Who doesn’t love classic chicken salad? It screams spring time, light and fresh! But too often chicken salads are far from light as most recipes call for full-calorie mayonnaise, cream cheese or sour cream. I find that an easy transition to reduced-calorie mayonnaise, especially the olive oil-based type along with a spoonful or two of plain Greek yogurt, takes the guilt out of eating this otherwise very healthful dish.
Chicken salad is yours to experiment with. Traditional chicken salad calls for celery and onion, but from there it’s your call as to what to add. I love adding apples, pineapple, grapes or avocado. I season with Herbes de Provence but you could just as easily use curry or thyme or summer savory to name a few. I know others who add olives (black or green) and red bell peppers rather than the pimentos I use here. How about a little crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese? Or you could add dried cranberries and feta cheese. YUM!
I like to serve on a bed of lettuce topped with sliced toasted almonds which you can buy in your produce aisles near the bagged salads. But then again, how about toasted cashews or sunflower seeds? The chicken salad combinations are endless. I hope you enjoy this version, but the next time you make it I bet it will be completely different.
- Classic Chicken Salad Done Light
- 1/2 cup diced apple
- 1/3 cup diced celery
- 2 Tbsp sliced green onion
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (2-ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
- Green or red lettuce leaves
- Toasted sliced almonds
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Arrange lettuce leaves on platter. Spoon chicken salad on top and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Nutritional values per serving (6 servings) 211 calories, 6 grams carbohydrates, 10.5 grams fat, 24.5 grams protein