This Chicken Salad recipe is super easy to make with leftover cooked or rotisserie chicken, celery, compliant mayo, red onion, sliced almonds and lemon juice. Takes less than 10 minutes for the perfect healthy light lunch or snack. It’s low carb, paleo, keto and Whole30 compliant.
EASY LUNCH RECIPES
They are one of the easiest meals you can make in no time at all.
WHERE DID CHICKEN SALAD ORIGINATE?
There are quite a few variations when it comes to this popular summer picnic and potluck recipe.
Chicken Salad is a popular go-to recipe in North America and Europe since it’s the perfect healthy lunch or light dinner. It’s also a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken.
This easy salad recipe takes just a few minutes to make using simple pantry ingredients.
I love how easy this recipe is to customize and all you need is less than 10 minutes of hands on time. You can keep it as simple as you like with a classic chicken salad or dress it up with your favorite mix-ins.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:
Here are a few key ingredients and tips when it comes to making the best chicken salad:
- cooked chicken – you can use any leftover grilled chicken, slow cooker shredded chicken, poached or instant pot chicken or for even easier prep, pick up your favorite store-bought rotisserie chicken
- diced celery
- finely chopped red onion
- Whole30 Compliant Mayonnaise – homemade or this store-bought brand is our favorite – if you’re not a fan of mayo, you can also mash in a very ripe avocado or use plain Greek yogurt (if not Whole30, paleo or keto)
- Dijon mustard
- half a medium avocado or 1 small avocado, cut into chunks – optional – leave out for a traditional chicken salad recipe
- fresh lemon juice
- fresh herbs – I used chopped parsley
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- sliced almonds, chopped pecans, walnuts or cashews
- sliced green onion
- sweet relish pickle
- sliced cherry tomatoes
- chopped hard-boiled eggs
- your favorite spices or seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, curry, cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
IF NOT LOW CARB:
- dried cranberry / craisins for a touch of sweetness
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SALAD
- SHRED OR CHOP CHICKEN: Add chicken to a large bowl and shred with two forks or chop on a cutting board. Another great way to shred chicken is using your stand mixer.
- PREP THE VEGGIES: Chop the onion, celery, parsley and avocado.
- COMBINE INGREDIENTS: Add the chicken, mayo, Dijon, chopped veggies, fresh lemon, salt and pepper to a large bowl and use a fork or spoon to mash, toss and combine.
- SEASON: Taste and adjust seasonings by adding more salt, black pepper and Dijon mustard to taste.
- ENJOY RIGHT AWAY: You can eat it straight out of the bowl or chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- TO CHILL IN THE FRIDGE: Cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container with a lid and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 3 days.
- SERVE: Serve over a salad, in lettuce wraps and stuffed in avocados. For those that don’t have any dietary concerns, you can serve as a casserole, in pasta salads or in a sandwich.
CAN I MAKE THIS SALAD RECIPE WITHOUT MAYO?
Yes! You can leave out the mayo and add more ripe avocado or sub with Greek yogurt if not low carb, Keto or paleo.
HOW LONG DOES THIS SALAD LAST?
One batch of this easy lunch recipe should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Be sure not to leave shredded chicken salad with mayonnaise out on the counter at room temperature too long – it’s best to store any unused portions within 4 hours.
SO CAN YOU FREEZE CHICKEN SALAD?
Salad recipes with mayo should not be frozen due to oil separation resulting in a soggy texture.
WHY WE LOVE THIS HEALTHY LUNCH RECIPE:
- it’s super easy to make in less than 10 minutes using one bowl
- uses simple pantry ingredients
- low carb, paleo, keto and Whole30 compliant
- a light and refreshing lunch or dinner for summer
- a great make-ahead recipe that works for meal prep
HOW MANY CARBS ARE IN THIS HEALTHY CHICKEN SALAD?
The great thing about a this Whole30 lunch recipe is that it is low in carbs and high in protein and fat so the macros fit perfectly if you’re on a keto diet.
Nutritional info for 1 serving of this Paleo chicken lunch recipe:
- 404 calories
- 2g carbs
- 19g protein
- 35g fat
- 1g fiber
- 1g sugar
CAN I USE CANNED CHICKEN?
Yes, you’re going to need three 5-ounce cans of premium chunk drained chicken breast in water.
DOES CANNED CHICKEN HAVE CARBS?
For a 1/4 cup serving size of drained chicken breast in water, the macros are:
- 60 calories
- 13g protein
- 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugar
- 1g fat
DIFFERENT WAYS TO SERVE THIS RECIPE:
Variations and other delicious ways you can serve :
- Whole30 chicken salad with egg
- keto chicken lettuce wraps
- paleo chicken salad stuffed avocado
- serve with lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes
- classic chicken salad sandwich that you can make using your favorite keto bread, low carb pita or a regular croissant
- creamy chicken macaroni salad that you can pack for lunch to go on picnics or meal prep for work
- make a Chinese chicken salad
- simple chicken casserole for an easy Sunday night dinner
- easy chicken pasta salad for summer barbecues, potlucks and parties
More easy low carb salad recipes:
This Chicken Salad recipe is super easy to make with rotisserie chicken, celery, compliant mayo, red onion, sliced almonds and lemon juice. Takes less than 10 minutes for the perfect healthy light lunch or snack. It's low carb, paleo, keto and Whole30 compliant.
- 2 cups cooked chicken , chopped (leftover or rotisserie)
- 1/4 cup celery , diced
- 1 tablespoon red onion , finely chopped
- 1/2 ripe avocado , cut into small chunks,
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley , chopped
- 2/3 cup Keto / Whole30 compliant mayonnaise , homemade or Primal Kitchen (can also sub with Greek yogurt if not Whole30, Paleo or keto)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- fine sea salt or pink salt and freshly cracked black pepper , to taste
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds , optional
SHRED OR CHOP CHICKEN: Add chicken to a large bowl and shred with two forks or chop on a cutting board. You can also use your stand mixer to shred the chicken on medium.
PREP THE VEGGIES: Chop the onion, celery, parsley and avocado.
COMBINE INGREDIENTS: Add the chicken, chopped veggies, mayo, Dijon, fresh lemon, salt and black pepper to a large bowl and use a fork or spoon to toss and combine. Fold in almond, if using.
SEASON: Taste and adjust seasonings by adding more salt, pepper and Dijon mustard to taste.
ENJOY RIGHT AWAY: You can eat it straight out of the bowl or chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
TO CHILL IN THE FRIDGE: Cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container with a lid and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 3 days.
SERVE: Serve over a salad, in lettuce wraps or stuffed in avocados for a Whole30, Paleo or Low Carb version.
FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT HAVE DIETARY CONCERNS: Make chicken salad sandwiches using your favorite croissants or keto bread.