Sriracha Chicken Salad Collard Wraps
I’m fully embracing back-to-school mode.
I’m obviously not returning to the classroom in the literal sense (which never gets less upsetting), but I’m still itching to get my life organized before the official arrival of fall. After a long and glorious summer filled with weddings, vacation, and rosé funneling, my home/office/psyche is a hot mess, and something has to be done ASAFP. For real.
My roommate has already blocked out next weekend for our seasonal “de-hoard and deep clean,” and while I usually dread this quarterly affair, I’m feeling oddly excited about the undertaking right about meow. Maybe it’s because there are so many thrilling things on the horizon—The Dude Diet! Fall TV! Red wine weather! Pumpkin spice everything!—or maybe I’m just finally becoming a grown-up(??!), but the thought of order, structure, and neatness in my life gives me the same high I experienced as a neurotic well-organized child while subject dividing my binders or color coordinating my butterfly clip collection.
Sidenote: Logan and I should probably hit up Bed Bath & Beyond to get one of those infomercial vacuum sealers, so that I can smoosh my summer clothes and store them under the bed. I don’t know. I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.
On top of all the cleaning, back-to-school season has me newly committed to the #sassydesklunch, which I’m pretty pumped about. I blame travel and last-minute cookbook madness for my very basic avocado toast habit of late, but I’m already stepping up my game in a big, big way. The past week’s midday feasts have included my favorite massaged kale salad, homemade hummus, and some truly bomb poached eggs, but these Sriracha Chicken Salad Collard Wraps put them all to shame…
Sassy doesn’t even begin to describe the drool-worthy awesomeness of these wraps, people. Especially when it comes to the chicken salad. If you love sriracha even half as much as I do, you’re going to be alllll over this fresh spin on the lunchtime classic. Dressed up with plenty of mango, peanuts, scallions and fresh cilantro, the salad hits all the right sweet, savory and spicy notes, and it comes together surprisingly fast. (I promise.) Cooling Greek yogurt balances the sriracha fire (while serving up an extra protein boost), dark sesame oil provides toasty depth, and a spritz of lime adds zippy freshness. I really hope I haven’t used “mind-blowing” to describe a recipe this month because this chicken salad is mind-blowing. Trust.
The chicken salad is magical on its own (duh), but topping it with creamy avocado and an addictively crunchy carrot-Brussels sprout slaw takes these collard wraps from delicious to Beyoncé. Collard leaves are the sturdiest of wrapping greens, and I love that they provide a tasty, nutrient-packed casing for the aforementioned treats.
If you’d like to join me in crushing these wraps as a sassy desk lunch—and your desk doesn’t happen to be ten feet from your kitchen—just prep them at night, wrap them tightly in foil or plastic, pop them in the fridge, and take them to work with you in the a.m. No muss no fuss. I cooked up a couple foolproof chicken breasts for this recipe, but you could always use a store-bought rotisserie bird to save time. (You know I don’t judge.)
Needless to say, if collard greens aren’t your jam, or you simply can’t find any, feel free to make more traditional lettuce wraps/cups with Boston, Butter, or Bibb lettuce leaves. Carb lovers (bless you) may wish to sandwich all this goodness between two toasty pieces of their favorite bread or burrito thangs in a whole grain tortilla. You could also throw the chicken salad and slaw in a bowl with some avocado and call it a day. Choose your own Sriracha Chicken Salad adventure.
Happy back-to-school season, friends! Stay sassy, dammit.
Sriracha Chicken Salad Collard Wraps: (Makes 4 wraps)
½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1-1½ tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon honey
2 (roughly 8-ounce) cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
½ mango, diced
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
1/3 cup finely chopped peanuts
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
1 avocado, thinly sliced
4 large collard green leaves
For the slaw:
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1½ teaspoons dark sesame oil
½ teaspoon honey
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
Fresh ground black pepper
Preparing your Sriracha Chicken Salad Collard Wraps:
-Starting with the slaw! In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the slaw, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Easy, no?)
-In a mixing bowl, whisk the Greek yogurt, sesame oil, sriracha, lime juice, and honey until well combined.
-Add the chicken, mango, scallions, peanuts, and cilantro to the bowl with the dressing.
-Toss to combine. Taste and season with a little bit of salt (if needed) and briefly set aside.
-Rinse your collard leaves well and pat them very dry. Flip each leaf over so that the side with the raised spine is facing up. Using a sharp knife, carefully shave down the spine until it’s roughly the same thickness as the leaf. This “de-stemming” step is essential to making a flexible wrap, so don’t skip it, peeps.
-Assembly time! Fan a quarter of the sliced avocado in the center of each wrap. (You want to add the ingredients to the de-stemmed side of the collard.)
-Top with a quarter of the slaw.
-Then add a quarter of the chicken salad.
-Fold the top and bottom ends of the leaf over the filling, then tightly roll up the wrap burrito-style.
-Slice each wrap in half crosswise at a slight angle before serving.
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