Curried Chicken Papaya Salad served in a half papaya is the perfect warm weather meal. This adaptation of a restaurant dish is egg free and top 8 allergen free along with being gluten free.
- Why We Like This Chicken Papaya Salad Recipe
- Ingredient Tips
- Instructions/Directions and Tips to Make Curried Chicken Papaya Salad
- Storage and Reheating Instructions
- Top Tip
- What To Serve With
- Other Recipes You May Enjoy
- 📖 Recipe
- Food Safety
- Latest Posts
Why We Like This Chicken Papaya Salad Recipe
This Curried Chicken Papaya Salad recipe is based on one I used to order when we went to Maui. The hotel we stayed at had the BEST chicken salad served in a half of a papaya. I would get it for lunch everyday from the restaurant or from the deli if we were going out and doing anything. When we came home I craved this salad for months.
This chicken papaya recipe is recreated from my memory and adapted for our allergies. It is something we make anytime we miss the taste of our holidays past and the sunshine.
I hope you love it as much as I do.
- Granny Smith Apple
- Pepitas pumpkin seeds
- Cooked and diced chicken
If you are cooking chicken for the recipe:
- Raw chicken breasts
- Olive Oil
- Curry Powder
- Salt and pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
To keep this Curried Chicken Papaya Salad recipe top 8 allergens free the mayonnaise needs to be egg free and soy free. The easiest way to replace regular mayonnaise is to use a vegan mayonnaise. Double check the vegan mayonnaises in the stores as some are made with soy, those are not safe for top 8 diet restrictions. There are some made with avocado oil rather than soy but not all of those are egg free.
One of the other issues with mayonnaise replacements is that they usually contain mustard, which is something we cannot use in our home. We have found a top allergen free mayonnaise from Quebec that can be purchased in some stores there. The company is called Mama yo! Mayonnaise and does sell their products on their website. This is our favourite mayo replacement that is safe for us.
A crisp and sour apple is the best in this chicken papaya recipe as the texture of the apple helps to give the salad a firmness. The tartness helps to balance the curry flavour.
We use a mild curry powder but a medium one would work well in this fresh tasting salad to contrast with the cooling papaya and avocado. Check with the manufacturer that your spices are safe for you. Curry powder is a blend of spices and some contain mustard.
The chicken used can be either already cooked from another meal. Mildly flavoured cooked chicken will work best. The oil, extra curry powder, and salt/ pepper are only needed if the chicken is raw.
Instructions/Directions and Tips to Make Curried Chicken Papaya Salad
To use already cooked chicken skip the chicken cooking phase of the directions and omit the extra curry powder.
How to cook the chicken:
1- Trim chicken breasts and cut into tenders or chicken finger sized bits.
2- Place cut chicken in an oven proof casserole dish.
3- Drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon of curry powder from the chicken ingredients. Mix well to coat the chicken on all sides and use your hands to massage the spices and oil into the chicken.
4- Cook the chicken for 15 minutes. Then flip the chicken and return to the oven for 7-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165F.
5- Let chicken cool, dice into ½ inch cubes and store in the fridge until ready to use. Add into salad as per cooked chicken directions.
After the chicken has been cooked:
1- Chop chicken, celery, onion, apple, and avocado to a medium dice, or bite size. Place cut ingredients in a large bowl.
2- Add in vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, and spices to the bowl.
3- Mix well with a spoon until all is combined well.
4- Cut a papaya in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and scrap away the stringy bits from the seed area.
5- Put the papaya on a plate or in a bowl to fit it.
6- Fill the hollowed out seed area of the papaya with 1 -1½ C of the chicken salad.
7- Garnish with cilantro and a lime wedge.
Hint: This salad is best when it has chilled for at least 2 hours.
If Vegan mayo is not your thing or you cannot find one safe for you try making your own egg free mayo. Most recipes usually call for the mix to be made from aquafaba, rather than soy. Aquafaba is the water from the can of chickpeas. Making vegan mayonnaise usually requires a good electric mixer for ease, like a stand mixer or hand held electric mixer.
The Minimalist Baker has an easy recipe on how to make your own vegan mayonnaise. We cannot have mustard powder so we substitute in turmeric powder instead of mustard powder.
To make the Curried Chicken Papaya Salad a vegan friendly bake chickpeas in the curry seasoning instead of chicken. Cook the chickpeas for half the time of the chicken so they are soft and not roasted to crunchy. This adaptation keeps a fair amount of protein in the meal without meat.
We understand that not all mayos work for all people and to keep this dish less processed we recommend using an additional half an extremely ripe avocado in place of the mayo. Mash this extra avocado well, so that the texture is creamy and resembles mayonnaise. Add an extra pinch of salt, turmeric, and garlic powder to the smooth and creamy avocado.
All that is needed to make this recipe for chicken papaya salad are four pieces of equipment. A knife and cutting board for chopping the ingredients. A large bowl for mixing the whole salad. An ovenproof dish to cook the chicken in. If using already cooked chicken you will not need the oven dish.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
To store, put papaya and salad in separate sealed containers. In a sealed container the chicken salad portion will keep for 3 days. The papaya will keep longest whole and uncut.
The Curried Chicken Salad doesn’t stand up well to freezing.
This dish is best served chilled. No reheating needed.
Use the leftovers from a roast chicken dinner to make this a quick meal. It is the perfect way to jazz up leftovers and flavour them in a different way.
What To Serve With
This chicken papaya dish is a fantastic meal on its own. However, if looking to serve the curried chicken salad as a side or a more substantial meal, it pairs well with our chilled cucumber soup. This pairing is especially great for hot weather days.
The curried chicken salad is the perfect picnic or BBQ food. Keep cold in a cooler with ice for easy transport to a park picnic. Made easily in large batches for a BBQ or large backyard gathering this salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Serve in gluten free bread rolls or gluten free wraps to make a delicious sandwich, as well.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
Curried Chicken Papaya Salad - EF/GF, Vegan option, Top 8 Free
- 1 Granny Smith Apple cored and medium diced
- 2 Ribs of Celery medium diced
- 1 Avocado medium diced
- ½ Medium Onion medium diced
- 2 Tbsps Pumpkin seeds the pepitas work best
- 2 Papayas deseeded and cut in half lengthwise
- The Chicken
- 2 C of cooked and diced chicken
- If you are cooking chicken for the recipe:
- 2 raw chicken breasts
- 2 tsps Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Curry Powder
- Pinch each of salt and pepper
- ¾ C Vegan Mayo
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon Paprika Smoked works really well
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
If cooking chicken for the recipe:
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Trim chicken breasts and cut into tenders or chicken finger sized bits
- Place cut chicken in an oven proof casserole dish.
- Drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon of curry powder from the chicken ingredients. Mix well to coat the chicken on all sides and use your hands to massage the spices and oil into the chicken.
- Cook the chicken for 15 minutes. Then flip the chicken and return to the oven for 7-15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165F.
- Let chicken cool, dice into ½ inch cubes and store in the fridge until ready to use. Add into salad as per cooked chicken directions.
If using already cooked chicken of for after the chicken has been cooked:
- Chop chicken, celery, onion, apple, and avocado to a medium dice, or bite size. Place cut ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add in vegan mayonnaise, lemon juice, and spices to the bowl.
- Mix well with a spoon until all is combined well.
- Cut a papaya in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and scrap away the stringy bits from the seed area.
- Put the papaya on a plate or in a bowl to fit it.
- Fill the hollowed out seed area of the papaya with 1 -1½ C of the chicken salad.
- Garnish with cilantro and a lime wedge.
Recipe inspired by the Royal Lahaina Hotel Restaurant
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Always verify food is allergen safe when purchasing, putting away from the store, and once again before cooking
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Verify spices are safe for your allergies with the manufacturer
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove