Creamy Chicken Salad without Mayo

Video chicken salad without mayo

This delectable Chicken Salad without Mayo is a delightful, creamy, and crunchy option that will tantalize your taste buds. Packed with protein and bursting with flavors from celery, cranberries, and Greek yogurt, this salad is a healthy alternative to traditional chicken salad. The combination of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and vinegar adds a tangy kick, making it anything but bland!

Overhead view of creamy chicken salad in a small gray bowl with chopped scallions on top.

Protein salads are my go-to because they’re budget-friendly, easy to make, and loved by both kids and adults. While I usually opt for tuna salads, like the unique Buffalo Tuna Salad, my family also enjoys egg-based salads like the healthy Keto Herbed Egg Salad made with avocado.

This mayo-free chicken salad has become my new obsession. It’s not only a great way to use up leftover chicken but also a healthier alternative to the traditional version. If you’re looking for a lighter option with less oil and fat, definitely give this salad a try. It’s perfect if you’re following a low-carb, low-fat, or low-calorie diet.

To achieve that tangy flavor typically associated with mayonnaise, I tested this recipe multiple times. I discovered that a mixture of full-fat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard does the trick!

High Protein Chicken Salad

This creamy salad is an excellent source of high-quality protein, thanks to the combination of lean chicken and Greek yogurt. It will leave you feeling full and satisfied for an extended period. If you struggle to incorporate enough protein into your little ones’ meals, especially if they aren’t fans of meat or fish, protein salads like this chicken salad can be a lifesaver. Even my kids, who could eat pasta and bread all day, love this chicken salad, especially when served with crackers or in sandwiches. It’s also perfect for school lunches!

See also  Ramen Noodle Salad With Broccoli Slaw

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients for making no mayo chicken salad in small containers on a gray surface.

  • Cooked Chicken: Leftover store-bought rotisserie chicken works great, but any cooked boneless skinless chicken meat will do.
  • Celery: Adds color and crunch.
  • Red Onion: Feel free to swap it for sweet onion or green onion.
  • Dried Cranberries: Adds a touch of sweetness. If you’re concerned about sugar content, opt for 50% less sugar Craisins.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt: Choose full-fat whole milk Greek yogurt or Greek yogurt with a minimum of 2% fat for optimal results. My favorite brand is Fage.
  • Dijon Mustard: Grey Poupon is my preferred choice.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: Adds a tangy element to the salad.
  • Salt and Pepper: I recommend using kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Fresh Herbs (for garnish): Consider parsley, dill, or scallions.

How to Make Chicken Salad without Mayo

STEP 1: Chop up the cooked chicken, celery, and red onion.

STEP 2: Place the chicken, onion, celery, and cranberries in a medium or large bowl. Add yogurt, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

No mayo chicken salad with cranberries, celery, and red onion before mixing in a white bowl.

STEP 3: Mix well with a spoon or spatula. Taste the salad and adjust the flavors if needed. Add more salt and pepper for additional seasoning or more vinegar or lemon juice for extra acidity.

Mixing creamy chicken salad in a white bowl with two spoons.

STEP 4: Serve the salad sprinkled with fresh dill, parsley, or scallions, if desired.

Serving Suggestions

There are two fantastic ways to enjoy this healthy chicken salad. Serve it on a bed of greens and crunchy vegetables or wrap it in lettuce leaves. Alternatively, you can make a classic lunch or dinner by putting it in a sandwich or wrap.

See also  Couscous Salad With Chicken

If you prefer a dip-style experience, place the salad in a small bowl and surround it with sliced cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, and crackers. This presentation is a hit with kids, and it disappears within minutes!

Creamy chicken salad with cranberries in a lettuce leaf.

Storage and Freezing Tips

Store any leftovers in an airtight container or a bowl wrapped with plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze the salad for up to 3 months. Before serving, make sure to thaw it completely in the fridge.

If you’re preparing this salad as part of your meal prep, store it on its own in an airtight container (or a couple of smaller containers) and add it to a bed of greens, a wrap, or any other base when you’re ready to eat.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Add more crunchy veggies to the salad. Chopped bell peppers, seeded cucumbers, or finely diced carrots are all excellent choices.
  • Substitute dried cranberries with raisins, dried cherries, or fresh halved red grapes.
  • Replace red wine vinegar with white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
  • Swap Greek yogurt for Skyr, a thick Icelandic yogurt also high in protein.
  • For an avocado chicken salad, substitute some of the Greek yogurt with mashed up ripe avocados.
  • If you’re not a fan of red onion, replace it with spring onion or sweet onion like Vidalia.
  • For a more herb-infused salad, mix in fresh herbs such as chopped dill, parsley, scallions, or chives.
  • Experiment with flavors and add different seasonings. Sometimes, I skip the cranberries and mix in a bit of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, cayenne pepper, or Cajun seasoning. These variations add a twist to the classic chicken salad and make it more exciting.
See also  Hawaiian Macaroni Salad: A Perfect Side Dish for a Hawaiian Lunch Plate

Creamy chicken salad in a small gray bowl with chopped scallions on top on a plate with cucumber slices, pretzel sticks, and orange bell pepper.

Recipe FAQs

Creamy chicken salad in a small gray bowl with chopped scallions on top.

More Healthy Lunch Ideas

  • Cajun Shrimp Salad
  • Low-Carb Sushi Bowl with Smoked Salmon
  • Hawaiian Shrimp Poke Bowl
  • Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup
  • Polish Mushroom Soup

If you try my Chicken Salad Without Mayo, please leave a comment and rating. I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!

This post includes affiliate links.


Family Cuisine

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