Sesame Chicken Salad 2.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Mar 5, 2019

Here’s a quick and easy salad with dual benefits: It makes an easy dinner served over greens or atop whole-grain toast as well a fine next-day lunch, tucked into pitas.

The chicken is poached in water, but if you use chicken broth instead, the meat picks up a bit more flavor.

The salad becomes something a bit more special when it’s cradled warm, tender popovers, which are surprisingly easy to make, in about half an hour. See the NOTE, below.

2 - 4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2-4 servings

  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 medium onion (optional)
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
  • Salad greens, for serving


If needed, defrost the chicken in the microwave just until still chilled and firm. Cut it in half lengthwise (it will be easy to slice when still semi-frozen). Cut the 1/2 onion into rings, if using. Combine the chicken and onion, if using, in a medium saucepan and cover with water (or broth; see headnote). Bring just to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, just until tender with no traces of pink left. Drain and cut into chunks; cover loosely to keep warm.

Meanwhile, cut the celery into 1/2-inch dice. Trim and scrub the carrot, then cut into very thin slices, on the diagonal. Combine in a mixing bowl, along with the celery seed, salt, pepper, yogurt and mayo, stirring to incorporate. Add the warm chicken and sesame seeds, tossing gently to incorporate. Taste, and add more salt and/or pepper, as needed.

Serve atop your favorite salad greens.

NOTE: To make the optional popovers, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (microwave), and use half to grease the wells of a standard muffin pan. Use a fork to beat 2 large eggs in a mixing bowl, then add 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the remaining melted butter and 1 1/4 cups half-and-half to form a lump-free batter. Divide evenly among 8 or 9 muffin wells; bake (middle rack) for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.

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Recipe Source

Popover recipe from; chicken salad recipe from “100 Creative Ways to Use Rotisserie Chicken in Everyday Meals,” by Trish Rosenquist (Page Street Publishing, 2015).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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