The BEST Classic Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe (yogurt base)

Gluten FreeKid Friendly30 Minute Meals

An Easy Chicken Salad Recipe that’s a healthier version of the classic chicken salad we all love. Made with greek yogurt, mustard, fresh lemon juice, pecans, grapes and a few herbs for the perfect balance of creamy + crunchy. Serve it on bread, on top of a salad or a lettuce cup for a low carb option.

Looking for more? Try out my 15 Minute Light & Easy Cranberry Chicken Salad or my Grilled Buffalo Chicken Salad.

easy healthy chicken salad recipe on lettuce cups

Healthy Classic Chicken Salad Recipe

The past couple of weeks my husband and I have been talking about having food for him to eat at work that he can grab during the day. He is one busy man and sometimes lunch just doesn’t happen. He’ll work right through it or grab a spoonful of peanut butter to hold him over. I’m not okay with it! He’s 6’5″ and NEEDS to have food in his belly!

We transitioned to have one of our blenders at his office so now he can make protein shakes at work if he wants. He’s not the best at remembering to pack a lunch, and even when I have leftovers set aside for him in the fridge it’s still a struggle to get him to take it in. So I’m working on creating large batch recipes that he can just have at work and Chicken Salad is the perfect make ahead, take with you to work lunch option out there!

how to shred chicken in a stand mixer

Ingredients you’ll need for this Recipe:

  • Chicken 
  • Pecans
  • Grapes
  • Green Onion
  • Mayo
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Mustard
  • Herbs & Spices

How to Make Chicken Salad?

Chicken Salad can be a really easy recipe to make and a great option for a healthy lunch to have on hand during the week! Serve it between two slices of bread or a lettuce cup for a low carb option!

  1. Prep your Chicken: Cook your chicken – either roast, boil, grill or pan sear. Once your chicken is cooked, then shred it. One of my favorite ways to shred chicken in a hurry is to put it in a kitchen aid mixer and use the paddle attachment. Turn the speed to high and let it go. Easy Peasy.
  2. Make a Sauce: Most chicken salad sauces have a mayonnaise base. However, for this chicken salad I use greek yogurt, mustard, a small amount of mayonnaise, lemon juice, smoked paprika (for a smoky flavor), sage and garlic powder. This sauce is savory and tart but balances so well with the chicken and sweet grapes.
  3. Add your Extras: Most people add fruit, hardboiled eggs, celery, nuts or onions for a little added flavor.
  4. Toss it: Add your chicken, sauce and extra ingredients to one bowl. Use a large wooden spoon and stir everything together. 

close up on easy classic healthy chicken salad recipe

What is the best way to shred chicken quickly?

There are a couple of ways to shred chicken. But I’ve found the best way to shred chicken in a hurry is to place cooked chicken in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Turn on your mixer and blend until shredded, approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute.

How long is chicken salad good for?

If stored properly, in an air tight container in the refrigerator, it will last 5-7 days. 

Can you freeze chicken salad with mayonnaise?

I would not recommend freezing chicken salad. It tends to get watery after thawing out. However, if you choose to freeze it. Place it in a freezer safe storage bag, remove all the air from the bag and store up to two months. When ready to serve, thaw out in the refrigerator for 24 hours. I would highly recommend adding more mayo to thicken it up or it will be runny.

easy healthy chicken salad recipe on lettuce cups

I like to add some tang to my salad and cut the calories by adding greek yogurt and mustard instead of JUST mayo. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can add so much to any dish and really make it pop! This recipe has the perfect amount of sauce versus chicken and grapes.

If you’re in a need of a healthy easy lunch recipe to make for the family, this recipe is it! It feeds an army and is freakin delicious!

Bon Appetit friends!

What goes with Chicken Salad?

easy healthy chicken salad recipe on bread

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easy healthy chicken salad recipe on bread

Healthy Classic Chicken Salad Recipe

  • Author: Krista @ JoyfulHealthyEats.com
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 6 cups of chicken salad 1x
  • Category: Lunch, Chicken
  • Method: Assemble
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Easy Classic Chicken Salad Recipe made with greek yogurt, mustard, grapes & fresh lemon juice. Creamy + crunchy, and makes the best chicken salad sandwiches or great served over a bed of lettuce or salad!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups halved red grapes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup diced green onions
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. To a large bowl add shredded chicken, red grapes, pecans, and green onions.
  2. In a small bowl add yogurt, mayo, mustard, sage, smoked paprika, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk together.
  3. Add the liquid mixture to the chicken dish.
  4. Stir everything together until it is completely combined.
  5. Serve on a slice of bread or in a cup of bibb lettuce.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 168
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 157 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 18 g
  • Cholesterol: 50 mg

Keywords: classic chicken salad, easy chicken salad recipe, light chicken salad, healthy chicken salad, how to make chicken salad, best chicken salad recipe, easy lunch recipe, healthy lunch ideas

 

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pinterest image for classic healthy chicken salad recipe

pinterest image for healthy classic chicken salad recipe

A LIGHT & EASY CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE that's low carb, high protein, and gluten free! This Chicken Salad is made with greek yogurt, mustard, grapes, and fresh lemon juice. Perfect for a quick lunch! | joyfulhealthyeats.com

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }
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69 Responses
  1. Hi Krista,

    First time visitor here. But I already fell in love with what you have here!

    Thank you for sharing this easy recipe. How creative!. It is so delicious. I love chicken and salad . I’m going to try it now. Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂

    Jennifer

    1. Brandie Dodd

      Omg wow. It is amazing. Never tried Greek yogurt in foods. Perfect sweetness with the mustard. Made it for football party. They love them.

  2. Katie

    This was wonderful. I made it for a get-together, and got a lot of compliments. The dijon mustard really added a nice extra kick, and that was the number one thing people commented on. I have made several different chicken salad recipes, and I think the mustard gave it the flavor that other recipes lack. Chicken salad can be really bland, imo. This recipe is a keeper, will make it again. Thank you!

    1. Agreed! Dijon is my go to instead of adding mayo. I do the same with my tuna salad too. It’s perfect and way less on calories. 🙂 So glad you like it Katie!

  3. Keyada

    I want to make this recipe but I need help how should I cook the chicken should I boil it or should I season it and cook it a different way

  4. Kristen

    Loved this! I didn’t have green onion and used thinly sliced celery pieces instead. It had a nice crunch and was still delicious! I love the lack of mayo flavor and the tang you adde with the seasonings and Dijon. This has become my go-to chicken salad recipe; thank you!

  5. Jenna

    Loved this recipe! The flavors are amazing. Both my boyfriend and I have been eating it for days. I made my own Mayo (Whole30 Recipe), subbed rosemary for sage and added some diced celerey. Will definitely make again. Thank you!

  6. Lauren

    This is a great recipe for chicken salad! I just made it, it tastes great, and I’m excited to have it ready for lunch this week. The mixture with Greek yogurt, mustard and all the spices is spot-on (I put more Greek yogurt than mayonnaise to make even lighter) but the spice mixture makes it really flavorful. Thanks!

    1. Hurray! Glad you enjoyed it Lauren. Seeing your comment reminded me… I need to make this recipe again! I haven’t made it in a while and it would be good to have on hand right now for lunch!

        1. honestly you have to keep an eye on the counts… sometimes MFP will save that 2 teaspoons of garlic powder is 111 calories… it imports wrong so I always double check what MFP says. i think that is happening to a lot of people!

  7. Brittany

    I had to come on here and leave a comment . When I’m looking for a new recipe I scroll down to the comments first before I dive in to make it . I want to know if it’s really good , if it’s worth my time to make , so I’m looking for people who hve actually made it . I found good reviews on this. We needed a chicken salad recipe to make for a party we were having . I have made other chicken salads in the past but they were never really that great. This on the other hand was not good , it was AMAZING !! I knew the moment I tried the mixture, before adding it to the chicken , that this would be THE recipe. I made a big batch and sent half of it over to my familie’s house to get their approval . They loved it ! My brother couldn’t stay out of the bowl. Now I didn’t add the pecans or the grapes since we’re not really fond of them in salads , but everything else I did. It’s perfect . I will now be making chicken salad often for meal planning . I never did because I couldn’t find a recipe I really liked until now ! This is a must try . Don’t let the thought of yogurt in chicken salad turn you away . I hate yogurt . I can’t stand the taste or the texture of it. So it almost turned me away but gave it a try and love it !! You really can’t taste the yogurt in it.

  8. Kerri

    This recipe is incredible!! I used all Greek yogurt (not a fan of mayo) and it is awesome. Best chicken salad recipe EVER! Thanks 🙂

      1. Debbie

        This is an absolute hit at our house! Thanks so much for such a fantastic healthy version of chicken salad!

  9. Ashley

    Can I still make this without the Sage? We don’t have any at the house. Thanks and looking forward to making this!! Awesome blog by the way – love everything!!

  10. Donna Hill

    I have never ever made chicken salad (65 years old!!!) until now. Just made this and WOW! It’s so fresh and lively. Not at all heavy. Thanks for sharing!!!

  11. Abby

    Tried this out tonight, and my husband LOVED it!! I used to make chicken salad with eggs, and he didn’t care for it. I’m so glad to find an easy make-ahead choice for his lunch! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Sarah

    My husband and I really enjoyed this! I didn’t have sage, but it turned out great. I also tried adding a little bit of honey and apples (I just love apples in my chicken salad!), and I liked it being a little bit sweeter. Thanks so much!

  13. Alejandra Paulson

    I thought this was going to be weird.. to me it seemed like a lot of mustard but this was actually very very good! My family loved it and my co-workers sampled some of my lunch and asked me for the recipe.
    Quick and Easy, perfect for a week night meal. I made some baked fries for a side along with some grapes.

  14. Rochelle

    LOVE this recipe. I make this at least once a week and is my go to for a healthy lunch! I throw it atop somce greens or some times on a sprouted grain roll! Occasionally I’ll add diced dried apricots too! Great recipe!

  15. Dondi

    I’m curious if anyone else has entered this recipe in to MyFitnessPal? This recipe states that 1/2 cup serving is only 191cal, but when I enter it to MFP it comes out at 301?! That’s a huge discrepancy. I even used LIGHT mayo on nonfat Greek yogurt.

  16. Natalie

    Made this for lunch for some guests and it was a big hit! Definitely will be making it again soon for easy lunches during the week.

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