Paleo Lemon Basil Chicken Salad lettuce wraps with apples, celery, red onion, cashews and a homemade paleo mayonnaise. A light and flavorful lunch or dinner that is paleo, Whole30 and gluten free.

Paleo Lemon Basil Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps - a light and healthy lunch recipe that is gluten free, whole30, paleo and dairy free!

Lately lunch time has been excessively stressful.

I get home from Pilates, and haveĀ 5 minutes to make lunch for Shawn and I before he has to get back to work. I used to do a lot of turkey sandwiches and chips, but Shawn and I are trying to be gluten free and dairy free so sandwiches are out.

Paleo Lemon Basil Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps - a light and healthy lunch recipe that is gluten free, whole30, paleo and dairy free!

But just because sandwiches are out, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy my favorite sandwich fillings. I’ve been making us lots of chicken salads to eat as lettuce wraps, and it has been wonderful! I can make a big batch that will last us for 3 or 4 days, which means I can actually have our lunch ready in 5 minutes. It’s a wonderful thing. The best part is the longer this lemon basil chicken salad sits, the better the flavors are.

Paleo Lemon Basil Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps - a light and healthy lunch recipe that is gluten free, whole30, paleo and dairy free!

This paleo lemon basil chicken salad has been a big favorite lately. The farmers market has such gorgeous bunches of basil, I can’t resist buying it every week. The brightness of the lemon and basil mixed with the apples, celery, red onions and cashews is delicious. I use my homemade paleo mayo (which I am obsessed with! So easy to make, so healthy, and tastes even better than store bought) to keep it paleo.

I use butter lettuce for the paleo lemon basil chicken salad lettuce wraps, but you could use romaine lettuce, or even serve it on top of baby greens as a salad.

Paleo Lemon Basil Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps - a light and healthy lunch recipe that is gluten free, whole30, paleo and dairy free!

I’ve shared it before, but the secret to good chicken salad is roasting the chicken breasts. Most recipes call for you to poach the chicken breasts in water. Don’t! All the chicken flavor seeps out into the poaching liquid, and the resulting chicken is bland and watery. Think about it, that’s exactly how you make flavorful stock, by poaching chicken in water.

Instead, by roasting bone in, skin on chicken breasts in the oven all the chicken flavors intensify and you’re left with juicy, ultra flavorful chicken.

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Lemon Basil Chicken Salad


  • Author: Tastes Lovely
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: roughly 8 cups 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken breastsĀ (I get my chicken from ButcherBox, which I highly recommend)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium apple, skin on, chopped into 1/4 cubes, about 1.5 cups
  • 4 ribs of celery, chopped, about 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
  • 68 basil leaves, chopped, about 1/4 cup
  • zest from lemons, about 2 tablespoons
  • juice from 1 lemon, about 23 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup homemade paleo mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter lettuce leaves for serving

Instructions

Roasted Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees with the oven rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the chicken until an instant read thermometer reads an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 30-45 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes until it’s cool enough to handle.

Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

  1. Once the chicken is cooled, remove the bones and chop the chicken into 1/2″ cubes. (I personally like the skin so I leave it, but remove it if desired.) Will be about 5 cups of cooked chicken.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken, apple, celery, cashews, red onion, basil leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice and mayonnaise. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve on butter lettuce. You can serve it room temperature once it’s ready, or refrigerate it covered for up to 5 days and serve it cold.

Notes

-You can also serve this on top of baby greens and eat it as a salad, or on bread to make a sandwich

Paleo Lemon Basil Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps - a light and healthy lunch recipe that is gluten free, whole30, paleo and dairy free!

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