Lightened Up Chicken Salad

I’ve been having a serious craving for chicken salad all week long. Which is an odd thing to want to eat in January. Chicken salad is for summer picnics and pool parties. Not for the dead of winter.

But who am I to argue with my stomach. She definitely wears the pants in this relationship. And I don’t want to make her mad.

If you’ve been hanging around these parts for a while, then you probably know that I have a serious aversion to mayonnaise. I avoid it at all costs. But there is always an exception to every rule. And chicken salad is the exception. Well. Sort of.

Because we’re only going to dip our toes in the mayonnaise here. Not dive in head-first. Sorry. Bad analogy.

I replaced half of the mayonnaise in the dressing with non-fat Greek yogurt. It’s lightens things up a bit, without sacrificing any of the “zip”. Celery, apples, red onions and pecans bring the crunch to the party. And lots of fresh lemon juice and tarragon keep things fresh and bright.



Lightened Up Chicken Salad

Yield: Makes about 5 cups

Lightened Up Chicken Salad


  • For the Salad
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

  • For the Dressing
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the salad. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture, tossing until everything is well coated.
  3. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate to chill before serving.
  4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

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