This healthy chicken salad recipe is lightened up with the help of Greek 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.
Healthy Chicken Salad Without 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 avocado 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.
What’s in This Healthy Chicken Salad?
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. 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.
How to Make Chicken Salad Without Mayo
This avocado and Greek yogurt chicken salad comes together in about 10 minutes. Simply mix the Greek nonfat yogurt with the avocado mash and add lemon juice to taste.
Then, stir together the shredded chicken, chopped celery, grapes, pecans, red onion, and tarragon. Spoon the yogurt mixture over the chicken and toss until well combined.
Keep scrolling to read my suggestions on how to enjoy this healthy chicken salad recipe. Spoiler: no mayo chicken salad is good for more than just sandwiches!
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.
Can I Meal Prep Chicken Salad?
Definitely! In fact, I think Greek yogurt chicken salad tastes even better the next day. The flavors have time to mingle in the fridge, making it even tastier than the day you made it.
How Long Does Chicken Salad Last?
This healthy chicken salad will last up to 5 days in the fridge. Because fresh fruit and veg are used in this avocado chicken salad, some separation may occur — just give it a good stir before eating.
Can I Use Regular Yogurt Instead of Greek?
Yes, but your healthy chicken salad will be a little runnier. If possible, I recommend using Greek yogurt if you have some on hand as it makes for the creamiest chicken salad.
Can I Add Extra Mix-Ins?
But of course! It’s your kitchen, do what you want. Add additional veggies to the avocado chicken salad, leave some out — basically, do whatever you want.
Tips for Making Healthy Chicken Salad
As I mentioned above, I prefer cooking my chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. But of course you could poach, bake, or use rotisserie chicken as well.
If you don’t have tarragon on hand, or aren’t a fan, use a flat-leaf parsley, dill, or thyme instead.
I used nonfat Greek yogurt because I like the tang it adds to the healthy chicken salad, but you’re welcome to use low-fat or full fat as well. Just be sure to use plain Greek yogurt!
More Healthy Lunch Recipes to Try Out
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Chipotle Lime Shrimp Bowls
- Avocado Caprese Wrap
- Chinese Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
- Chicken and Mango Rainbow Veggie Wraps
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Avocado and Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- 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)
- 3/4 cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs)
- 1/2 cup red grapes , halved
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- In a small bowl, mix the nonfat Greek 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 to 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.
- I use my Instant Pot pressure cooker to quickly cook my shredded chicken perfectly every time. You can make things just as simple by use store-bought rotisserie chicken instead.
More Easy Sandwiches You’ll Love
- Simple Egg Salad Sandwiches
- Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Creamy Ranch Sauce
- Chicken Caprese Sandwich
- Ham Salad Sandwiches
- Green Goddess Cream Cheese Veggie Sandwich
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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This post is in partnership with Dannon Oikos. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. There may be affiliate links in this post of which I receive a small commission. All opinions are always my own.