Easy Chicken Salad Recipe

Kid Friendly30 Minute MealsGluten Free

This Easy Chicken Salad Recipe is a healthier version of the traditional chicken salad we all love. Made with shredded chicken breasts, greek yogurt and grapes, it has the perfect balance of creamy + crunchy. This recipe is Keto friendly too, making it an easy Keto lunch idea!

easy healthy chicken salad recipe on lettuce cups

Homemade Chicken Salad Recipe with Grapes

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! Enter this easy chicken salad recipe. It’s the perfect make-ahead lunch! Packed with lean protein from the chicken breasts and greek yogurt, it’s ideal for salads, sandwiches, wraps – you name it.

how to shred chicken in a stand mixer

What Are the Main Ingredients in Chicken Salad?

This healthy, Keto-friendly chicken salad recipe only needs a handful of simple ingredients:

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

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.

My Simple Trick for Making Shredded Chicken Breasts

Shredded chicken breast is the foundation of this salad but I’m not a big fan of standing at the counter trying to shred chicken breasts with forks. It takes too long! So instead I cook my chicken breasts and then use the paddle attachment in my KitchenAid stand mixer to shred the cooked chicken. Any cooking method works for this so just go with your favorite. You can boil, roast, grill or pan sear your chicken breasts then toss them in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Set your mixer to high speed and let it do all the hard work for you in about 45 seconds. 

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. Cook and Shred Your Chicken: Cook your chicken – either roast, boil, grill or pan sear. Once your chicken is cooked, then shred it using forks or my stand mixer method mentioned above. 
  2. Make the 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 Extras: Most people add fruit, hardboiled eggs, celery, nuts or onions for a little added flavor.
  4. Mix: 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

Mix In Ideas

One of the best things about chicken salad is how easy it is to customize. This recipe has pecans and grapes, but you can sub these ingredients or add in more according to your preferences. Here are some variation ideas:

  • Pickles
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Veggies – Green onions, olives, diced bell pepper, and of course the classic celery!
  • Fresh or dried fruit – Diced apples, dry cranberries or even dry cherries are all tasty options.
  • Nuts – Cashews and walnuts would be delicious alternative to pecans.
  • Avocado – Add mashed avocado to your salad just before serving.

Really the options are endless. Go with your fav and dig in.

Serving Suggestions

This is one of the most versatile, protein-packed recipes you can make! I love to serve it on top of salads or wrapped in lettuce leaves for a low carb alternative to sandwiches. But of course this recipe also makes an amazing chicken salad sandwich. You can also use tortillas to make chicken salad wraps, or croissants to make things a bit fancy!

How to Store Leftovers

Chicken salad will last for 5-7 days when stored in an air tight container and refrigerated. Give it a good stir when you take it out and maybe refresh the flavor with a pinch of black pepper, then serve!

Can I Freeze Chicken Salad?

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

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

Bon Appetit friends!

Side Dishes and Dips That Compliment This Recipe:

easy healthy chicken salad recipe on bread

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easy healthy chicken salad recipe on bread

Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe

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

Description

This Easy Chicken Salad Recipe is a healthier version of traditional chicken salad. Made with shredded chicken breasts, greek yogurt, grapes and a few herbs for the perfect balance of creamy + crunchy.


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: traditional chicken salad, easy chicken salad, healthy chicken salad, how to make chicken salad, best chicken salad, homemade chicken salad, keto chicken salad

 

pinterest image for easy healthy classic chicken salad recipe

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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56 Responses
    1. Krista

      I use myfitnesspal.com to calculate all of my nutritional information, it’s super easy to use and you are able to select specific brands which is great.

        1. Krista

          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!

  1. 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. Krista

      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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

    1. Krista

      It might, usually with anything mayo based you don’t want to. But this one is greek yogurt so I think it will do okay at freezing.

  4. 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

  5. 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. Krista

      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!

  6. Jennifer Wise

    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

  7. Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie

    Greek yogurt is my FAVORITE substitite! This is exactly how I make chicken salad sandwiches and they are so yummy!

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