This traditional chicken salad recipe is lightened up with Greek nonfat yogurt and creamy mashed avocado for an added boost of protein plus good for you fats that make this salad so tasty no one will ever miss the mayo.
This post is in partnership with Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt who has compensated me to create a recipe using their product. All opinions are my own.
Continuing with tradition is so good in so many ways. But continuing to evolve is even better.
I mean, why use the answering machine when you have voice mail at your fingertips instead? And why tool your baby around in an old-fashioned pram instead of an easy-to-transport collapsible baby stroller? And just think of what we’d all sound like if language didn’t change over time …”If your great umbrage would care to meet my high dudgeon at 12 paces, I would be happy to entertain you at dawn.”
So while this chicken salad has a whole lot of the classic flavors (shredded chicken, grapes, celery, pecans, red onion) it has also taken a turn for the healthy by subbing in mashed avocado mixed with Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt in place of the typical mayonnaise binder.
This change is good, and good for you, friends.
Using Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt as a substitute for mayonnaise is just one of the many reasons for adding it to your diet, including these healthful yogurt facts:
- Greek nonfat yogurt is higher in protein and lower in fat than regular mayonnaise.
- 64% of Americans don’t meet their daily calcium needs. Each 5.3 oz cup of Oikos Nonfat Yogurt supplies 15% of the daily calcium our bodies need, so eating even just one yogurt a day becomes a first step to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
- Greek yogurt contains active yogurt cultures and the balance and diversity of bacteria in your gut is associate with better health.
- Greek yogurt contains less lactose than regular nonfat yogurt, making it helpful for yogurt lovers who are lactose intolerant.
And those are just a few reasons that putting a new spin on a classic can be a really good thing.
About the Recipe
The essential ingredient in any chicken salad is, of course, chicken. I prefer shredded chicken over chunked in my chicken salad so cooking a few chicken breasts in my Instant Pot is a really quick and easy way to prepare it. Of course you could poach, bake, or use rotisserie chicken as well. I cooked just about 1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breast to yield 2 cups of shredded chicken.
Because Plain Greek yogurt has that distinctively fresh tang, I mellow the tartness of the yogurt with a mash of avocado and a bit of fresh lemon juice mixed into this creamy mayonnaise alternative. It doesn’t hurt that avocado contains many important nutrients in itself, providing an average of 4 grams of protein per avo and boosting the nutrition factor even more.
I used sliced red grapes in my mix to give the salad a bit of sweetness, but you could substitute sweetened dried cranberries or pomegranates, or use a bit of both.
The distinctive crunch factor of any great chicken salad is delivered with celery and chopped pecans. I prefer a big celery bite so I give mine a generous cut, but if you’d like a more mellow munch, dice yours instead.
Last but certainly not least, I LOVE the herby flavor of fresh tarragon with chicken and so it’s always included in recipes like this. If you don’t have tarragon on hand, or aren’t a fan, use a flat-leaf parsley, dill, or thyme instead.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 1 cup plain Dannon® Oikos® Greek Nonfat Yogurt
- 1 avocado, mashed
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded chicken (from about 16 ounces of skinless, boneless breast)
- ¾ cup chopped celery, about 2 ribs
- ½ cup red grapes, halved
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
- ⅓ cup chopped red onion
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- In a small bowl, mix the Greek nonfat yogurt with the avocado mash and add lemon juice to taste. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and set aside.
- Add the shredded chicken with the chopped celery, grapes, pecans, red onion, tarragon and cranberries (optional) to a large bowl. Add the yogurt avocado sauce to the chicken mixture and toss until well combined, then season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the chicken salad as a sandwich, salad or as the filling for an appetizer.
Ideas for How to Serve Chicken Salad
There are plenty of ways to serve your just-made, delicious, and healthy chicken salad. Here are just a few:
- Serve as a sandwich on slices of thick, whole-wheat bread (with more avocado slices of course!) or serve open faced with a slice of melted cheese
- Pass as an appetizer in phyllo cups, hollowed out slices of cucumber, or serve in endive lettuces leaves
- Stuf in a pita with greens, made into a wrap of lavash bread, or in between an everything bagel
- Place a scoop on a bed of fresh greens, spinach, or grilled greens or scooped into avocado halves
This post is in partnership with Dannon Oikos. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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