Brazilian Chicken Salad: Salpicão (pronounced "sal-pi-cow")gets its exciting flavors from the delicious creamy lime dressing tossed with chicken, olives, raisins, green onions, carrots, peas and corn. It's a great dish for brunch, parties or really any occasion. The recipe is easy and you can do all the prep work ahead.
Here's a great way to know if your Brazilian chicken salad is good. Leave a big bowl of it - enough to feed a family of five - for your husband and son to eat for dinner on a night that you're out with girlfriends. Come home to find that they polished off the entire salad in one sitting.
I'm always encouraged when I see that something I cooked for them is completely devoured. But the clincher was the next morning when usually everyone has forgotten about dinner and is thinking about the day ahead, and this time I got unsolicited raves: "mom, that chicken salad last night was SO GOOD!" "Hon, I loved that chicken salad. Definitely blog-worthy!"
So when I tell you that this recipe feeds five, take that with a grain of salt. If you have big enthusiastic eaters in your family, as I do, you might want to double this recipe. It's easy and everything can be prepped ahead.
How To Make Salpicao: Brazilian Chicken Salad
- Whisk the dressing ingredients: mayo, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper - set the dressing aside
- Poach the chicken and cube or shred it
- Chop the carrots; blanch them (boil them for three minutes); and let them cool
- Chop the scallions
- Mix everything together in a big bowl: the chicken, carrots, peas, corn, olives, raisins, scallions and dressing
How to Serve Salpicao
- Serve Salpicao on a platter - surrounded with lettuce and cucumbers
- Pile it into sandwiches
- Make Brazilian chicken salad roll-ups in soft tortillas - roll-ups are great for packing into a cooler for a summer picnic
Salpicao is a very popular dish in Brazil and I can see why. Though I've never been to Brazil, I discovered authentic Salpicao at an ethnic grocery in my neighborhood and it was love at first bite. There's so much to love about this dish: tender chicken, lots of healthy veggies, exciting contrasting flavors and vibrant creamy honey lime dressing to bring it all together deliciously.
Let me say up front that this is my recipe, an adaptation of Brazilian salpicão. It's fairly close to authentic salpicão except for a few changes. Authentic salpicão is made with shredded chicken, not cubed, and it's traditionally served with crunchy potato sticks tossed in and sprinkled on top.
I can easily imagine how delicious crunchy salty potato sticks would be in this dish and I definitely plan to try it that way soon! I encourage you to do the same if you want to sample Brazilian chicken salad in its truest form.
In Brazil you will find salpicao at parties, weddings and all sorts of special occasions. It’s a great dish to serve when company is coming because you can get everything ready ahead of time and make a huge bowl of it. It looks as exciting as it tastes.
More Delicious Chicken Salad Recipes to try:
• Venezuelan Avocado Chicken Salad (no mayo)
• Curried Chicken Salad
• Asian Cabbage Salad with Grilled Chicken and Shiitakes
Here's the recipe for Brazilian Chicken Salad: Salpicao. If you make this, I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print
Salpicao: Brazilian Chicken Salad
- Total Time: 18 mins
- Yield: 4-5 1x
Brazil's famously delicious chicken salad is great for lunch, brunch, picnics or any occasion. It's an easy recipe and you can do all the prep work ahead. Double or triple it if you're expecting a crowd.
For The Dressing:
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (I recommend Hellman's) or use vegenaise for a tasty mayo low in saturated fat.
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon mild honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- several grinds of black pepper, to taste
For The Chicken Salad:
- 3 cups of cubed or shredded chicken breast (about 1 ½ pounds) Here's how to make perfect poached chicken for this salad)
- ½ cup frozen peas, thawed or fresh peas cooked for two minutes in boiling water, drained and cooled under cold running water
- ½ cup frozen corn, thawed or fresh corn kernels cooked for two minutes in boiling water, drained and cooled under cold running water
- 1 large carrot cut into ⅓-inch dice (¾ cup diced carrot), boiled for 3 minutes, drained, and cooled under cold running water
- ½ cup raisins (any kind you like)
- 12-14 Spanish pimiento-stuffed olives
- 6 green onions, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients. Cover and keep in the fridge while you make the rest of the salad. Can be made up to a day ahead. Store, covered, in the fridge.
- In a large bowl combine all the salad ingredients: chicken, peas, corn, carrots, raisins, olives, and green onions. Pour dressing in (you may not need all of it) and toss. Taste and correct the seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if you like. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- Ahead of Time Prep: You can chop and blanch all the veggies and combine them in a bowl with the chicken, up to a day ahead. Store, covered tightly in the fridge. Toss with dressing before serving.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 3 mins
- Category: Chicken Salad
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Brazilian
Keywords: chicken salad with honey lime dressing,
[First published June 30, 2017. Refreshed and updated on Jan 8, 2022 with added nutritional information and clarifying details in the written post. The same delicious recipe!]
Delicious. I doubled the recipe and look forward to eating this all week.
I'm so glad you enjoyed!! 🙂
All I can say is "WOW!" I made this for a family brunch over the weekend and everyone absolutely loved it. I will take your advice and double the recipe next time. This is my favorite chicken salad ever!
Hi Gwen - I'm so glad you and your family enjoyed the Salpicao. Thank you for making my day with your comment 🙂
Yum yum yum! Such an interesting recipe for chicken salad. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
I can't access the ras el hanout mix, can you post it separately? Sheryl will miss you! Suzie russin
Eating it as we speak, delicious
Yay! I'm glad to hear it.
What a gorgeous salad for summer!
Thank you 🙂