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Easy and Healthy Chicken Salad

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This Easy and Healthy Chicken Salad is lighter on calories, but still has all the protein, taste, and texture of traditional chicken salads. The perfect light and healthy lunch on a hot summer day!

easy and healthy chicken salad in a bowl with lettuce and spoon
healthy chicken salad in bowl

I love this recipe. It’s one of the best ways to make Easy Chicken Salad!

I grew up on it so it’s something I crave constantly. I can’t remember a time, especially in the warmer months, that this wasn’t in a container in the fridge. It’s simple, only 4 ingredients, and comes together in minutes! If you’re in the mood for something a little different, try out my chicken salad with grapes!

This is also ideal for meal prep throughout the week cause it’s so easy to quickly serve at lunch or bring along on a picnic, to the beach, or on a boat ride! Think extra easy: prepare a container of this + add pack of crackers/carrots. You’re set!

healthy chicken salad on a whole grain bun with lettuce and grapes

This healthy chicken salad recipe is so easy. It’s ideal to make for meal prep because it only takes about 3 minutes to prepare and requires a handful of ingredients. Keep in mind that it does require some extra fridge time though so keep in mind you will need that total hands off time to make it the best.

ingredients in bowls dried minced onion, Mayonnaise, celery salt, and shredded chicken


What makes this Easy and Healthy Chicken Salad so special? Gather up these exact ingredients and you’ll see exactly why! This is my mama’s recipe and like I said before, it’s crave worthy!

  • Finely Shredded Cooked Chicken – you can use left over chicken, rotisserie chicken breast, canned chicken breast (surprisingly it tastes great!). I love to use this Instant Pot recipe or Slow Cooker Shredded chicken recipe .
  • Mayonnaise- I prefer using light Dukes or Hellman’s to keep it lower in calories and low fat.
  • Dried Minced Onion– This is a must have ingredient if you want to make it the best way. Dried minced onions can be found in the spice aisle with all other spices. Sometimes it will say chopped instead of minced.
  • Celery Salt– Another non-negotiable item to make this particular recipe. It might be a little unfamiliar, but its found with all other spices at any grocery store.
  • Pepper to taste- I normally just add a few grinds and it’s enough.


  1. Grab a medium bowl and add the 3 cups chicken, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1/2 cup mayo, three tablespoons minced onion, and a pinch of pepper.
  2. Stir together really, really well. If you want the best results ever- get in there with your (clean them real good please!) hands. This ensures the chicken and all the other ingredients are combined thoroughly and it also breaks down any larger chicken pieces.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least a half hour so that the dried minced onion can rehydrate a bit and the other flavors will mingle and get to know eachother.


I love this recipe just the way it is. No add ins necessary! But, there are weeks that we love to add easy ingredients into it and change it up for lunches. It makes meal prep a lot less boring!

  • Grapes – fresh, juicy, sweet!
  • crumbled bacon- bacon makes everything better, y’all!
  • nuts- I love toasted almonds or pecans for a good crunch.
  • cranberries- easy to add sweetness!
  • fresh green onion- if you really want to go for an onion forward taste!

What can you eat Chicken salad with?

I enjoy it in a big ol’ good sandwich or piled into lettuce wraps, but I also love eating what I like to call, easy chicken salad snack plates!

I place a nice scoop of chicken salad on a plate and pile on lots of veggies (celery, carrots, cucumber), grapes, apples, different types of crackers, and maybe a slice of cheese for for good measure. It’s the ultimate flex on a satisfying and healthy lunch!

chicken salad in bowl with lettuce and grapes on the side


Can you make Chicken Salad the day before?

Absolutely! In fact, I recommend it. This recipe requires a little fridge time for ultimate taste so having it sit overnight only improves the flavor.

How long can chicken salad be kept in the refrigerator?

3-5 days in a tightly sealed container in the fridge thats kept at or below 40 degrees.

This recipe was originally posted on 5/09/2016, but I updated with new photos and extra tips for the reader on 06/29/2022.

bowl with shredded chicken and lettuce
4.96 from 64 votes

Skinny Chicken salad

simple, easy, and healthy chicken salad recipe with mayo and seasonings!
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time23 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, chicken salad, easy, healthy chicken salad
Yield: 6
Author: Star @ the skinny-ish dish


  • 3 cups FINELY shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise preferably dukes or hellmans
  • 3 tbsp dried minced/chopped onion
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • pinch of pepper


  • In a large bowl, place finely shredded chicken, mayo, celery salt, pepper, and minced onion.
  • Using clean hands, mix together very thoroughly for best results, but you can also use a fork and stir it extremely well.
  • Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to let all of the flavors mingle and the onions soften.
  • Serve in a salad, lettuce wrap, pita, or sandwich. We also love serving with lots of veggies, fruit, and crackers for a big snack lunch plate.


Serving size: 1/2 cup
Weight Watchers Points: 2
165 Calories 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrates, 385mg sodium, 0g fiber, 0g sugar, 0g added sugar, 0g sugar alcohol, 20g protein

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  1. 4 stars
    After eating this for the last couple of days I felt like I should say something! Such a quick recipe that can be used throughout the week for breakfast or dinner. Star always has these classics down!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this, and absolutely Love love love it,. I put it on a croissant.. So good.. My go to for lunch. Thanks for making this recipe.. 🙂

    1. Yess! So happy you enjoyed, Sandra! I LOVE chicken salad on a croissant, something about it!

  3. 5 stars
    I honestly can’t believe how delicious this chicken salad is with so few ingredients! I love it! Those minced dried onions are a game changer.

  4. I cooked up a bunch of chicken breast in my instant pot and decided to use some of it for this chicken salad recipe. So delicious! I added some chopped celery for the crunch and ate it for lunch all week! On a wrap, on wheat bread, on a salad…..I loved it! I’m following WW Purple plan so it felt like a splurge for just 2 points! Thank you.

  5. Thank you for making a lightened up recipe of a favorite since I was a kid! Also, thank you for not adding grapes like all the other recipes do. It’s delish!!

    1. Haha! I have another chicken salad recipe that has grapes, but there’s a time and place for grapes in chicken salad. I love it both ways, but this is the one I grew up on!

  6. 5 stars
    This seems so simple yet is like nothing I’ve ever made before! It is amazing! Such a perfect combination of ingredients. I thought it would last for a few days but my family proved me wrong. They gobbled it up.

  7. 5 stars
    This really pops and has some seriously fantastic flavor for being a simple recipe!! I love it!!

  8. 5 stars
    Made this today and it is amazing. Celery salt really make this so yummy! Add green onions and plopped it on some spring salad mix. Yum!

      1. You can try to use salt (a little less then the amount of celery salt) and maybe about 1/4 cup finely diced celery

  9. 4 stars
    Soooooo good. Will definitely be using it as part of my lunch meal preps during the school year.

    1. I made this with canned chicken due to time and just wow. It’s delicious that way too. This is my favorite chicken salad recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    I add poultry seasoning and a splash of chicken broth (to keep it moist) to my chicken salad. Give it a try
    Love your recipes

  11. I love this easy recipe. Although I love it the best with fresh boiled chicken breast, Ive used canned chicken when I’m in a hurry. But I always put it in the fridge to cool because you can taste the difference. Thanks again!

    Insta: Scentalette

    1. 5 stars
      Wonderful, fast easy recipe. Just the kind I need. What brands of canned chicken are anyone’s favorite?

  12. 5 stars
    My go to meal prep dish! It’s been an entire year and I’m still not sick of it!

    Insta: katihalliday

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