June 6, 2023

Healthy Homemade Chicken Salad

Healthy Chicken Salad is the perfect healthy lunch or snack. Packed with flavor from fresh herbs, dried fruit, crisp veggies, and crunchy nuts, this chicken salad is sure to be a new meal prep staple.

The Best Healthy Homemade Chicken Salad Recipe

Chicken salad is the underrated and undefeated champ of the meal prep games, in my personal opinion. It’s so easy to make (I mean what could be easier than throwing all of your ingredients into a bowl and stirring??) and it’s packed with protein to keep you feeling full which makes it a great option for a healthy lunch or snack. 

This healthy homemade chicken salad recipe is packed with fresh herbs, crunchy celery, nuts, and sweet cranberries. It’s so easy to make at the beginning of the week for a quick and healthy lunch. 

This recipe is Paleo friendly, naturally gluten free, and Whole30 compliant. I know you’ll love it!

Reader Favorite Chicken Salad Recipes

One of the best things about chicken salad is the versatility. With just a few different herbs and spices, you can easily whip up different and unique chicken salad flavors. 

Here are a few of my favorite chicken salads: 

All of these start with the same base of mayo and then add in different veggies, dried fruit, herbs, or spices. Feel free to get creative with your ingredients and come up with a new flavor combination that you love!

chicken salad ingredients

How to Cook Chicken for Chicken Salad

This recipe calls for around three cups of diced chicken breast. One of the most common questions I get is how to make the chicken for chicken salad. There are a couple of different ways you can prepare the chicken for this recipe and they are all great options.

Here are a few great ways to prep the chicken for chicken salad: 

  • Roast bone-in split chicken breasts – this is my favorite way to prep the chicken. I season two bone-in split chicken breasts with salt, pepper, avocado oil, garlic powder, and onion powder and then roast them at 400 degrees for around 40-45 minutes until completely cooked through. Once they have cooled, I remove the skin, pull the meat from the bones, and dice up the meat.
  • Bake boneless skinless chicken breasts – if you have some boneless skinless chicken breasts on hand, this is another great option. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season the breasts with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Once cooled, dice up the meat.
  • Poach boneless skinless chicken breasts – if you prefer, you can poach your chicken breasts in boiling water until they are cooked through. 
  • Use leftover roasted chicken – another great (and easy!) option is just to use leftover chicken from a whole roasted chicken. You could even use a combination of white and dark meat if you like.

chicken salad ingredients in mixing bowl

What are the Main Ingredients in Chicken Salad?

A good chicken salad really only needs a few fresh ingredients to be absolutely delicious. Here are the main ingredients for a flavorful chicken salad.

Shredded or diced chicken: The star of the show, of course! I prefer to use diced chicken breast in all of my chicken salads, but feel free to use dark meat if that’s your thing.

Mayo: A good tasting and high quality mayonnaise is super important for a great chicken salad. When you’re shopping, look for a mayo that is made from a high quality oil. Avoid mayonnaise that’s made from vegetable oil and pick a variety that’s made from avocado or sunflower oil instead. If you need to make this recipe Whole30 compliant, be sure to check the label for added sugar as well!

Fresh Dill: This adds that classic chicken salad flavor. 

Red Onion: Adds a little crunch and so much flavor.

mayo mixture for chicken salad

Optional Flavorful Ingredients to Add to Chicken Salad

If you want to add even more flavor and texture to your chicken salad, adding nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit can really take things to the next level.

Nuts and Seeds: This recipe uses pecans but you could also use sliced almonds, walnuts, or sunflower seeds if you prefer.

Fruit: Fresh or dried fruit helps to add a touch of sweetness to your chicken salad. Try dried cranberries or sliced grapes. If you are using dried fruit and need to keep this recipe Whole30 compliant, be sure to use a variety that is made without added sugar.

Celery: Adds the ultimate crunch and texture.

Herbs: If you want even more flavor try adding in a tablespoon of fresh chives or chopped parsley. 

I Don’t Like Mayonnaise – What Else Can I Use?

If you don’t like mayo you could easily substitute plain Greek yogurt instead. Just make sure that you grab an unflavored, plain Greek yogurt. 

chicken salad over greens in salad

Ways Serve Chicken Salad

There are so many delicious ways to serve chicken salad. Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve it: 

  • Make a salad! Place your chicken salad over a bed of fresh lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers. I love using balsamic vinegar as the dressing!
  • Try making a lettuce wrap with bibb lettuce leaves or even a collard green wrap with fresh collard green leaves.
  • Use your favorite bread to make a traditional sandwich with lettuce and tomato. 

chicken salad sandwiches

How Long Does Chicken Salad Last?

You can store the chicken salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

More Delicious Salad Recipes

I hope you give these Avocado Turkey Burgers a try! They are so easy to make and delicious! If you do give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.


Healthy Homemade Chicken Salad

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 3 cups cooked and diced chicken breast
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • ½ chopped cup chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped dill


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Keywords: healthy chicken salad recipe, chicken salad recipe healthy, healthy chicken salad, paleo chicken salad

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Recipe rating

  1. This has been meal prep GAME CHANGER for me. I’ve made it every Sunday for the last month, including baking the chicken with garlic powder and onion powder as recommended. I find that it lasts me until Friday. I love to have it on sourdough bread with some pesto—delicious recipe.

  2. Oh my wow. I kind of used to really dislike chicken salad but this recipe looked good so I decided to try it out. It’s definitely my new favorite dish. It is packed with so much flavor. I used grapes in lieu of cranberries. I’ll be making this over and over!

  3. Very delicious! Will be a nice change of pace for lunch at work tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Absolutely delicious! Just the right amount of Mayo. It has all the perfect ingredients that make a delicious chicken salad. This is my first time making chicken salad and this recipe is so easy to follow. I suspect it will taste even better tomorrow as the ingredients meld even more. Thank you Ashley!

  5. I’ve made this countless times this summer – it’s my new go-to chicken salad recipe!

  6. What more can I say but DANG. Such a flavor packed recipe. My husband gets so excited whenever I make it and I always have to double the recipe. So good on bread, on a salad with some lemon juice, or plain as a midnight snack 😉 Has become a favorite in our house! Easy recipe to use up extra herbs you have in the fridge too!

    • So happy y’all love this recipe, Sydney! Totally agree with you on the snack front! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  7. This is our go-to lunch served on mixed greens. It’s so flavorful and delicious! Fantastic recipe.

  8. This chicken salad is delicious! I used Greek yogurt as I’m not a fan of mayo. The fresh dill adds such good flavor.

  9. Delicious! Didn’t change a thing and turned out perfect!! Will definitely be making again and again. I cooked bone-in/skin-on chicken breasts dry in the crock pot and the meat was tender and juicy and made this a snap to prepare.

  10. So delicious! Made it exactly as written except subbed walnuts. I love how easy it was, and now I have lunches prepared for the week. Thank you!

  11. Made this today to have on hand for lunch this week and it was delicious! My mom is a chicken salad connoisseur and she thought this recipe was delicious. Love it!

  12. Loved this! I’m a big fan of chicken salad and this recipe was a classic. Swapped the dried cranberries for grapes, kept everything else the same. Sauce was perfect!

  13. This makes a great lightened up lunch! Plain, non-fat greek yogurt makes a great sub for the mayo, and the dill is a nice touch. I served as an open faced sandwich on toasted bread with a bed of spring mix. Can’t wait to try your other chicken salad recipes!

  14. This chicken salad is DELISH! Currently eating it on Simple Mills crackers for lunch. This is definitely going to be a summer staple in our house. Easy to make, fresh, and healthy!

  15. Love this simple, delicious recipe! I really loved the options for different ingredients and ways to enjoy it!

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