It doesn’t matter if you leave for work every morning, or you spend every. Waking. Moment. At. Home. We all need to eat lunch. Sandwiches like this Avocado-Chicken Salad Sandwich are great to pack on-the-go, or for pulling out of the fridge.
I homeschool our twins (which you probably already knew), and work from home running the blog. Even my volunteer work is done from the house. I spend a lot of time at home. My hermit-like life is the reason I do dumb things like renovate my home the week before Thanksgiving. Despite my being home, I want a midday meal that I can throw together and eat without too much effort.
This is that meal.
A Combo of Flavors
I think what I love most about this Avocado-Chicken Salad Sandwich is the fact that it has flavor. There’s a local Colombian restaurant that serves arepas and, the two times we’ve tried it, my daughter ordered their version of this sandwich on an arepa. Both times she was disappointed that the sandwich lacked flavor. I pride myself on being a non-indulgent mother, but I won’t stand for my babies being saddened by their damned food. I just won’t tolerate it!! Creating a better-tasting version is as simple as gathering the right ingredients.
You need: ripe avocados, chicken breast, your sandwich bread of choice, sour cream, bacon, onions, cilantro, garlic, a jalapeño, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cheese. If you are on a low-carb diet, you can eat it without bread. The avocado-chicken salad is truly where it’s at.
Season the chicken breasts.
I buy my chicken breast boneless, skinless…and in bulk. Chicken breasts are one of those ingredients that you can save a life with. I’m not trying to be dramatic either. You’re having a horrid day, traffic (auto or internet) is pissing you off, and you forgot to put out something for dinner? That’s a recipe for homicide. It happens to the best of us. I have been known to pre-bake tons of chicken breast seasoned all sorts of ways for days like those. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use chicken breast that you’ve prepared ahead of time.
For these, place your chicken breasts onto a foil-lined sheet pan. In a small prep bowl, mix the chicken breast seasoning: kosher salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder.
Once your spice blend is fully mixed, season the chicken breast liberally with it. Let the seasoning work into the chicken while you fry the bacon.
Cook the meats.
In a large cast iron skillet, fry the bacon. Cutting the slices of bacon in half makes them the perfect size for our avocado-chicken salad. You can leave them whole or slice them. I prefer to slice them so as not to wrestle with honking pieces of meat in my sandwich later. Once the bacon has fried to your preferred crispness, remove them from the pan and allow them to drain on paper towels. SAVE. THAT. GREASE!! Obviously, if you don’t eat pork, omit the bacon. You can use any neutral high-temperature oil to cook your chicken breasts in.
Add the seasoned chicken breasts to the frying pan and allow them to cook for eight minutes on one side. The edges of the chicken breasts, up to about a quarter of an inch into the thicker parts, should be a creamy, opaque color.
Flip the breasts over and cook for eight minutes more. If you have more chicken breasts to fry (like I did), remove the first batch from the pan and place them on a clean sheet pan. Fry the remaining chicken breasts while allowing the ones you just finished cooking to rest.
Resting is HUGE. Resting any protein after cooking (especially meats) allows the juice in the meat to settle back into their rightful places. It prevents the juice from running out of the meat when you cut it. Once all of the chicken has been cooked, I let the breasts rest while I make the “avocado” part of the avocado-chicken salad.
Prep the pseudo-guacamole.
My twins are basically an old married couple. They bicker over everything, no matter how stupid it is. Case in point- this recipe. The boy-child said it was more of a “Guacamole-Chicken Salad Sandwich”, girl-child thought that was, “Sooooooo not true.*eye roll*”. I told them I’d make sure to let you know it was “kinda like guacamole” just to shut them up.
Grab a cutting board and your chef’s knife. Dice the red onion, and a jalapeño (you can omit it if you’re not a fan), and mince your garlic. Give the cilantro a rough chop and set all of this to the side.
Use a citrus juicer to juice one lime. Once all of your veggies are prepped, split your ripe avocados and scoop the flesh out of the shell and into a mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, or a fork, smash the avocado into a thick mash. I leave mine slightly chunky because we’re huge fans of avocado. Pour the lime juice over the mashed avocado to prevent any oxidation (and subsequent browning).
Assemble the guac.
Yes, “guac” is a word. Fight me if I’m wrong.
Once all of your guac components are prepped, toss them into the bowl with the mashed avocado.
Stir everything to combine it.
Add the sour cream to the avocado mixture to create a creamy guacamole.
Finishing the Avocado-Chicken Salad
Once you have your creamy guac-esque base, add your preferred choice of shredded cheese. I’m using Hatch Monterey-Jack cheese here because for a few weeks in late summer, everyone in Texas and New Mexico loses their damned mind over Hatch chili peppers. So, I figured, why not? You can use any mild cheese you like, or none at all.
By now your chicken is completely rested and ready for shredding. Use your hands, or two forks, to shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. You can also cut the meat, but that’s too much drama for me most days. Add the shredded chicken to the avocado mixture and fold it in.
The last thing you need to do is adjust the seasoning with a little more salt, if needed.
Rest, then assemble.
At this point, you could serve the Avocado-Chicken Salad on slices of Brioche or Country Rye, but I prefer to let it rest for half an hour. Allowing the salad to rest for even this short time produces a salad with deeper flavors. Transfer it from the mixing bowl to an air-tight food storage container. The key to preventing browning of the avocado is placing a layer of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the mixture. It prevents oxygen from doing its thang. Keep it in the fridge until lunchtime.
After the avocado-chicken mixture has rested, scoop it onto your sliced bread (or just eat it with a fork, or with crackers) and enjoy it!
This recipe is great for all sorts of work-schedules, environments, and dietary needs. Pin, then share it, and check out my other midday recipes.
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Avocado-Chicken Salad Sandwichesat Sense & Edibility
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast (4 pieces total)
- 8 slices bacon, cut in half
- 4 ripe avocados
- juice of one lime
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and minced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- kosher salt, to taste
- 8 slices brioche or other sandwich bread
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper.
- Liberally season the chicken breasts with the spice mixture.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet, over medium-high heat, then fry the bacon until it your preferred crispness.
- Remove the bacon from the pan to drain on a plate lined with paper towels, leaving the rendered bacon fat in the skillet.
- Add the seasoned chicken breasts to the frying pan and allow them to cook for 8 minutes on each side.
- Once you've cooked the chicken, transfer them to a clean platter and allow them to rest while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Split and scoop the flesh out of the avocados' shells and mash them in a large mixing bowl. Pour the lime juice over the mashed avocado to prevent any oxidation.
- Add the onions, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and sour cream. Stir to create a creamy guacamole.
- Add the shredded cheese to the bowl and fold it in.
- Using your hands, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add the shredded chicken to the avocado mixture and fold it in.
- Taste the avocado-chicken salad and adjust the seasoning with salt, if desired.
- Transfer the salad to an air-tight container, place a layer of plastic film directly onto the surface of the salad to prevent browning, and let the flavors marry in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- When ready to serve, scoop a cup and a half onto your sliced bread, crackers, or enjoy it on its own!
- This recipe is best served the same day it's prepared.
- You can use chicken breast that you've prepared in advance for this recipe, if desired.
I just love, love, love this recipe. It has become a favorite of mine to make just so I can take it to lunch the next day. I have tried it many different ways (with bacon, without bacon, different cheeses, different breads) and no matter how I prepare it, it always hits the spot. Thank you so much for this recipe! I can make it without looking now!! Xo
I love that, Victoria! It’s always the best practice to take your own lunch. Not only does it taste better, it’s more economical!
This looks so flavorful! And that bread is calling my name.
Thanks, Christa! The brioche is just icing on the cake, isn’t it?
Mmmm. I like the added bacon and the seasonings. I have always wondered how to keep this style of chicken salad from being bland.
I’m all about seasoning! There’s nothing more depressing than food that looks amazing but tastes like cardboard.
I love your step by step photos! And your recipes always rock! I will be definitely making this for the weekend! Yum, yum!
Thank you so much, Andrea! That means a lot to me!
This looks like the perfect sandwich to take with you for a tasty lunch on the go.
I think so too, Paula! Thanks!
Poor daughter, there is nothing worst than being disappointed by what you are eating, especially if you are out! Your version sounds yummy
My poor baby was so bummed out. After tasting her sandwich I totally understood!