I feel a little silly sharing this recipe with you. It’s barely a recipe at all, and really only requires two ingredients, but I think that’s why I ultimately decided it was worth sharing. This chicken salad is so simple that I couldn’t believe it has taken me this long to try the combination. The idea was born out of a relatively barren fridge and no desire or time to go grocery shopping – a state of being I believe we can all relate to. Keeping these staples on hand might just help you out when your food stocks are in a tight spot, but I wouldn’t rule it out as a meal you’ll actually want to make either: I was shocked by how much I liked this simple sandwich and I bet you will be too.
I spent last week traveling both for fun and for work, but before I left I was trying to use up all the ingredients in my fridge. I ended up mixing my favorite hummus with canned chicken for an easy lunch to pack without having to go to the grocery store. I’ve never really been a huge chicken salad lover, but I don’t know why I hadn’t considered making it with hummus before. The extra flavor and creamy texture it lends changes ordinary, plain chicken completely. As a bonus, mixing hummus into my shredded chicken felt a whole lot healthier than smothering it in mayonnaise.
I used plain old canned chicken in water for my sandwich, but if you have some leftover chicken breast or even want to shred up a store-bought rotisserie chicken, that would be even more delicious. I intentionally kept this quite basic because that’s the beauty of a throw-together meal. If you have some cherry tomatoes, maybe a sprinkle of cilantro or parsley, some chopped celery, etc. to mix in here, I’d highly recommend it. However, it’s certainly not necessary to put together a tasty meal. Try using different flavors of hummus too: roasted garlic, sun-dried tomato or toasted pine nut would all be delicious.
If you’re making this at home, whip up some fancy-ish open faced toasts. I topped mine with mini heirloom tomatoes and a sprinkle of cilantro. Bringing this to lunch for work? Make a chicken salad sandwich, mixing in chopped tomatoes and maybe celery or chopped olives if you have them. Serve your sandwich with a couple pickle spears on the side to really make sure you have the deli sandwich feel going on.
Hummus Chicken Salad
Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 toasts or 2 sandwiches
1 12.5 oz can chicken breast in water (a little over 1.5 cups shredded chicken breast if you’re using fresh)
4 tablespoons hummus (I used my favorite edamame hummus, but use whatever you have on hand or like best – roasted garlic, toasted pine nut, original, or sun-dried tomato sound like great options)
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 slices toasted bread
Optional mix-ins: cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, cilantro or parsley, chopped celery, diced olives
If using canned chicken, drain well and empty into a small bowl. Add hummus and mix together with salt and pepper. The saltiness of your chicken may vary by brand, so season to taste. Stir in optional mix-ins if using.
This makes enough for two sandwiches (or 4 open faced toasts). Serve with pickles and chips or carrot sticks to complete your deli sandwich experience.