This Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad with Avocado is one of my favorite quick healthy lunches to make throughout the week. It’s so rich and creamy that you won’t believe you’re eating a healthy chicken salad without mayo!
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Classic chicken salad is always a favorite of mine. It’s excellent as a high-protein snack with crackers and veggies or rolled up into a wrap for a quick lunch.
The problem with a traditional chicken salad recipe is that it’s loaded with mayonnaise. One tablespoon of mayonnaise is 100 calories and countless grams of fat. Some chicken salad recipes call for at least ½ cup or more—yikes! As you can imagine, this can be an issue for those trying to be healthy.
Thankfully, I discovered a solution.
Plain Greek yogurt and a ripe avocado mashed together and mixed with chopped or shredded chicken breast. Who knew a no mayo chicken salad could be so good?! It’s also delicious in this healthy tuna salad recipe.
Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe
- Low fat and low cholesterol. Swapping in Greek yogurt for mayo makes this a hearty, healthy chicken salad recipe.
- High protein. Depending on the brand, ½ cup of Greek yogurt adds 12-15 grams of protein!
- Not too heavy. Mayo-based salads tend to sit like a rock in your stomach. Using Greek yogurt keeps the salad light while still filling you up.
- Easy to make. After you cook the chicken, all other ingredients come together quickly in one bowl.
- Great way to use leftover chicken. This chicken salad recipe can use shredded chicken, chopped baked chicken breasts, or rotisserie chicken.
- Meal prep. I love making this 2-3 days ahead of time for a quick lunch or snack during the week.
- Greek yogurt. I like to use a whole fat plain greek yogurt; this provides that creamy texture you expect from mayonnaise. My favorite brand to use is Chobani.
- Avocado. Many greek yogurt chicken salad recipes don’t call for avocado, but I think it balances out the tang of the Greek yogurt and adds extra creaminess. It also adds good fat, fiber, and protein. Learn to freeze avocados to have ready for this recipe and others.
- Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper are my go-to spices for flavoring this salad.
- Red onion and celery give the salad a crunchy texture and fresh flavor.
- Shredded chicken or chopped chicken breast works great in this salad.
- Fresh lime or lemon juice serves a couple of purposes in this avocado chicken recipe with greek yogurt. First, it adds freshness. Second, it keeps the avocado from turning brown.
How to Make Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- If you haven’t already, cook the chicken breasts for the salad. The chicken should be completely cool before adding it to the other Greek yogurt chicken salad ingredients.
- Then get all of your ingredients together. This recipe comes together fast when everything is ready to go.
- Use a large bowll to mix the mashed avocado, greek yogurt, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Doing this step first helps blend the avocado and greek yogurt to get a creamy consistency. I also like to taste seasoning before adding the chicken and other ingredients.
- Add chicken, red onion, and celery to the avocado mixture and stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Squeeze the lime juice into the chicken mixture. Give it a taste, squeeze in the rest of the lime if needed—taste for salt and pepper.
Once you have your healthy Greek yogurt chicken salad recipe made, you may be wondering what to eat it with. Of course, you can eat it traditionally as a sandwich between two slices of bread, but here are a few other options:
- In a low-carb wrap.
- On a bed of lettuce.
- In a lettuce wrap.
- In a pita pocket.
- Stuffed into a tomato.
- As a dip for raw veggies.
- With some veggie chips.
You can sit and eat this Greek yogurt chicken salad with a spoon, too – it’s that good!
Use a ripe avocado. A ripe avocado will blend best with the greek yogurt to create the chicken salad base.
There are three ways to tell if an avocado is ripe.
- The skin color is dark green to black. A bright green avocado won’t be ripe.
- The skin will be bumpy.
- You can gently squeeze the avocado without it feeling mushy.
There are different ways to prepare the chicken – Cooking the chicken is the longest part of this recipe.
Here are the cooking options:
In the oven – Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the chicken breast onto the sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the chicken breast cool completely before cutting into chunks.
Poached on the stove – Place chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water by 1-2 inches. If you are poaching more than two chicken breasts, I recommend using a large pot or dutch oven – you don’t want to crowd the pot.
Bring the water to a boil and then let it simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees for the chicken to be considered done.
Remove the chicken and place it onto a cutting board. Please note the chicken will hot. After it cools, cut into small pieces or shred.
In a Slow Cooker – Place 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast in 2 cups broth with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Cook for 4-5 hours on low. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred. I often make large batches of crock pot shredded chicken to use in various recipes throughout the week.
If you don’t feel like cooking, then use a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
How to shred chicken?
There are two ways I shred chicken breasts:
- For smaller pieces, I’ll use my hand mixer.
- For thicker pieces, I’ll shred using my hands or a couple of forks.
Using chopped or shredded chicken will create different textures to the Greek yogurt chicken salad recipe – it all depends on your preference or what you have on hand.
There are many ways to switch up this greek yogurt chicken salad.
- This salad is great with leftover turkey; use the same amount of chopped turkey and keep the rest of the recipe the same. If you want to use canned tuna, then check out this healthy tuna salad recipe. Or this healthy egg salad recipe is good too.
- Leave out the avocado. The avocado adds to the creamy texture and, in my opinion, helps the salad taste more like a mayo-based recipe. However, if you don’t like avocado, leave it out and add ½ cup of Greek Yogurt instead.
- Add fresh fruit. Red grapes or green apples are classic chicken salad ingredients and are delicious in this healthy version.
- Add dried fruit. Dried cranberries are my favorite stir into this recipe but use any of your favorites.
- Add nuts. Walnuts, pecans, and sliced almonds are all delicious!
- Use fresh herbs. Fresh dill is scrumptious! Fresh parsley is nice too.
- Give it a Greek flair by adding in some feta cheese and oregano.
- If you like spice, add in some chipotle seasoning and cilantro. Or stir in a little dijon mustard for tang.
- For more crunch add more red onion, or try a favorite crunchy veggie like carrots or jicama.
This chicken salad with yogurt recipe can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you’re going to keep it the maximum time, I recommend adding the total amount of lime juice to prevent the avocado from browning.
You cannot freeze this recipe, but you can freeze the cooked shredded or chopped chicken ahead of time. I recommend freezing it into portions so it’s ready to use in this healthy chicken salad recipe.
Greek yogurt has fewer calories and fat than mayo, so, yes, it’s the healthier choice.
While it’s not the exact consistency and does have a tangier flavor, it’s a great substitute for mayo. Most people can’t even tell the difference.
Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Large mixing bowl
- Cutting board to chop the chicken
- Hand mixer to shred the chicken
- 1/2 cup mashed ripe avocado 1-2 avocados, depending on the size
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt this is equal to a 5.3 ounce container
- ½ teaspoon garlic granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 2 cups chopped chicken breast This is about 2 chicken breasts. See notes for cooking the chicken breast.
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- Juice of a half of a lime
- In a medium bowl mix together the mashed avocado, greek yogurt, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Add the chicken, red onion, and celery to the avocado mixture and stir until all ingredients are combined.
- Squeeze in lime juice. Give it a taste, squeeze in the rest of the lime if needed. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Enjoy in a wrap, pita, or on a bed of greens.
Have you tried this Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad recipe? If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny. I can’t wait to see it!