Chicken Salad in Papaya Boats


We recently took a quick trip to the Bahamas to visit Julia’s parents who are currently living there on their boat (I know, rough life!). Although we were excited for the sunshine and relaxation, we were also pumped to try some fresh local food. Needless to say, cooking on a boat requires a little creativity – especially when you’re stationed in the Bahamas where all imported groceries cost almost double what you’ll find in your average U.S. store. So the key is to eat local, and to be creative with the groceries you can find, which brings us to the first meal we had on the boat – a lunch of Chicken Salad in Papaya Boats. We can’t take credit for these – they were prepared by our awesome hosts before we even arrived!

Whether you’re gluten free, bored of the usual salad, or are feeling a summery twist on this tried-and-true staple, we can’t recommend this dish enough. It’s so simple and can be customized to whatever you’re feeling or have on hand. Chicken salad is perfect to make ahead and take on the go for lunch during the week, or we love it as a great option for hiking or camping too.

Cumin Chicken Salad Boats:
Adapted from Food and Wine


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 papayas, sliced in half and seeds scooped out
  • Chopped parsley and sliced lime, for serving (optional)

1. In a large pot, cover the chicken breasts with water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the water and let cool. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, mustard, cumin and chili powder. Stir in the chicken, celery, walnuts, and raisins. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Assemble the chicken salad in the papaya boats and serve with a slice of lime and some chopped parsley on top.


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