These tarragon chicken salad stuffed avocados are super tasty and easy to assemble making them the ideal packable lunch!
When it's hot outside the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven or even the stovetop, so I love having some tasty options for dinner or weekday lunches that require little to no cooking. I also think recipes that can be meal prepped to provide an easy way to have healthy options ready to go when you are short on time.
Chicken salad is always a good choice for an easy dinner or packable lunch but sometimes it can be a bit unhealthy if it's drowning in mayonnaise. So for this chicken salad, I've substituted plain Greek yogurt for most of the mayo and then stuffed it in an avocado so you get a serving of veggies along with your chicken salad!
What makes a great packable lunch?
In my mind, it's something that is easy to transport, that either reheats well or doesn't need to be reheated and of course, tastes great! These avocados check all three of those boxes. If you are taking this to your office for lunch I recommend just taking the whole avocado with you and cutting it in half when you are ready for lunch. That keeps it from turning brown before you are ready to eat!
Here's what you'll need to make these stuffed avocados:
- Avocados: You need two whole, ripe avocados
- Chicken breast: I almost always use boneless, skinless chicken breast when I'm making chicken salad but you substitute boneless chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat.
- Sliced almonds: You'll want to toast these before you start making the chicken salad. See my notes below for tips on toasting nuts.
- Greek yogurt: I recommend using plain, low-fat or full-fat yogurt
- Mayonnaise: I generally use olive oil mayo but you can substitute your mayo of choice
- Spices: dried tarragon, dried lemon peel, sea salt, ground pepper
- Pantry staples: Olive oil, honey, white wine vinegar, dark sesame oil
Assembly & Meal Prep Tips
This is a super easy recipe that comes together very quickly!
- Grill the chicken: You can make the dressing and toast the almonds while the chicken is cooking. Once it's done cooking you'll want to shred or chop it into bite-sized pieces.
- Make the chicken salad: Let the chicken cool for a bit before you add the mayo and greek yogurt mixture.
- Stuff the avocados: Slice the avocados in half and stuff them with the chicken salad right before you are ready to eat.
Meal Prep Tips
There are a couple of different routes you could go if you want to meal prep this recipe:
- Grill the chicken: The easiest step to accomplish ahead of time is to grill the chicken. Since it doesn't need to be hot, this is an ideal meal prep option. I often grill a package of chicken breasts on Sunday so I've got them to toss in different recipes throughout the week.
- Make the chicken salad: You can add the dressing so everything is ready to go when you want to eat. The chicken salad is also great on crackers or on a bed of lettuce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tips for toasting nuts
For many things, I prefer toasted nuts, especially toasted almonds, so I keep a supply of them in an airtight container in my panty.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and add enough nuts to cover the pan in a single layer. I typically use a 10" non-stick pan when toasting nuts.
- For sliced or slivered almonds, toast them until the white part starts to turn light brown.
- For darker nuts, you'll need to keep an eye on them to ensure they are nicely toasted but don't burn.
- I've found that cooking time varies widely depending on the stovetop, type of pan and type of nut. It will take at least 10 minutes but might be quite a bit longer. I recommend doing something else in the kitchen while the nuts are toasting as they can go from toasted to burnt pretty quickly.
Tools you'll want for this recipe
Avocado Keeper - While this kitchen gadget doesn't 100% prevent a cut avocado from turning brown, it really helps slow the process. I eat avocado nearly every day, so I find that I can get at least two servings out of an avocado by using this nifty tool. It definitely works better than just wrapping it in plastic.
Olive Oil Sprayer - I love having an olive oil sprayer in my kitchen. It means I can get a nice fine mist of olive oil on things before they get popped in the oven. It also works well for a light coating of olive oil on a salad or spraying chicken breasts before you put them on the grill.
When I'm having these for lunch, I usually just eat them on their own. For a light dinner, I'd pair them with a simple green salad or these Melon and Mozarella Skewers.
More lunch recipes
If you are looking for other easy lunch options check out these reader favorites:
- Cold Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken. This is another great meal prep recipe and it also uses grilled chicken so you can get two different meals out of one grilling session!
- Grilled Chicken Quinoa Salad. And if you want to get really efficient with meal prep, you can grill a LOT of chicken and make this one too! It's a great packable lunch that is good for picnics and summer parties as well.
Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados
- 6 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, divided
- ¼ cup greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- ⅛ tablespoon dried lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
- 2 whole avocados
- Heat the grill. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
- Grill the chicken. Spray or brush the chicken with olive oil and season with ¼ teaspoon pepper and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Grill for 6 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from grill and let cool for 10 minutes. Once the chicken has cooled slightly cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Make the chicken salad. Add chicken to a medium mixing bowl and add yogurt, mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon peel and remaining salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Assemble. Cut each avocado in half. Divide chicken salad among four halves. Top with toasted almonds and serve.
This post was originally published in June 2017. It was updated in May 2022 with some new information and photos. No changes were made to the original recipe.