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Winter Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups: Juicy + Healthy

5.0 from 1 vote

Juicy. Crunchy. Sweet. Salty. These Juicy + Healthy Winter Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups are bursting with flavor! This is honestly my favorite chicken salad right now, and I can’t get enough of it.

Why This Recipe Works

I happen to love a crunchy chicken salad wrapped up in a lettuce cup. The radicchio here hits the spot, and its loaded with flavor! Perfect for quick lunches throughout the week, because it stores so well.

If you aren’t a fan of the bitterness of radicchio you could always opt for another type of lettuce cup; just make sure its sturdy enough to hold a nice amount of this chicken salad, because trust me, you’ll want a lot!

The Ingredients

The ingredients I used in this recipe are not only delicious, but they are also very good for our bodies during the winter season. Radicchio, also known as “Italian Chicory,” has a bitter taste and is a staple in Mediterranean diets. If you can stand the bitterness of it, radicchio has many health benefits: it’s high in zinc, copper, and vitamin K, as well as antioxidants. These vitamins can help regulate blood sugar, fight parasites, and support digestive health, getting rid of stagnation.

Kidneys love moisture, so the celery here adds moisture as well as adds a nice crunch to the chicken salad (I like my chicken salad crunchy!). The pear adds moisture as well, along with a touch of sweetness and healthy fiber. Both ginger and cardamom are excellent anti-inflammatory spices, and cardamom in particular is naturally detoxifying which is great for kidney health. It also tastes great along with the pear and squeeze of lemon juice.

The chicken came from a whole chicken I cooked in our Instant Pot; it’s a super easy recipe that we have on regular rotation in this house. I shred or chop the chicken and keep it in a container in our fridge so I have it for the whole week to toss on a salad, wrap in a coconut wrap, or make chicken salad with, like I did here.

For an easier hack: you could also purchase a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store – many have them prepped and ready-to-go, cooked with just a bit of salt & pepper. I like to do this for extra busy weeks, and use it the same way as I mentioned above.

How to Make This Recipe

This recipe comes together quickly and easily. Just place everything in a bowl…

And mix it all up until it’s blended evenly.

Next, you just add a few tablespoons to each of your lettuce leaves.

Nuts and seeds are excellent for kidney energy, so I sprinkle those on top at the very end to add even more of that slightly salty crunch. So good!

Make yourself a big batch, and you’ll have lunch ready to go for a quick weekday grab!


If you like this recipe, try my Cherry Chicken Salad, my Easy Halloumi Cheese Salad, or my Mushroom Celery Soup. And if you made this recipe, I’d love it if you would rate it and leave me a comment to tell me how you liked it!

Winter Chicken Salad: Juicy + Healthy

Recipe by Alessandra Macaluso
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Uncategorized


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  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced

  • 1/3 cup clean mayonnaise, such as Primal Kitchen or other Whole30 certified brand

  • 3/4 cup celery, diced (about two ribs)

  • 1 organic pear, diced with seeds removed

  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)

  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom (about 1 pod, crushed)

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper

  • 1 small head radicchio, leaves separated

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (garnish)

  • 1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped (garnish)


  • Place diced chicken in a large bowl and add mayonnaise, celery, pear, lemon juice, ginger, cardamom, salt, and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Spoon chicken salad into radicchio cups (or other lettuce cups). Top with pumpkin seeds and pistachios. Enjoy this healthy, crunchy, flavorful lunch!

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Alessandra Macaluso is the author of What a Good Eater! , Lucy the Bee and the Healing Honey, and The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. She’s also a Qigong and Tai Chi instructor, and overall wellness advocate. Her work has been featured in several anthologies which can all be found on her Amazon author page, and she has contributed to The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, TODAY Parents, and many other online publications.

Alessandra is a northerner-turned-southerner, enjoying the south with her children, Penelope and Ciro, and her husband, Greg.

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