Store-bought chicken salad is far from a healthy option, with some kinds weighing in at more than 550 calories and 40 grams of fat per cup! Instead of the mayo-drenched take-out versions, try this fresh and light recipe – all it takes is 5 simple ingredients.
Green Herb Chicken Salad
Yield: 6 servings
4 large split chicken breast, bone-in, skin on (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped desired green herb (Recommendations: basil, tarragon, flat-leaf parsley)
Additional ingredients: olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Split Chicken Breasts
Leaving the bone in and skin on helps keep the low fat chicken breasts super moist and juicy. Instead of poaching in liquid, roast the chicken to concentrate the flavors (see directions below).
Mayonnaise and Greek Yogurt
You can’t have chicken salad without a little bit of mayonnaise. Mixing it with creamy and flavorful Greek yogurt cuts down on fat but preserves all the creamy goodness.
Adding fresh veggies will add color, crunch and volume to the mixture. Diced bell pepper, thinly sliced carrot or even diced apple also work well.
Fresh herbs add the final touches of color and flavor to this recipe. Choose whatever herbs you have on hand. Tarragon has a stronger flavor with hint of anise that goes surprisingly well with chicken, while basil is sweeter and more subtle. For a totally different flavor, experiment with dried spices like in these Curry Chicken Lettuce Cups.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place chicken breasts on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle each piece with a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes (or until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees F on a meat thermometer). Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and remove breast meat from the bone; chop or shred into bite-sized pieces. Transfer chicken to large bowl and add the remaining ingredients and season with 1/4 teaspoon each of kosher salt and black pepper; mix well. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator to chill slightly.
Nutrition Info Per Serving (3/4 cup of chicken salad)
Total Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 1 gram
Protein: 38 grams
Sodium: 225 milligrams
Cholesterol: 100 milligrams
Fiber: 0 grams
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »