Lighter Chicken Salad

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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 — 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.

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.

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
  • Celery 
  • Green onions 
  • Green apple
  • Slivered almonds
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic powder
  • Dry ground yellow mustard
  • Thomas’ Bagel Thins

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Healthy Chicken Salad

By Averie Sunshine
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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite-sized pieces (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt, I use 0% fat Greek yogurt, regular yogurt cannot be substituted it’s too thin
  • ½ cup celery, diced small (about 1 large stalk)
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced thin (about 2 green onions using both green and white)
  • ½ cup green apple, peeled and diced small, optional (about 1 small apple, or substitute with sliced red or green grapes)
  • cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves, chopped finely
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dry ground yellow mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 4 Thomas’ 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thins, lightly toasted

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 412kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 1012mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 10g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Post is brought to you by Thomas’. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. I love chicken salad made with Greek yogurt, although I do slip in some mayo. I love the addition of lime juice and need to try that out. I’m excited to try your skillet method for the chicken, I’ve never thought to do that and it sounds easy – and fast! xo

  2. I had to come back and tell you how much my family loved this!   :)

    I have been reluctant to change up my usual sour cream/mayo chicken salad in favor of lighter Greek yogurt, but your delicious looking photos convinced me!  So glad, it really was wonderful. The parsley and seasonings were right on. Thanks Averie!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And I’m glad that it was a hit with your family and that you’re a Greek yogurt believer and glad you thought the seasonings were right on!

  3. I love making chicken salad with Greek yogurt! Well, actually I love making everything with Greek yogurt! It adds such a nice creaminess with like none of the fat! It’s a great swap out!