Lighter Chicken Salad
Healthy Chicken Salad — This healthy chicken salad recipe is made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo and is packed with flavor thanks to the green onions, apple, and spices.
Healthy Chicken Salad (No Mayo!)
There are endless variations of chicken salad recipes, but most of them have a few things in common: tons of mayo, hidden fat, and empty calories. Say goodbye to globs of mayo and hello to lighter chicken salad.
This healthy chicken salad salad is fast, easy, the whole family will enjoy it, and there’s so much flavor they’ll never notice it’s lighter.
I replaced the mayo with plain fat-free Greek yogurt. It’s creamy, coats the chicken perfectly, and adds wonderful moisture to the already plump and juicy chicken. To bump up the tang factor and to thin out the yogurt, there’s lemon juice.
Green onions and garlic boost the savory flavor, while celery and slivered almonds add crunchiness and texture.
I used Thomas’ 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thins. With only 110 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and almost no fat they’re a great choice to keep the sandwich lighter.
The chicken salad is perfect for healthy work or school lunches, potlucks, or easy-breezy dinners. It’s a great make-ahead recipe and the flavors marry and it tastes even better the second day.
What’s in Healthy Chicken Salad?
To make this chicken salad without mayo, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Green onions
- Green apple
- Slivered almonds
- Fresh parsley
- Lemon juice
- Garlic powder
- Dry ground yellow mustard
- Thomas’ Bagel Thins
How to Make Healthy Chicken Salad
Add the olive oil and diced, seasoned chicken to a skillet and cook until done.
In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Then, add the cooked chicken to the bowl and stir to combine.
This Greek yogurt chicken salad can be served warm immediately, but I prefer it as cold chicken salad. The yogurt coating mixture firms up as the homemade chicken salad chills and the chicken absorbs it.
When ready to serve, divide the healthy chicken salad evenly onto toasted bagels, and serve.
How to Cook Chicken for Chicken Salad
I prefer dicing chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and cooking it in an oiled skillet. This is the easiest method in my opinion and only takes about 5 minutes.
How Long Does Chicken Salad Last?
This healthy chicken salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days, and I find it tastes better the day after making it because the flavors marry.
Tips for Making the Best Chicken Salad
I like a hint of sweetness with my chicken salad and added green apple, which increases the amount of crunchiness, but it’s optional. Red or green grapes are also a fun twist.
Note that you MUST use Greek yogurt in this healthy chicken salad recipe. Regular yogurt can’t be substituted as it’s far too runny.
If desired, you can add the small amount of cooking juices from the chicken into the Greek yogurt chicken salad, noting that it adds flavor but thins out the yogurt mixture.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 0% fat Greek yogurt, regular yogurt cannot be substituted it’s too thin)
- 1/2 cup celery, diced small (about 1 large stalk)
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced thin (about 2 green onions using both green and white)
- 1/2 cup green apple, peeled and diced small, optional (about 1 small apple, or substitute with sliced red or green grapes)
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves, chopped finely
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dry ground yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 4 Thomas’ 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thins, lightly toasted
- To a large skillet, add olive oil, chicken, evenly sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, flipping intermittently so all sides cook evenly. Cooking time will vary based on thickness of chicken breasts and sizes of pieces. Allow to rest in pan while you dice and prepare the remaining ingredients.
- To a large bowl, add the yogurt, celery, green onions, optional apple, almonds, parsley, lemon juice, garlic powder, dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and stir well to combine.
- Add the chicken (optionally add the small amount of cooking juices in the pan, noting it adds flavor but thins out the yogurt mixture) and stir to combine.
- Taste, season with salt and pepper if desired, and stir.
- Dish can be served warm immediately, but I prefer it as cold chicken salad. Cover, chill for at least 3 hours, or until sufficiently chilled. The yogurt coating mixture firms up as the salad chills and the chicken absorbs it.
- When ready to serve, divide chicken salad evenly onto toasted bagels, and serve.
- Chicken salad will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days and I find it tastes better the day after making it because the flavors marry.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 412Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 1012mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 6gSugar: 10gProtein: 19g
More Healthy Chicken Recipes:
Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing — Fast, easy, fresh and healthy! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin’ salad that everyone will love!
Chinese Chicken Pasta Salad – Big juicy chicken chunks and texture galore from the rainbow of crispy veggies! Fast, easy, fresh and healthy! Great for picnics, potlucks, and easy dinners!
Smoky Chicken, Peppers, and Spinach Pasta Salad – Juicy chicken, crisp bell peppers and pasta with smoked paprika! Fast, easy, healthy and a hit with everyone!! Great for picnics, potlucks, or easy weeknight dinners!
Chicken Teriyaki and Vegetable Bowtie Pasta – Juicy chicken coated in teriyaki sauce with crisp, crunchy veggies! Healthy, easy, 20 minute meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights!
Sweet and Tangy Jerk Chicken with Caramelized Pineapple and Mango – Easy and ready in 15 minutes! Dinner that tastes like a tropical vacation is a guaranteed hit!
Honey Lemon Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta – Easy, ready in 20 minutes, and you’ll love the tangy-sweet flavor! A healthy weeknight dinner for those busy nights!
BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing – Fast, fresh, healthy and satisfying! Packed with so much flavor!
Chicken, Rice, & Vegetable Skillet — EASY, ready in 20 minutes, made in ONE skillet with everyday ingredients you probably have on hand!! A HEALTHY weeknight dinner the whole family will LOVE!!
15-Minute Sheet Pan Lemon Pepper Chicken — Fast, EASY, HEALTHY, and loaded with great lemon pepper flavor!! A DELISH one-pan meal with zero cleanup that’s perfect for busy weeknights!!
Post is brought to you by Thomas’. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own.