If you're looking for a healthy low carb chicken salad then try this green bean, chicken and hazelnut salad! It's easy to make, really fresh and nutty and the leftovers are just as tasty the next day.
As the weather is getting warmer, I feel like it's time to eat lighter meals. To fill up on healthy vegetables and protein and to leave some of the carbs aside. With this hazelnut chicken salad you can do exactly that. Or not! If you fancy some bread on the side then go for it.
I love using simple marinades on chicken and other meats and then serving the meat with a fresh salad. This delicious hazelnut chicken salad uses a simple marinade that also doubles as a dressing. Just set aside half for the dressing before pouring it on the chicken!
There are also lightly cooked green beans so they retain a little texture. Toasted hazelnuts for crunch and flavour as well as crisp juicy pieces of apple and fresh iceberg lettuce. It's a delicious fresh tasting combination and complements the chicken really well.
The simple oil and lemon dressing just brings it all together. I could happily eat this salad again and again.
Ingredients for green bean hazelnut chicken salad
To make this easy salad you'll need these ingredients for the marinade and dressing:
- Lemons - I prefer using fresh lemons rather than bottled lemon juice. It's fresher and tastes more natural.
- Oil - I initially used hazelnut oil when I first created this recipe but it can be replaced with olive oil or walnut oil, which are both easier to get hold of.
- Seaoning - A little salt and black pepper
You'll also need these ingredients for the rest of the salad:
- Chicken breasts - I'm sure you could replace these with boneless chicken thighs.
- Green beans
- Iceberg lettuce - If you don't have an iceberg lettuce then you can replace it with another kind of salad leaf. I think the crunchiness of iceberg lettuce goes particularly well with this salad though.
- Apple - Any kind of apple works well. I squeeze a little lemon juice onto them after chopping so that they don't turn brown.
- Hazelnuts - I use blanched hazelnuts.
How to cook the chicken
I use my griddle pan to cook the chicken. It's a great year-round alternative to barbecuing or using the frying pan. It leaves those delicious caramelised stripes on the chicken. Of course, in summer there's no reason why you can't cook the chicken outside on the bbq. At other times a frying pan is fine or the grill!
As the chicken has been marinated it should stay lovely and moist as it's cooking, however you choose to cook it.
Adaptations and substitutions
There are a few ways you can adapt this salad.
Substitutes for hazelnut oil
Hazelnut oil can be hard to find and expensive. When I first created this salad I used Maille Hazelnut Oil, which I think is no longer available. You can buy other brands of hazelnut oil on Amazon though, even if you can't find it in the supermarket.
The best substitute for hazelnut oil is walnut oil as it also adds an extra layer of nutty flavour to the salad. If you don't have walnut oil then just use a good extra virgin olive oil. It's definitely not worth buying just for one recipe!
Substitutes for the chicken
This salad is delicious with chicken but you could replace it with halloumi for a vegetarian alternative.
You could even use beef, pork or salmon.
Substitutes for the hazelnuts
The hazelnuts are delicious in this salad but you could substitute them for another nut. Walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts or even pistachios would all be delicious and work well with the other flavours.
What can you do with the leftovers?
If you have any leftovers then just keep them in the fridge. This salad keeps really well for at least 24 hours and so is great for packed lunches the next day. It can also be brought on picnics.
If you know you are going to have leftovers then it is best to keep the dressing separate from the salad as it will keep better.
More Chicken Salad Recipes
If you like salads then do check out my recipe collection of main meal salad recipes. Or why not try one of these salads:
Or how about my chicken salad with chamoy sauce and marinade?
Green Bean, Chicken and Hazelnut Salad
Ingredients for the Marinade and Dressing
- 2 lemons juiced
- 4 tbsp hazelnut oil can be replaced with olive oil or walnut oil
- Pinch salt
- Pinch black pepper
Ingredients for the Salad
- 2 chicken breasts
- 100 g green beans
- ¼ iceberg lettuce shredded
- ½ apple cored and cut into matchsticks
- 2 tbsp hazelnuts
- Prepare the marinade by mixing together all the marinade ingredients except the chicken.
- Butterfly the chicken breasts or slice them in half horizontally to make them thinner and easier to cook on the griddle.
- Pour half of the marinade on the chicken and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Brush a little oil onto a griddle pan. When it's hot, put the chicken on to cook.
- Griddle for about 4 minutes on each side until cooked through. When ready, slice the chicken into about strips.
- Boil the green beans for about 3 minutes and then drain and place in cold water immediately.
- Put the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan. Keep shaking every 30 seconds to turn them. When they begin to turn golden, remove them from the the heat and let them cool a little.
- When the hazelnuts are cool enough to handle, chop them into halves or quarters. Or leave whole.
- Drain the green beans and pat dry. Mix the beans, lettuce and apple together and toss with some of the dressing. Divide between 2 plates.
- Scatter on a few hazelnuts. Top with the chicken. Scatter on a few more hazelnuts. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the top. Serve immediately so the chicken is still warm.
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Do let me know if you make this green bean, chicken and hazelnut salad or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.