Rich and Creamy Ensalada de Pollo (Chicken Salad)

Mix soft, tender, shredded chicken with slightly crunchy potatoes and carrots, sweet apples, crisp celery, bits of pecan, then top it off with tangy mayo and get an amazingly rich and creamy ensalada de pollo (chicken salad).

rich and creamy ensalada de pollo (chicken salad) #ensaladadepollo #chickensalad

Rich and Creamy

Ensalada de Pollo (Chicken Salad)

The strong heat of the mid-June sun cast a perfect spotlight on the backyard. A lovely backyard completely surrounded by a tall, brick fence. A fence so high as to create a secluded, little nook perfect for special occasions, BBQs, or a simple relaxing afternoon. And in front of this walled oasis, a beautiful, quaint white house.

Two remarkable, sturdy brick structures, built so carefully, so precisely by my father’s incredibly skilled hands.

It was there, in that fantastic little oasis in the thriving capital of Chihuahua, Mexico where I remember celebrating my earliest birthdays.

My birthday party in Chihuahua

The buzzing of conversation and laughter filled our house and backyard as dozens of my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and neighbors gathered together to celebrate under the summer sun.

My birthday party in Chihuahua

As everyone waited eagerly for the flurry of festivities, I happily bounced and twirled around in a beautiful, flowy dress fit for a princess. A lovely dress with lots of twirl was always a must at my parties. . .that and cake, a piñata, candy, and of course food.

My birthday party in Chihuahua

There was always a variety of mouthwatering foods that were served on these occasions.

But one food that is as vivid as my memories of those joyful celebrations is a rich and creamy ensalada de pollo (chicken salad).

Ensalada de Pollo

A rich and creamy ensalada de pollo (chicken salad) was a staple at parties, and not just mine. I never gave it much thought back then. I don’t think my young mind could grasp how such a simple dish was actually the perfect party food.

However, as an adult and after hosting my own baby showers, bridal showers, and birthday parties I’ve realized that a good chicken salad is easy to make, easy to serve, and leaves your guests full and satisfied.

I have had many variations of chicken salad, but none compare to the one my mom makes. Most of the Mexican chicken salads I have tried always have peas. I hate slimy, green peas!

Fortunately, my mom’s chicken salad has no peas in sight. She combines soft, tender, shredded chicken with slightly crunchy potatoes and carrots. Then, pairs this perfectly with sweet apples, crisp celery, and crunchy nuts.

Also, ever since I discovered homemade mayo, the recipe has been kicked up a notch. I truly believe homemade mayo is much tastier than the store-bought kind. Plus, homemade mayo means this chicken salad is also Whole30 compliant. But what type of mayo you use is really up to you, either way I guarantee the salad will be so good!

Find my recipe for super easy homemade mayo here.

What’s more, you don’t have to wait to make this dish for a party or special occasion. There were many days when my mom would expertly turn leftover chicken into her amazing salad.

If you don’t have leftover chicken and can’t wait to make this (which I wouldn’t if I were you), click here to check out a post for shredded chicken that is perfect for chicken salad. The recipe includes both Instant Pot and slow cooker instructions.

Now for the rich and creamy ensalada de pollo (chicken salad) recipe!

rich and creamy ensalada de pollo (chicken salad) #ensaladadepollo #chickensalad

How to make Rich and Creamy

Ensalada de Pollo (Chicken Salad)

First, peel three carrots and cut them in half. Add two small potatoes and the carrots to a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil.

Boil the vegetables for about 10 minutes, then check with a fork. You want the vegetables to be tender but still crunchy.  If they are still too hard after 10 minutes, cook them for another 3-5 minutes and check again. The carrots may cook faster than the potatoes, if that’s the case take the carrots out and let the potatoes continue cooking.

When the vegetables are done cooking, set them aside to cool.

Next, in a large bowl mix three cups of shredded chicken, 1 peeled and diced apple, 1 diced stalk of celery, 1/2 cup of mayo, 1/4 cup of chopped nuts, and salt and pepper to taste. I personally prefer to use chopped pecans, but almonds are also very tasty in this dish.

Ingredients for ensalada de pollo (chicken salad) #ensaladadepollo #chickensalad

Then, peel and dice the potatoes into small pieces (it will be easy to peel the potatoes with just your hands). Dice the carrots and add both the vegetables to the chicken mixture.

Mix everything together again. Taste for seasoning and adjust based on your taste. You may also want to add more mayo at this point  based on your preference of creaminess.

Ingredients for ensalada de pollo (chicken salad) #ensaladadepollo #chickensalad

For an added kick of flavor, add a couple tablespoons of the juice from pickled jalapeños.

This rich and creamy ensalada de pollo (chicken salad) is delicious served on top of crunchy tortillas for tostadas or with some saltine crackers. Of course, if you are on Whole30 those aren’t an option, but you’ll still enjoy it either by itself or with some crunchy vegetables.

I hope you enjoy!

What are your favorite party foods? Let me know in the comments below.

rich and creamy ensalada de pollo (chicken salad) #ensaladadepollo #chickensalad

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Rich and Creamy Ensalada de Pollo (Chicken Salad)

Mix soft, tender, shredded chicken with slightly crunchy potatoes and carrots, sweet apples, crisp celery, bits of pecan, then top it off with tangy mayo and get an amazingly rich and creamy ensalada de pollo (chicken salad).

Author Gemma from Everyday Latina

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups cooked shredded chicken (make your own or use half a rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 small russet potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 diced stalk of celery
  • 1 peeled and diced apple
  • 1/2 cup halved grapes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or almonds
  • 1/2 cup (plus additional for taste) homemade or store-bought mayo (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeño juice (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Cooking Potatoes and Carrots

  1. Peel the carrots and cut them in half. Add the potatoes and the carrots to a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil. Boil the vegetables for about 10 minutes, then check with a fork. 

  2. You want the vegetables to be slightly tender but still crunchy. If they are still too hard at 10 minutes, cook them for another 3-5 minutes and check again. The carrots may cook faster than the potatoes, if that’s the case take the carrots out and let the potatoes continue cooking.

  3. When the vegetables are done cooking, set them aside to cool.

  4. In the meantime, in a large bowl mix the shredded chicken, the peeled and diced apple, grapes (if using), diced stalk of celery, 1/2 cup of mayo, chopped nuts, and salt and pepper to taste. 

  5. Next, peel and dice the potatoes into small pieces (it will be easy to peel the potatoes with just your hands). Dice the carrots and add both vegetables to the chicken mixture.

  6. Mix everything together again. Taste for seasoning and adjust based on your taste. You may also add more mayo at this point based on your preference of creaminess.

  7. For an added kick of flavor, mix in the juice from pickled jalapeños.

  8. Serve on top of crunchy tostadas or with some saltine crackers. If you are on Whole30 enjoy it either by itself or with some crunchy vegetables.

Recipe Notes

I personally prefer to use chopped pecans, but almonds are also very tasty in this dish.

For Whole30, use a compliant mayo or a homemade one. I prefer homemade mayo, click here for the recipe.

 

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