yummy chicken salad in a bowl

Healthy Chicken Salad 

If you had gone astray with your food choices lately, then this healthy chicken salad can help you get back on track.  The salad has a refreshing combination of ingredients that can satisfy your taste buds while giving you all the nutrition. Packed with lean protein from chicken, this full-flavored salad with fresh and bright tangs can please your family and friends wherever you serve it.

Sweet, tangy, and crunchy, this salad is full of delicious flavor while being super simple to make. You can make this low-calorie salad within half an hour for a quick lunch.  With the right balance of fat, protein, and fiber, this healthier version of the traditional chicken salad is just perfect. What’s more, it has only half the fat of the traditional one but is filling and satisfying just like the former. The salad is also a great way to get kids to eat nutrient-rich foods. So make sure to include this salad in your weekly rotation.

serve chicken salad with sandwich

This complete meal in a bowl is an excellent fare that can be prepared ahead of time. Crisp celery, dried sweet cranberries, juicy grapes, and crunchy almonds give it a perfect balance. Furthermore, the Dijon mustard lends a depth of flavor and spice along with the savory flavor of the green onion all of which make the taste even better.

In sum, the salad ended up with level after level of flavor with each addition. Give the salad time, and it tastes even better the next day as it sits and the flavors meld together. On top, the recipe is incredibly versatile since you can add your choice of vegetables to it. To boot, the fare has so many different flavors and texture in it, that you won’t even miss the heavy dressing of the classic salad!

How to Make Healthy Chicken Salad 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Almonds, sliced
  • 3 cups Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • ¾ cup Celery, diced
  • Salt & Pepper, as needed
  • 1 cup Red Grapes, seedless & sliced into halves
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice, fresh
  • ½ cup Cranberries, dried
  • ¾ cup Ranch Dressing, reduced-fat  
  • 2 tbsp. Green Onion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. White Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Tarragon, chopped, optional

Method of Preparation

  1. First, place the shredded chicken in a large mixing bowl, and to this, stir in celery, cranberries, grapes, green onion, white vinegar, and almond. Keep it aside. Tip: To shred the chicken easily, you can place it in the food processor and use the paddle attachment for 35 seconds
  2. In the meantime, mix the ranch dressing, Dijon mustard, pepper, lemon juice, and salt in another bowl. Whisk it well.
  3. Then, spoon in the dressing over the salad. Toss well and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed. You can garnish it with tarragon if desired.
  4. Serve immediately or you can chill the salad in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Enjoy.

Nutritional Information per calories

  • Calories: 260Kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 7.2g
  • Proteins: 11.2g
  • Fat: 21.1g
  • Sodium: 156.6mg

Storage: Do not keep the salad at room temperature for more than three hours. But then, the chicken salad stays good for up to five days in the refrigerator when kept in an air-tight container.

If you are using the lettuce to wrap up just before serving, then you can make them ahead. Otherwise, the lettuce might lose its crunchy factor and become wilty. Also, the salad doesn’t taste good once kept in the freezer as the veggies will go limp.

Healthy Chicken Salad Tips

  • You can serve the salad on its own or stuff it in toasted bread as a superb sandwich.
  • Another way would be to turn it into a wrap by using tortillas. But then, if you are looking for a low carb option, you can wrap it in lettuce.
  • On the other hand, if you are looking for a complete meal, then you can serve it with quinoa or brown rice.
  • The salad can also be served as a dip with crackers or chips.
  • Instead of using rotisserie chicken, you can use poached or grilled or baked whatever chicken you have. Just make sure it is boneless & skinless.
  • If you would improve on their flavor, you can toast the almonds. Allow the almonds to cool completely to room temperature before using.
close up chicken salad
  • Another optional ingredient is the addition of cilantro or parsley instead of tarragon.
  • Instead of shredding the chicken, you can also chop it up.
  • If you desire, you can add more greens like spinach and kale.
  • For a bit of spice, you can either add less than a teaspoon of either curry powder or garlic powder.
  • To jerk up the dressing, you can use smoked paprika for a smoky flavor.
  • To increase the protein content more, you can add a hard-boiled egg.
  • For additional flavor ideas, you can use fresh corn or diced avocado to the salad.
  • If you do not like the flavor of Dijon mustard, you can skip it.

Healthy Chicken Salad FAQ 

For best results, follow the recipe as it is. However, some common substitutes would work well in this recipe. They are:

  • Instead of dried cranberries, you can use dried cherries.
  • Instead of ranch dressing, you can use Greek yogurt.
  • Instead of almonds, you can use pecans or cashews, or walnuts.
  • Instead of green onion, you can use white onion.
  • Instead of Dijon mustard, you can use spicy brown mustard.
healthy chicken salad in a bowl

Healthy Chicken Salad

Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 260 kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Food processor

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup Almonds sliced
  • 3 cups Rotisserie Chicken shredded
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • ¾ cup Celery diced
  • Salt & Pepper as needed
  • 1 cup Red Grapes seedless & sliced into halves
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice fresh
  • ½ cup Cranberries dried
  • ¾ cup Ranch Dressing reduced-fat  
  • 2 tbsp. Green Onion chopped
  • ¼ tsp. White Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Tarragon chopped, optional

Instructions
 

  • First, place the shredded chicken in a large mixing bowl, and to this, stir in celery, cranberries, grapes, green onion, white vinegar, and almond. Keep it aside. Tip: To shred the chicken easily, you can place it in the food processor and use the paddle attachment for 35 seconds
  • In the meantime, mix the ranch dressing, Dijon mustard, pepper, lemon juice, and salt in another bowl. Whisk it well.
  • Then, spoon in the dressing over the salad. Toss well and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed. You can garnish it with tarragon if desired.
  • Serve immediately or you can chill the salad in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Enjoy.
Terry Reece
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