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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

KEY INGREDIENTS

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.

LET’S MAKE CHICKEN SALAD:

  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.

CHICKEN SALAD VARIATIONS

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

FAQS !?

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
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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

Materials

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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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91 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the third recipe of yours I have made, and it was another home run! We had it for dinner tonight and I’m already excited for leftovers tomorrow, and I may or may not have hidden the leftovers in the back of the fridge so no one gets to them before I do

  2. 5 stars
    This is the third recipe of yours I have made, and it was another home run! We had it for dinner tonight and I’m already excited for leftovers tomorrow, and I may or may not have hidden the leftovers in the back of the fridge

  3. If we’re using your slow cooker shredded chicken recipe, should we leave out the dry minced onion and celery salt since we already cooked with those spices when we made the chicken?

    1. Hi Kaitlyn! Great question, I actually still put the same amount into the chicken salad if I’m using the slow cooker chicken. You could adjust the celery salt to taste if you’re unsure, but I would still definitely add the minced onion.

  4. 5 stars
    This is a wonderful chicken salad recipe that I have made many times. While I enjoy it as written, I now use 1/4 cup minced fresh onion instead of the dry, 1 diced celery rib instead of the celery seed, 1/4 C Hellman’s low fat mayonnaise, 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder.
    What do you consider the serving size to be? I could eat the whole thing!
    I am new to your website and find so many recipes to try. Thank you so very much.

    1. For this particular recipe I shred it with forks and then shred it by hand really well. You can also use a hand mixer and it’ll be faster and nicely shredded.

      1. I’ve also used my Pampered Chef Salad Chopper. It works very well to finely chop/shred the chicken and it seems to be faster. I’ve seen a different brand too on Amazon that’s about 1/2 the price.

  5. 5 stars
    I am not one to usually rate or comment but this was so darn good and easy! As I was making it I was unsure how it would turn out, but after 30 minutes of being in the fridge, I took it out and sampled it. It was Ahhhhmazing!! Thanks for all of your recipes. I’ve loved everything I’ve made from your website! I also appreciate the freestyle points included!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this to have for lunch this week and it’s soo good! I added a stick of chopped celery and sliced up some red seedless grapes. Not only did the grapes add some more bulk without added points but kicked the deliciousness up even more! Thanks so much!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed, Colleen. The grapes & celery sound like the perfect addition!

  7. I can’t wait to make this!! Could you add red grapes into this to kindnof make it a Waldorf chicken salad? I’ve been craving it and can’t wait to make your recipe!!

  8. I can’t wait to make this!! Could you add red grapes into this to kindnof make it a Waldorf chicken salad? I’ve been craving it and can’t wait to make your recipe!!

  9. 5 stars
    Goodness. I just made this for lunch prep this week, and legit had an argument with myself “crunchy onions aren’t THAT bad — you could totally just eat it now.” 30 minutes in the fridge seems like an eternity.

  10. 5 stars
    Goodness. I just made this for lunch prep this week, and legit had an argument with myself “crunchy onions aren’t THAT bad — you could totally just eat it now.” 30 minutes in the fridge seems like an eternity.

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