Lately, we’ve been on an avocado kick. We must admit that in the past, we’ve been intimidated. How to choose the best avocado? When are they ripe? How are they stored? Well, we’ve done our research and now we’ve acquired some mad skills! With only 4 net carbs per serving, our Keto Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados have rocked our world – as in, we’ve eaten them every day for 3 days. Using slightly charred avocado halves as our buttery basin, we stuff the center with our dill chicken salad to create a tasty, low-carb, healthy lunch or dinner.
Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, otherwise know as the “good fats.” They’ve been linked to reducing levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol. They’re fiber-rich, coming in around 10 grams per avocado, and this combination of fat and fiber helps you feel full longer. They’re a great source of nutrients like Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, B vitamins, C, E and K, and they even help with absorption of the fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E and K.
What we’ve learned about selecting the perfect avocado: It’s definitely a hands-on skill. There are several varieties and each will have slight color differences. Hass avocados turn very dark before the fruit is ripe. Other varieties, like Pinkerton and Harvest, ripen when they’re medium to dark green. Our favorite way to detect ripeness – use your thumb to try and flick off the naval of the fruit (where the stem was). If it comes off easily, the avocado is ripe. You can also gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. Ready-to-eat avocados will be firm but yield to gentle pressure. Slice in half lengthwise and twist apart. My favorite way to remove the pit is to give it a good wack with a heavy knive so you’ve penetrated the pit, and twist it out. Place avocados in the fridge to slow down the ripening process, or at room temperature to ripen further. Now on to the chicken salad!
Anytime we can, we use rotisserie chicken – delicious and a big time-saver. Using a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of shredded or diced chicken, the diced dill pickle, red onions, and celery. Set aside. In a small bowl mix together softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, dill pickle juice, Dijon mustard, fresh dill, seasoned salt, and freshly ground pepper. Add into the chicken bowl mixture and combine. We have friends who absolutely hate the taste of dill pickles, so if you’re not a fan, replace with sweet pickles, olives, bell peppers, or any other green vegetable you like.
Ideally, allow the chicken salad to sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours, giving the flavors a chance to develop. If you’re in a hurry, no worries. It tastes great if you use it right away, too. With the addition of cream cheese, this chicken salad is a little thicker in texture than most, which we find holds well next to the buttery softness of the charred avocado. We generally double this recipe in order to enjoy the leftovers as a stand-alone chicken salad. Used this way, we add a few tablespoons of pickle juice (or mayo) to lighten up the texture. If you have a favorite crab, tuna, or shrimp salad, they make a great substitute for chicken salad. Unfortunately, both Amy and I have shellfish allergies so that’s a no-no for us.
Over medium-high heat, put a little canola oil or cooking spray in a large skillet (we love cast iron) and sear the cut side of the avocados for about 2 minutes. Fill with chicken salad and enjoy a tasty, visually appealing, low-carb meal!
Keto Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados
- 2 cups chicken shredded or diced
- ½ cup dill pickle diced
- ¼ cup red onions diced
- ½ cup celery diced
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened, full-fat
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tsp dill pickle juice
- 1 tsp fresh dill saving ½ tsp for garnish
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard or deli-style
- ½ tsp seasoned salt Lawry's
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 3 avocados halved
- In a large bowl, combine chicken, pickles, onions, and celery.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, pickle juice, ½ tsp fresh dill, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
- Pour creamed mixture into chicken mixture and stir well.
- Refrigerate chicken salad 4-5 hours for best flavor, however this step is optional.
- Slice 3 avocados in half lengthwise. Remove pits.
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray or canola oil. In skillet, place cut avocado halves, cut sides down, and cook approximately 2 minutes, until browned.
- Remove from heat. Stuff center with ½ cup of chicken salad. Top with fresh dill, or your preferred herb.