You want a healthy chicken salad that tastes just as good a regular version? Good news! I have what you are looking for. This chef-tested and taste bud-approved Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad can be stirred together in minutes!

the chicken salad in a bowl with Boston lettuce leaves on the side with tarragon sprigs

I get it: sometimes the healthier version of a recipe isn’t as good as the full-fat one. But let me assure you, this is not one of those times. One taste tester requested this healthy chicken salad be available in the fridge at all times this summer. I call that a success! Read on for more details on the creamy lower-calorie dressing, the stir-ins (celery, dried cranberries and nuts) and more details how to make it!

Chicken Salad Ingredients

the ingredients for the chicken salad with text overlay
  • Greek Yogurt: Creamy and relatively low in calories- plain Greek yogurt makes the perfect base for a healthier low calorie chicken salad dressing.
  • Mayonnaise: We’ve tested this and we find the Greek Yogurt dressing tastes best with a little mayo added to it for classic taste- but you only need 1/4 cup to achive great taste (which is far less than a classic chicken salad.)
  • Rice Vinegar: This makes the dressing tangy. The mild neutral flavor of rice vinegar works best but lemon juice is a great alternative.
  • Seasonings: The creamy dressing is seasoned with Dijon mustard, a little bit of sugar or honey (to balance the tangy vinegar and yogurt), salt, celery salt and fresh tarragon (or dried.)
  • Cooked Chicken: You can use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, chilled chopped grilled chicken or cook and cut specifically for this recipe. You will need about a pound of chicken breast. I cook mine in the Instant Pot while I chop the celery, herbs and assemble the rest of the ingredients.
  • Celery: For classic crunch
  • Dried Cranberries: Super easy to add in for that necessary sweet element. Red grapes are another classic option if you have them. We also love diced apple in our chicken salad- try our healthy waldorf chicken salad too!
  • Nuts: We suggest either toasted walnuts or pecans for this salad. Chop them into small pieces. Sliced almonds are also good in chicken salad recipes.
  • Garnish: You can garnish with chopped chives, parsley or a sprigs of tarragon if desired.

How To Make Healthy Chicken Salad

whisking the dressing in a large bowl
Step 1: Whisk Greek Yogurt with the dressing ingredients in a large bowl until completely combined

Whisk the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, sugar (or honey), tarragon, salt, celery salt and pepper in a large bowl until the dressing is creamy, smooth and the ingredients are completely combined.

the chicken, celery, nuts and cranberries being stirred into the dressing in a large bowl
Step 2: Add the cooked diced chicken to the bowl with the dressing along with the remaining ingredients and stir to coat.

Add the cooked chicken, celery, toasted walnuts or pecans and dried cranberries and stir to coat the chicken salad ingredients in the Greek yogurt mixture. Serve immediately sprinkled with chives, more black pepper and sprigs of parsley or tarragon. Or if making ahead, cover and chill until ready to serve.

the creamy chicken salad in a white bowl with greens garnishing the side of the bowl

Menu Ideas and Serving Suggestions

  • For a luncheon party serve with sliced homemade whole wheat bread, sourdough discard sandwich bread, and savory parmesan leek muffins. Add a light soup like our Zucchini Soup or Carrot Ginger to round out the menu.
  • For prep ahead healthy lunch option place individual servings in storage containers and pack a baggie of clean lettuce leaves to make lettuce wraps or add your favorite healthy crackers on the side.
  • Scoop the chicken salad over a green salad. Add wedges of tomatoes or cherry tomatoes on the side or slice up fresh cantaloupe or another seasonal melon.
  • Make a Sandwich or Wrap: This recipe makes delicious chicken salad sandwiches on your favorite sliced bread or serve open face on a toasted bagel. Wrap into tortillas or soft sandwich wraps or flatbread.

Make Ahead, Meal Prep and Storage

This healthy chicken salad recipe is a great meal prep lunch or prep ahead recipe.

  • The chicken salad can be made three days in advance. If prepping ahead for company, do not add the nuts until just before serving because they can be a little soggy after a day or two.
  • Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • If the dressing becomes a little watery, which happens with some brands of Greek-style or strained yogurts, you can simply stir the chicken salad well then serve with a slotted spoon.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Instead of craisins: Use another dried fruit like Zante currants, raisins or fresh fruit like sliced grapes or chopped apples.
  • Fresh Herbs: If you do not like the flavor of tarragon (it is a little licorice-like) try another chopped herb like fresh dill, chive or parsley.
  • Instead of Nuts: Sub in toasted pepitas or another crunchy element like finely diced bell pepper or another raw veggie.
  • Allium: I add chopped chives on top of this chicken salad recipe, but another allium element would be lovely too. Add in finely diced red onion or thinly sliced green onions (or scallions.) You could even add a pinch of garlic powder to the dressing for an easy shortcut!

More Healthy Chicken Salad Recipes

At Healthy Seasonal Recipes, we specialize in cooking with fresh veggies and creating weeknight meals. Sign up HERE to get more produce-forward dinner ideas for FREE! If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought! Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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healthy chicken salad in a large white bowl with butter lettuce leaves on the side

Healthy Chicken Salad


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Description

Healthy Chicken Salad is a simple stir-together recipe made with Greek Yogurt, dried cranberries and toasted nuts. It is lower in calories but has great classic chicken salad flavor!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon or 1 teaspoon fresh (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Generous pinch celery salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans or walnuts
  • Chopped chives or sliced green onions for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, tarragon, salt , celery salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  2. Add chicken, celery, cranberries and pecans (or walnuts) and stir until completely coated. Serve immediately sprinkled with chives if desired or chill.

Notes

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. If the dressing becomes a little watery, simply stir the chicken salad well then serve with a slotted spoon. If prepping ahead, wait to add the nuts until just before serving because for the best texture.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: na
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3/4
  • Calories: 329
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Fat: 22 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 22 g