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Minimal effort, maximum taste: the best packed lunch recipes

These exciting, delicious dishes are cheaper than chips… and healthier, too!
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Chicken Tikka Salad

Chicken Tikka Salad

Lentils, spinach, raw veggies… a healthy salad with a chicken tikka twist!

With all the flavours of your favourite curry, this chicken tikka salad recipe really packs a punch!

If you’re not someone who normally dives face-first into a bowl of salad, then this chicken tikka salad recipe is one that is bound to convert you. It’s full of healthy ingredients but, after one bite, the taste makes you forget everything else… If you enjoy the heat, make sure to check out some of the other spicy dishes we love.

Fizzing with warm, Indian spices and chilli-infused pulses, yet freshened by crisp, raw veggies. Finally, the tangy dressing is the pièce de résistance that creates harmony between it all. Moreover, as lentils are high in protein & fibre, it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.

The recipe is taken from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals cookbook and, although I would say it takes a little longer than he claims, there’s nothing complex going on here. After you’ve done it once, I reckon you could bash it out in just half an hour. That’s quick meal prep for the whole week! Not sure? Try it and prove me wrong!

Click here for the full recipe.

Chicken Tikka Salad

This healthy, filling salad comes with a chicken tikka twist and bags of flavour — it's the perfect salad for non-salad lovers! Plus, easy meal prep for a whole week's worth of nutritious lunches. *From The Hungry Hungry Husband and Jamie Oliver*
Course Lunch
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 240kcal


  • blender/food processor


  • 2 chicken breasts sliced in half length-ways
  • 12 chestnut mushrooms cut into quarters
  • 5 spring onions trimmed & finely sliced
  • ½ chilli (red or green works fine) finely sliced
  • 1 large tomato cut into sizeable chunks
  • 1 lemon juice of
  • large bunch coriander stalks only
  • 200 g baby spinach
  • ½ cucumber thinly sliced with a speed peeler; left in an air-tight container in the fridge
  • 1 carrot thinly sliced with a speed peeler; left in an air-tight container in the fridge
  • 30 g feta chopped into small cubes; left in an air-tight container in the fridge
  • 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt plain, Greek, fat-free, or full-fat, whatever you fancy
  • 1 tin green lentils Puy lentils work really well, too
  • 2 heaped teaspoons tikka paste
  • 1 heaped tablespoon mango chutney
  • 1 heaped tablespoon cashew nuts whole
  • 1 heaped teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ tablespoon oil for frying
  • splash red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar work fine, too
  • 3 mini naan breads ½ a naan per serving
  • salt & pepper for seasoning


Cook the chicken tikka & mushroom:

  • Season the chicken pieces with salt & pepper and cover evenly with 2 heaped teaspoons tikka paste
  • Cook the chicken & mushrooms in a griddle pan on a high heat (no oil needed) for around 10 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway, until cooked through, and then remove from the pan
  • Slice the chicken into strips and transfer to an air-tight container with the mushrooms – leave in the fridge until needed

Make the lentil mix:

  • Put a frying pan onto a medium heat with ½ tbsp of oil and, once hot, add mustard seeds & cumin seeds, followed by the spring onion, chilli, and tomato
  • Drain the tin of lentils and tip them into the pan, along with a splash of red wine vinegar and a good grind of salt & pepper
  • Simmer everything for a few minutes, squashing the tomato with the back of a wooden spoon, and turn off the heat once the liquid has reduced; transfer to an air-tight container when cool and leave in the fridge

Make the dressing:

  • In your blender add the coriander stalks, lemon juice, yoghurt, mango chutney, cashew nuts & turmeric, and blitz until smooth (loosening with a little water if needed) – when done, transfer to an air-tight container and leave in the fridge

Cook naan bread:

  • Preheat your grill to high, sprinkle the naan bread with a little water and pop it under the heat for 1 min each side
  • When crunchy on the outside, slice into thin strips and set aside in an air-tight container (no need to refrigerate)

In the morning:

  • Scatter a good handful of spinach into a tub or lunch box and then spoon portions of the chicken & mushrooms, lentil mix, salad ingredients, and some strips of naan bread on top
  • Bring a little pot of dressing with you and drizzle this over the salad when you’re ready to eat


*tip* I like to cook the naan bread in the morning as they stay nice & crunchy that way, but if you’re tight on time prep these the day before
*hot option* leave the chicken & mushrooms separate when you take your lunch box to work, then put these in the microwave for about 2 minutes; once hot, combine with the rest of the salad and finish off with the dressing as usual

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