California Chicken Salad

What makes this chicken salad a California chicken salad??? Let’s talk about it.

california chicken salad

I’m leaning hard on avocado for the answer. Avocado is in, or on, everything here. But also … poppy seed dressing! Because the poppy is California’s state flower! See?!?

Pretty proud of myself for that one.

The poppy seed dressing I used here is made with primarily plain yogurt so it’s much lighter than oil-based poppy seed dressings sold in jars. It’s less sweet, too, but still sweet enough that you could use it on a fruit salad if that’s more your jam.

And as always, mix and match the salad ingredients to suit yourself. If mangoes are too expensive where you are, use halved grapes or apple chunks. If you don’t like the crunch of celery, use cucumber cubes. If you don’t want to screw with finding poppy seeds, just leave them out. It’ll break my heart but won’t make much difference to the final product.

california chicken salad


California Chicken Salad

  • Author:
  • Yield: 6


  • 1 pound chicken breast (boneless or bone-in)
  • 1 cup peeled and sliced jicama
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery (2 stalks)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 mango, sliced
  • 6 cups torn lettuce or spring greens

Poppyseed Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons grated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard or prepared mustard


  1. Begin by poaching chicken: Place in a pot with enough water to cover. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover. Bring to boil, then turn OFF heat. Leave chicken in hot water for 15-20 minutes depending on the size.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the vegetables. Peel jicama and cut into cubes. Place in a large bowl with celery, onion. Cut avocado into cubes and drizzle with lemon juice.
  3. When chicken is cooked, let cool and cut into cubes or tear into small pieces.
  4. Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well, or whisk together in a bowl.
  5. Pour dressing over vegetables and chicken and toss well. Add avocado last.
  6. Serve over mixed greens.
  7. Garnish with mango


  • Calories: 212
  • Fat: 13
  • Carbohydrates: 18
  • Protein: 6.6

california chicken salad


  1. What would you suggest instead of the jimica? Don’t see those too much here!

  2. Belinda Avey says:

    Looks good; and, I’m anxious to try the poppyseed dressing, on other things! I know I’m being lazy, but do you have other jicama recipes, for the leftover jicama? TIA!

    • Hi Belinda!
      I love it peeled and cut into sticks for dipping. Or you can sprinkle with lime juice, salt and chili powder for a snack. Or shred it and add to coleslaw (I use it in this fish tacos recipe)

      • Belinda Avey says:

        Second day in a row I’ve made this, with rotisserie chicken and a Costco mango cup. So good! I love the healthier feel, of the poppyseed dressing, although I reduced the oil, by half, for shucks! 😉
        I’ve got a pic; but, I can’t figure out how to post it.

        • Thanks for the update, Belinda! Good to hear the oil can be reduced even further. If you want, you can post the pic on my facebook page!

  3. James Lynch says:

    Are you still on youtube

    • Hi James, I stopped making YT vids a couple months ago so I can focus on other kinds of videos. All the vids are still on my channel and this website, though.

  4. Victoria says:

    What is the serving size?

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