Italian Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups

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Because super light chicken salad lettuce cups make total sense in December?

Starting now, they do.

Look, man, when the tidal wave of your soul current comes together with the nor’easter of your blood stream and it passes through the moon beam of your heart strings thus producing an internal hurricane of bloody frickin’ fervor and desire, you obey.

And I had a baby shower to cook for soooooo  . . .

But the more I thought about it (and no it didn’t hurt at all THANKS FOR ASKING), how perfect are these little cuppies for winter lunches? I guess it’s technically still fall. Hold on I’m gonna go look real quick to see when winter starts. Hold on.

Okay winter starts on the 21st!

How perfect are these little cuppies for 16 more fall lunches and 90ish winter ones?

Stop right now and just peep all that color. Those veggies. That lean mean protein. (what?) The bright herbs. You know herbs have medicinal healing power and potions of wizardry in them, right? Don’t ask me what they are, but THEY ARE THERE FOR US.

A citrus honey dressing? Oh hi, immune system. When did you get so tall? Gosh, are you working out? (feeling bicep and giggling)

 

AND, no carbs. Which is pretty much sacrilegious to me but I’m willing to take one for the team. And by team I mean my muffin top. And my group of imaginary friends that I talk out loud to all day long and hope to God not one real human being ever catches me.

Make a huge batch of these super hero lunches on Sunday afternoon and fly, my little eagles, fly!

Don’t look at me like that.

Italian Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups:

(it’s like this recipe made a baby with this recipe and birthed mine)

What it took for 20 cups (roughly):

* 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (bones and skin discarded)
* 1 large roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips (from a jar is great)
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
* 2 Tbs. capers
* 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
* 1/2 cup dehydrated (or sun-dried) tomatoes (if they’re sun-dried, just pat them dry)
* 1 cup loose fresh parsley leaves (give or take)
* 1/3 cup sliced candied almonds
* 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
* 4 Tbs. honey
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or more if needed)
* 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
* 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1 head Boston lettuce, rinsed and leaves separated

In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken through the candied almonds. Give it a few good tosses to combine.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and whisk a little more, until emulsified.

You can either chill the chicken salad mixture at this point for as long as you want (but not like a month or something, gross), or if you’re ready to eat, go ahead and pour the dressing over the chicken salad. Toss, toss, toss.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of chicken salad mixture into each lettuce cup.

There’s nothing left to do but enjoy living I mean right?

Now I want pasta. Go figure.

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22 Responses to Italian Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups

  1. Ashley December 6, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    This is totally what I should be eating right now!

  2. Kathryn December 6, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    I love how bright and zingy these sound. Perfect little party bite.

  3. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain December 6, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    I always assume it’s “winter ” when December arrives. So not true! It’s been 60 and sunny here in Denver. Pass the delicious lettuce cups, please?!!

  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks December 6, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    I love using butter lettuce as a wrap – so tasty!

  5. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl December 6, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    I want this in my life. I heart kalamatas and sundried tomatoes!!

  6. Heather @ Heather's Dish December 6, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    I think I may actually love chicken salad if it’s made like this!

  7. DessertForTwo December 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Oh, yum!

    I already knew you talked to yourself all day while Aaron was at work. It’s not that I can hear it all the way from there, it’s just that I know you so well ;)

  8. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts December 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Love anything in a lettuce cup – I would eat these no matter what the season!

  9. Christina @ Be Mindful. Be Human. December 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    I never thought anyone could make a shredded chicken shot look good but you did it. Wow. Great pic.

  10. Katie @ Blonde Ambition December 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Speaking of pasta, how good would this chicken salad be over pasta……oh man.

    But since it’s fall (really?? still fall??) and it’s the holiday season and my dinners have basically been consisting of christmas cookie trials…I guess I should probably stick with the lettuce cups!

  11. Kerry @ Snark & Pepper December 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    So glad I find your blog (by way of How Sweet it Is)… you are HILARIOUS!

    I’ve been on this weird eating roller coaster the last few weeks. One minute I am bingeing on banana peanut butter cake, the next minute I’m munching on kale chips. These lettuce wraps would be perfect for one of my temporary healthy spurts. I’d probably figure out a way to make them unhealthy, though…

  12. the 3volution of j3nn December 6, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    Oh, what a great salad idea! Love using butter lettuce as a wrap. I end up using the whole head in one meal for just me. :)

  13. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen December 7, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    This is right up my alley. Love when the sauce drips down my arm and streams off my elbow.

  14. Jayne December 7, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    That picture of your roast chicken is gorgeous. Can I just eat it like that and have salad on the side? haha… Lovely appetiser recipe.

  15. Ardex Cd Fine Concrete Dressing December 8, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    A perfect recipe for lunch with my friends!

  16. Kirsten December 19, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    What kind of candied almonds did you use–M & M or some other kind. I do not want to put in the wrong kind!

    • Bev Weidner December 19, 2012 at 9:07 am #

      I actually used Fresh Gourmet’s Honey Roasted Sliced Almonds! So they’re kind of candied. In a way. But really, aaaaaanything you use is going to be perfect! Let me know how it turns out. :)

  17. Liz Coverdale July 29, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    I made this today and it is wonderful! Thanks for sharing this!

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