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Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe

Katie Wells Avatar

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chicken salad
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe

After much trial and error, I present to you the best chicken salad recipe. Besides tasting great, it’s free of gluten, and mayo, and is packed with nutrients. It’s quickly become my favorite chicken salad recipe and makes the perfect lunch for busy days!

Classic Chicken Salad Recipe (With a Healthy Twist)

This easy chicken salad recipe is fast to make (even faster if you use leftover chicken!) and is a great lunch, dinner, or snack. Pack it in a container for a fast on-the-go meal. It’s also a hit at potlucks.

The best way I’ve found to bring this on the go is to put some at the bottom of a mason jar, add some lettuce or spinach, and cap tightly. This will stay good for several days in the fridge and is a great way to meal prep for the week.

Chicken Salad Ingredients

This chicken salad uses probiotic-rich yogurt in place of mayo for a unique flavor. Greek yogurt has even more protein, but regular, plain yogurt will work too. If you prefer to keep it classic and use mayo instead, then try this homemade version with healthy fats. For an egg-free version, I also like this avocado “mayo.”

And of course, you can’t have chicken salad without cooked chicken! I’ll often premake boneless chicken breasts for the week to use in different dishes. You can also use leftover rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken for a fast prep time and added flavor. I like diced chicken in this recipe, but shredded chicken also works.

Chicken salad can be pretty simple, but adding a few flavorful ingredients really makes your tastebuds zing. I experimented with different combinations to finally find something my whole family loves! Walnuts and celery add a nice crunch, while the diced apple, red grapes, and honey add a touch of sweetness. I also add basil, garlic, and black pepper to balance out the sweeter flavors.

Add-ins and Substitutions

The nice thing about chicken salad is you can mix up the ingredients with what you have on hand. Instead of walnuts, try some chopped pecans. Don’t have grapes? Cranberries will also work. Here are a few more ideas:

  • Fresh herbs like chives, cilantro, tarragon, or fresh dill
  • Finely chopped red onion
  • Sour cream (or mayo) mixed in with the yogurt
  • Diced avocado

What to Serve With Chicken Salad

Most restaurants will offer chicken salad sandwiches (especially on a croissant), but we don’t eat a lot of sandwiches at our house. My favorite way to eat this is over a bed of lettuce as a salad. Another good low-carb option is to make lettuce wraps with romaine or butter lettuce.

It also tastes really good as a snack on top of sliced cucumber. Or just eat it by the spoonful!

chicken salad

Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe

Creamy chicken salad with probiotics, tender chicken, and crunchy nuts and fruit. Perfect for a quick lunch or snack!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Calories 308kcal
Author Katie Wells


6 servings



  • Put chicken, walnuts, celery, diced apple, and grapes in a large bowl.
  • Add yogurt, honey, lemon juice, and spices.
  • Mix all of the salad ingredients until everything is evenly coated.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.


Nutrition Facts
Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 308 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 97mg32%
Sodium 586mg25%
Potassium 784mg22%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 173IU3%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


This recipe makes a great mason jar salad for easy lunches or meals on the go. Just put the chicken salad in the bottom of a mason jar and lettuce or spinach on top and twist on the lid.

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Also, try these chicken salad recipe variations…

What’s your favorite way to eat chicken salad? Leave a comment and let us know!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


16 responses to “Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe”

  1. Angie Avatar

    5 stars
    I made this for my family today and it’s very delicious and nutritious! I used almonds and cucumber instead of walnuts and celery because it’s what I had. I even skipped the honey. So, so yummy! And fast!! Thanks!

  2. Trinity Avatar

    5 stars
    My boyfriend and I just made this. For the chicken, I cooked it in a casserole dish coated in olive oil, italian herbs, and garlic with butter, garlic, and fresh thyme on top of the chicken. Baked it for 40 minutes and combined it with the chicken salad recipe – HEAVEN!

  3. Tina Avatar

    4 stars
    Pretty nice!

    May I suggest another recipe with similar ingredients?
    Back home, we use to make this chicken recipe every week:

    (for 4 portions)
    1 chicken breast (boiled or grilled)
    1 medium size celery (the root part) – finely grated
    125g mix of equal parts sour cream & yogurt (full fat)
    200g mayo ( i honestly prefer to put just a couple of spoons of mustard and skip the mayo)
    juice from half a lemon
    sal and grinded pepper to taste

    optional: 100g Cheddar or pressed cheese
    1 small apple – finely grated

    mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for 2-3h.

    eat with vegetable sticks (bell pepper, celery sticks, carrots)

  4. Gia Geach Avatar
    Gia Geach

    I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I just made this for the first time. It is GREAT! I don’t like “traditional” mayo-based chicken salad, so I really enjoy the light, sort of sweet flavor of this one. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

  5. Kymberly Lynch Avatar
    Kymberly Lynch

    I’ve read spinach shouldn’t be eaten raw. I wonder what your thoughts are on this?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I’ve seen conflicting info on it, but I’ve noticed that some people do better not eating raw greens…

  6. Yeager Avatar

    What can I use in place of the yogurt?  I’m not supposed to have it because I tested to be too high in one of the cultures.

    1. Jen Avatar

      How about a homemade “mayo”? Use MCT oil, Braggs ACV and egg yolk in a blender. Add flavor with dry mustard powder and a pinch of cayenne…maybe a little turmeric, too.

  7. Elizabeth Avatar

    Would you be able to suggest an alternative to the celery? We are not big fans and it’s the only thing that puts the kids off – they eat the rest, but pick around the celery lol. I also added bacon to it as we were a bit short on chicken 🙂 
    Gorgeous dressing! Many thanks for this recipe and your blog – been grain free for 5 days now and aside from a touch of carb-flu I feel great!! xx

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I’ve used finely chopped cucumber… its crunchy and the kids usually like it

    2. Annie Avatar

      Well, it comes from a can, at least in my world, so perhaps it’s not the best choice, but I add water chestnuts to my chicken salad because my granddaughters love it. Nice and crunchy, and seems to absorb the flavor of whatever it’s in.

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