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Chicken Salad (Healthier)

This healthy Chicken Salad recipe is both light and satisfying. It’s studded with outstanding flavors and texture. Perfect for summer picnics, potlucks, and lunches!

a healthy chicken salad sandwich with green grapes and a bowl of chicken salad in the background
Light, refreshing, and bursting with flavor this healthy chicken salad is the perfect summer recipe for picnics, potlucks, and more.

Chicken Salad (Healthier)

Not your typical salad recipe, this chicken salad is a lettuce-less dish made with a base of diced or shredded chicken and tossed with a creamy mayo-based dressing. Typically, it is served as a dip with crackers or sliced veggies or stuffed in between slices of bread for an easy sandwich. For our version, we took the traditional recipe and bulked it up for a healthy make-ahead meal perfect for picnics, potlucks, and more.

What You’ll Love about This Healthier Chicken Salad

  • From start to finish, it can be made in less than 20 minutes.
  • Leftovers keep well for quick lunches all week long, if your family doesn’t devour it all at once.
  • It’s loaded with veggies that pack in vitamins, nutrients, and fiber to keep you full.
  • You can easily customize it with add-ins like chopped nuts, diced apples, or whatever your heart desires.
  • The bright lemon flavor makes this meal extra refreshing and perfect for summer.
  • High-protein, creamy, and loaded with texture, even the pickiest of eaters will ask for seconds.
overhead image of healthy chicken salad in a bowl topped with a lemon wedge
Made with creamy mayonnaise, fresh veggies, and flavorful chicken, this chicken salad is a healthy recipe that can’t be beat.

Why This Chicken Salad Is Healthier

Although delicious, chicken salad isn’t always the healthiest recipe you can make…until now! Here’s why you can feel good about eating this dish:

  • Cooked chicken breast provides an excellent source of high-quality protein with very little fat.
  • Not found in most recipes, a variety of veggies boost the nutrient profile while also adding a lovely crunch.
  • You won’t find any dried fruit, meaning our recipe contains less sugar than standard versions.
  • Fresh herbs add tons of flavor and extra antioxidants.
  • Part of the mayonnaise is replaced with yogurt for even more protein and less saturated fat.
chicken salad layered on a piece of bread with greens
Whip up this healthy chicken salad in minutes for a versatile recipe that’s incredibly delicious.

Chicken Salad Commonly Asked Questions

How long is chicken salad good for?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?

Yes, chicken thighs are a great alternative to chicken breasts, as they have great flavor and tend to be very forgiving when over cooked.

How should I serve this chicken salad?

We love to serve this recipe with crackers, stuffed in a sandwich, layered on a lettuce wrap, or spooned over leafy greens for a salad.

Can I use reduced-fat mayonnaise and yogurt?

You can, but you will lose some of the rich taste and supremely creamy texture.

How do you use make chicken salad with canned chicken?

We don’t recommend using canned chicken, but if you’re in a pinch, you can use the same amount of canned chicken as you would freshly cooked chicken, with a 1:1 ratio. Canned chicken tends to be high in sodium and tends to fall apart easily, so you’ll want to omit table salt and fold it in very gently.

More to Cook and Eat

Also Try Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

a healthy chicken salad sandwich with green grapes and a bowl of chicken salad in the background

Lemon Chicken Salad & Sandwich

5 from 7 ratings
This Lemon Chicken Salad & Sandwich is both light and satisfying. It's studded with outstanding flavors and texture. Perfect for summer picnics, potlucks, and lunches!
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Amy Dong


  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, alternatively, rotisserie chicken works really well
  • 4 stalks finely chopped celery
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp dill, fresh or dried
  • 2 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • cup whole mayonnaise, plus more for spreading
  • cup whole plain yogurt, Greek is fine
  • ½ tsp table salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • Prepare the Chicken: If using uncooked chicken breasts, cook chicken in well-salted boiling water just until cooked through and center is no longer pink, 8-10 minutes depending on thickness. Cool and dice chicken. Otherwise, dice about 2/3 of the meat from a rotisserie chicken. Set aside.
  • Combine: In a bowl, stir together the celery, red bell pepper, red onion, parsley, dill, lemon juice, lemon zest, mayo, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Add in the diced/cooked chicken and stir gently until well combined.
  • Spread and Serve: If making sandwiches, spread mayo on desired amount of bread slices, top with chicken salad, and layer on lettuce or spinach if desired. Cover with second slice of bread. Serve whole or cut into halves or fourths for tea-size sandwiches.


Leftovers can be wrapped airtight and chilled for several days.
*If you enjoyed this dish, please come back and give it a rating 🙂
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Method: Boil

Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • irene
    • 5 stars

    The Sandwich…toast the bread, layer the bread with, cold chicken,salt,pepper to taste,a few drops of lemon olive oil, coveer with lettuce, salt,pepper,lemon oi; a drop or so, slice tomatoes, or sliced avos, enjoy.

    • Emmy Laluver

    A delicious turkey sandwich <3!!! Thank you so much!!!!!

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