that will keep you full and is great for picnics! (Also Paleo, egg-free, Whole30)

It's one thing to prepare your meals ahead of time on the AIP diet, but what if you decide last minute to go on a picnic?

Or what if you have to go to work and there's no microwave or stove available?

Or what if you're stuck at home and don't have a lot of fresh ingredients?

This AIP chicken salad recipe I'm sharing is SUPER versatile and will help you in any of these situations!

You can make this from a can of cooked chicken at the last minute

One of the best things about this chicken salad is that you don't need to do a lot of (or any) cooking to make it.

If you use a can of cooked chicken – or salmon or tuna – you can whip this is up last-minute lunch option.

Just make sure the chicken is only packed in water and salt, no preservatives or anything making it not AIP-friendly.

A great portable lunch option

The AIP diet definitely lacks a lot of portable lunch options.

You could make my Gyro Wrap Sandwiches – or anything really with the wraps, but those take time to prepare and plan ahead.

If you suddenly decide to go out for the day, or if you have to work somewhere where you don't have access to a stove or microwave, you need something that's quick to make and doesn't need reheating.

That's why these chicken salads are perfect!

You simply mix the ingredients together and put into a to-go container. At lunch time, eat!

I like to either pack this in a small soft-sided cooler with an ice pack, or if that's not an option (or if that'd be too bulky), I'll rubber-band some ice packs to my container.

Many variations to try – don't get bored!

In the recipe below I give you a basic recipe with 3 different variations. This gives you a LOT of versatility to suit your tastes.

I also give a long list of AIP-friendly items that you can add to the basic recipe, giving you even more ability to customize to your particular needs, tastes, and whatever you happen to have on hand or time to prepare.

The 3 variations off the basic recipe are the “Summer”, the “Harvest”, and the “Curry”.

"Summer" AIP Chicken Salad
The “Summer” Chicken Salad

The “Summer” uses blueberries and radishes to give it a bright, summery taste.

AIP Harvest Chicken Salad
The “Harvest” Chicken Salad

The “Harvest” uses the tastes of fall – crisp apples and/or pears, cranberries or raisins, celery and optional roasted sweet potatoes.

AIP Curry Chicken Salad
The “Curry” chicken salad

The Curry Chicken Salad uses an AIP-friendly curry spice mixture, raisins, and dried apricots to give a highly flavorful meal.

How to serve this AIP chicken salad

You can serve the chicken salads on top of a bed of any sort of green – spinach, chopped kale, mixed greens, etc.

If that isn't enough for you, it's also delicious served with some AIP-friendly chips, like sweet potato chips, cassava chips, or plantain chips.

I also love serving it with my favorite AIP Carob Chip Cookies! I recommend making a double batch of these and then freezing as they freeze beautifully and are great to take out when you need a sweet treat. Just remove one from the freezer, throw in your lunchbox and it'll be thawed and ready to go by lunch!

AIP chicken salad packed in a tupperware with a cookie
Chicken salad packed in a Tupperware container with an ice pack and a cookie!

Other recipes you might like

AIP Gyro Wrap Sandwich – a delicious portable AIP lunch option!

10 AIP Breakfast Ideas – get ideas for one of the hardest meals on AIP!

25 AIP Snack Ideas – or get snack ideas, since those can be hard too

More Helpful AIP & Paleo Resources in the Freebie Library

If you find this recipe helpful, you may really enjoy the resources in my Paleo & AIP Freebie Library! There's a “dump” freezer meal plan, a list of AIP-compliant breakfast toppings, and so much more. Plus, you'll get even more ideas sent to your inbox! Get the password here.

AIP Chicken Salad Recipe

If you make this chicken salad, I'd love to hear how it turned out! Either comment below or share a pic on Instagram and tag me @thrivingautoimmune!

AIP Chicken Salad Lunch (Paleo, Whole30, AIP)

Author: Michele
Servings: 1 serving
This basic AIP chicken salad recipe plus several variations is an easy, last-minute, portable lunch option that will keep you full and is great for picnics! (Also Paleo, egg-free, Whole30)
NOTE: this serves 1 person with a large serving or 2 people with smaller servings.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


The basic recipe:

  • 1 can of pre-cooked Chicken, Tuna, or Salmon ((make sure to check the ingredients and get ones that are only the meat/seafood, water, and salt))
  • 1/2 Avocado (**don't have an avocado? See notes)
  • 1/8 –1/4 cup Avocado or Olive Oil
  • 1.5 tsp Lime Juice (I used jarred, but you can use fresh too – this would be about 1/2 lime)
  • Pinch Sea Salt

Variations – “The Summer”:

  • 1 batch of the basic recipe above
  • 1 handful Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 handful Cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 Radishes (sliced)
  • 1 Sweet Potato (diced and roasted at 425 F for 30 min (optional))

“The Harvest”

  • 1 batch of the basic recipe above
  • 2 stalks Celery (sliced thinly)
  • 1 handful dried Cranberries or Raisins (no sunflower oil *see notes on how to make your own dried cranberries)
  • 1 Apple or Pear (diced)
  • 1 Sweet Potato (diced and roasted at 425 F for 30 min (optional))
  • 1 handful sliced Tigernuts (optional)

“The Curry”

  • 1 batch of the basic recipe above
  • 2 stalks Celery (sliced thinly)
  • 1 handful Raisins
  • 3 dried Apricots (diced)
  • 1 tbsp AIP Curry Powder (I like this recipe or if not on AIP, use 1 tbsp Curry Powder)
  • 1 handful sliced Tigernuts (optional)


  • In a bowl, wide-mouthed glass jar, or blender place the flesh of the avocado, the oil, lime juice, and sea salt. Use an immersion stick blender or regular blender to mix until creamy.
  • Mix with the chicken, tuna, or salmon.
  • Add other ingredients if using one of the variations. (Or make up your own!)
  • Serve over a bed of mixed greens and possibly with some sweet potato chips, cassava chips, or plantain chips.


** Don't have an avocado? This AIP Mayo by Bon AIPPETIT is great too!
Make your own dried cranberries – see how here.
More AIP-compliant possibilities to add to your chicken,tuna, or salmon salad:
  • Diced Roasted Sweet Potato
  • Raisins
  • Dried Cranberries (fruit-sweetened, no sunflower oil)
  • Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
  • Diced Radishes
  • Cilantro or Parsley
  • Diced or Sliced Celery
  • Sliced Tigernuts
  • Diced Apples or Pears
  • Shredded or Diced Carrots
  • Pomegranate Arils
  • Crumbled Banana Chips
  • Sliced Fennel Mint
  • Diced roasted Beets
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes
  • Diced Pineapple
  • Diced Mango 
  • Crumbled Cooked Bacon
  • Sliced Olives
  • Diced Dried Dates
  • Diced Dried Apricots (or other dried fruits – check ingredients though!)
  • Sliced Red Onions
  • Diced Fresh Figs
  • Sliced Oranges
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Diet Gluten Free
Keyword: AIP, Autoimmune Paleo, easy, Paleo, portable, quick, Whole30
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @thrivingautoimmune !

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