The chicken salad sandwich is considered a complete but light meal. The bread provides carbohydrates, chicken provides protein, vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes are excellent sources of dietary fiber and mayo for some fat.
But did you know that there actually different ways to prepare chicken salad aside from the regular mayo-based one? The curry salad uses curry and yogurt for dressing, turning leftover chicken into a simple yet healthy dish.
Or, you might want to do a silken tofu dressing in your chicken Caesar salad. Perhaps you want to grill the chicken first before adding some fruits in season, like avocado, mango, and berry. But when you add sliced bread into the equation and place the chicken salad in, you get a hearty chicken salad sandwich.
At its most basic form, a chicken salad sandwich calls for cooked chicken meat, usually from the chopped or shredded breast part. Rotisserie chicken works too. You only have to cook chicken meat with salad dressing, Dijon mustard as well as season with salt and pepper. Chill the mixture for at least an hour, then serve over a bed of lettuce leaves and sliced bread of choice.
Here’s video demonstrating how to make a chicken salad sandwich
Now if this is your idea of a perfect light lunch, you might wonder what to serve with chicken salad sandwich?
The Side Options
Your side options depend on your personal taste and the recipe for your chicken salad sandwich. For instance, if you’re making the regular chicken salad sandwich with mayo dressing, you might want to stay away from creamy sides like macaroni or potato salad to avoid redundancy.
Since the sandwich already bursts with flavors, you should keep the sides simple. Here are some of the best options.
● Green Salad With Vinaigrette Dressing
A bowl of mixed salad greens tossed in vinaigrette dressing perfectly complements the lightness of the salad but takes away the redundancy of the creaminess. You only need to toss green salad with extra virgin olive oil and red wine, then season with minced garlic and chopped parsley.
● Fresh Green Beans Cooked in Butter and Minced Garlic
Butter green beans add a new depth of flavor to the creamy flavor of the chicken salad sandwich. And this is easy to prepare too. Simply cook green beans into melted butter until beans are slightly tender. Season with minced garlic, salt and pepper.
● Tomatoes, Cucumber, and Bacon
Sliced fresh tomatoes and cucumber provide a simple yet refreshing twist to an already filling chicken salad sandwich. Bacon also adds a salty twist to it. Simply slice tomatoes and cucumber in equal thickness and place into a bowl. Add in sliced cook bacon and mix. Dress with a drizzle of olive oil and white wine vinegar toss with the vegetables until the mixture are well combined.
● A Platter Of Fresh Fruits and Cheese
This side dish is perfect in balancing the flavors of creaminess and sweetness. However, it’s guilt-free because fruits are naturally sweet with no artificial sugar added. Simply pick some fruits in season, including your favorite ones, and slice them up.
Some of the best options include watermelon, cantaloupe, kiwi, and strawberries. You can also serve some sliced cheese to bring a hint of saltiness.
● Tray Of Fresh Vegetables With Ranch Dressing
A tray of fresh vegetables can be just as refreshing and light as the platter of fruits. Pick vegetables with a crunchy and firm texture. The chosen vegetables should be eaten raw, like celery, cucumber, and carrots.
Bring out some ranch dressing for dipping, and you should be all set. This is not just an economical option; it’s also perfect side dish when you’re preparing lunch with limited time. No cooking needed.
● Peach Or Iced Tea / Fruit Smoothie
And you should not forget the drinks. Forego soda is full of calories and sugar while peach tea or ice tea is opt more refreshing. If you have some extra fruits (strawberries, avocado or banana) lying around begging to be used, dump them into the blender, add milk or yogurt and ice and pulse.
The chicken salad sandwich is perfect for people on the go because you can pre-mix the salad and prepare the sandwich when you’re ready to leave. It’s also a great choice for picnic food. Served with light side dishes like fruits and green salads, you should be able to come up with a complete meal in just a few minutes.
I hope you’ve found more ways to make filling and nutritious lunch by pairing your chicken salad sandwich with a great side dish. What about you? How do you make light but complete lunch?