Chicken Cantaloupe Salad

Chicken Cantaloupe Salad - An easy chicken salad served in a chilled cantaloupe ring @mjskitchen |

It’s hot, it’s dry and all we feel like eating is something cool and refreshing like this chicken cantaloupe salad. There’s nothing more refreshing than cold, sweet melon.  My favorite way to eat cantaloupe is to get it really cold, cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds, add a touch of salt, and eat it right out of the rind.  However, there are so many other ways to eat cantaloupe.

One of my favorite cantaloupe dishes is to make a salad with chicken, turkey, crab or crawfish (aka crayfish, crawdads), and use a thick slice of cantaloupe as the bowl. This is my summer chicken salad recipe served in a cantaloupe ring. It’s best if the cantaloupe is really cold, but the salad can be cold to room temperature.


Chicken Cantaloupe Salad Recipe

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes


2 cups cooked chicken meat, shredded (2 cans of white meat chicken or 2 cups cooked leftover chicken)
1 Tbsp. onion, minced
½ cup Jicama or cucumber, finely chopped
¼ cup sweet bell pepper, finely chopped
1 ½ Tbsp. chopped pecans, lightly toasted
1 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, minced
1 tsp. fresh basil, minced
1 tsp. fresh mint, minced
4 – ½” thick rounds of cantaloupe, seeds and rinds removed
Sea salt


2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate or 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 ½ tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. vinegar from a jar of pickled jalapeno (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, mix together the top 8 ingredients (everything but the cantaloupe, sea salt, and paprika).
  3. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Taste. Add salt if needed.
  4. To prepare the cantaloupe slices, cut a whole cantaloupe in half crosswise. Cut two 1/2” pieces from the open end of each half. Remove the seeds and rind.
  5. Place one slice of cantaloupe on each of 4 plates. Lightly salt each ring with sea salt.
  6. Divide the salad between the 4 plates by filling the hole in the center of each piece of cantaloupe and creating a round of salad on top. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.


Kitchen Notes

Not much to add about this salad. It’s just a simple little salad that anyone can make. As with any recipe, the ingredients are flexible.

  • I’ve made it with both jicama and cucumber and loved them both.
  • Leftover roast chicken works GREAT and adds another dimension that canned chicken can’t.
  • If you don’t have bell pepper, use celery.
  • Walnuts or almonds can be used in place of the pecans.
  • The herbs – mint, basil, cilantro or any combination of

Just don’t omit the crystallized ginger. It’s such a great complement to the chicken and the cantaloupe, and makes this salad a little different from a normal chicken salad.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

This chicken cantaloupe salad has been shared with the following blog hops.  Be sure to click on the links for more wonderful recipes!

Summer Salad Sundays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Frugal Food Thursday, Keep It Real Thursdays, Weekend Potluck 

This Chicken Cantaloupe Salad was featured on Summer Salad Sundays, July 2012.






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26 Responses to “Chicken Cantaloupe Salad”

  1. Rachael August 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I added some curry powder and mango chutney to the salad. This is a most delicious recipe.

    • mj August 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

      Oh Rachel – thank you so very much for your comment!!! I’m do glad you liked it! I’m definitely trying the curry in it next time. I don’t have any mango chutney, but it sure sound good! Thanks!

  2. Javelin Warrior August 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    What a fantastic use of melon for both the flavor and serving bowl! I love the idea and I can’t believe I’ve never had chicken salad like this before. In fact, now I specifically want to try chicken salad with cantaloupe just to experience the flavor… Thanks for the inspiration, MJ!

    • mj August 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

      Thanks so much Mark! The first time I made this, I have to admit that I was quite surprised at how well the chicken and the cantaloupe complemented each other. It’s one of our favorite lunches during the early fall.

  3. Debbie @ Easy Natural Food June 28, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    Hi MJ, this looks so delicious, and I love how you’ve served it in the cantaloupe! I have chosen it as one of my 3 featured salads for this week. Thanks for linking up and I hope to see you again soon!

  4. mj July 23, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Deb and Sally – Thanks for stopping by! I hope you give this a try. It’s one of our favorites!

  5. Deb July 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    This looks fantastic! I will have to give it a try! 😀

  6. sally July 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    How pretty! The cantalope makes a great container for the salad! I’ll have to try it out soon.

  7. Your SIL July 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Hey, MJ! If you substitute crawfish, do you make any changes to the rest of the recipe? The crawfish idea intrigues me …

    • mj July 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Yes my dear editor and taster – you do make changes. I’ll add it to the list of recipes I’m sending you this weekend.

  8. KC Quaretti-Lee July 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Love cantalope and filling it with a great chicken salad is genious!

    • mj July 15, 2011 at 7:21 am #

      Ruth and KC – Thanks for your comments and for stopping by!

  9. Ruth July 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    This looks lovely – perfect for summer! Ripe melon can’t be beaten!

  10. mj July 14, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    O.K. guys – now I HAVE to try cantaloupe and ice cream. Never had it, never heard of it, but it does sound good – healthy or not. We all must take a plunge once in a while!

  11. cajunville July 14, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    This looks so refreshing. I also was a huge fan of canteloupe and ice cream, now it is a more healthy look.

  12. Carolyn Jung July 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    This looks so refreshing. Though, truth be told, when I was a kid, my fave thing to eat on a hot day was cantaloupe filled with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. OK, chicken salad is definitely more healthful than that. LOL

  13. mj July 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    Thank you all for your comments and for dropping by!

  14. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective July 13, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    What a lovely healthy meal!

  15. Nami @ Just One Cookbook July 13, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    Very first time to see cantaloupe and chicken in one salad! Very creative and looks beautiful. I love it, especially the dressing!

  16. Tina@flourtrader July 11, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    This is really a unique and tasty salad. I never would have thought of using a round of cantaloupe, but it really sounds like a refreshing dish. Awesome summer salad-well done!

    • mj July 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      Thanks for the comments Tina!

  17. Kristina Vanni July 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    As a huge fan of cantaloupe, I am completely enamored with this recipe! How creative! I am excited to follow your blog! 🙂 Kristina

    • mj July 11, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      Thanks Kristina! I hope you try and enjoy it as much as we do.


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