Hands down, this is the best keto chicken salad full of all the delicious textures and flavors- crunchy, creamy, sweet, and satisfying. Even non-keto dieters say it’s their favorite classic salad!
Salads get a boring wrap but not this keto chicken salad. You won’t find any lettuce or filler greens but you WILL be reaching for a second, third, or even fourth serving. I would know because that’s a bad habit of mine.
This keto chicken salad recipe ticks all the boxes and takes minutes to make. It’s perfect served over lettuce as a light lunch or made into a keto sandwich. It’s budget friendly and easy to prepare, and perfect to feed a crowd or family.
Moreover, it’s loaded with delicious textures and flavors. You get the crunch from the almonds and celery and the creaminess from the homemade mayonnaise. You get hints of sweetness from the juicy grapes and the flaked almonds take it to another level!
What I love about this chicken salad is that it’s not reserved for those who follow a keto diet- I brought this to a potluck barbecue a few weeks ago and not one single person there was keto but it was the first dish that everyone polished off!
How to make a keto chicken salad
- Chicken breast– Simply grilled or poached skinless chicken breast that has been chopped into bite-sized pieces.
- Grapes– Red grapes that have been halved. Grapes are slightly higher in carbs than other fruits but the amount used in the entire recipe yields less than 13 grams of carbs (10 grams net carbs) which is less than 2 net carbs per serving!
- Celery– Chopped finely.
- Mayonnaise– Skip the store bought varieties that often contain added sugars and make your own!
- Green onions– Adds a subtle peppery flavor that balances the creaminess of the mayonnaise.
- Flaked almonds– Gives the salad some delicious crunch and textures to the salad.
- Salt and pepper– To taste.
- Dill– Optional, takes the flavor of the salad to another level!
Start by adding the chopped chicken breast, grapes, and celery into a large mixing bowl. Next, add the remaining ingredients and mix well, until completely combined. Transfer onto a serving dish or refrigerate for several hours before serving.
What is the best chicken to use for a salad?
I prefer using poached chicken breast, as it is a blank canvas that works well with any flavors added to it. However, if you prefer, you can use canned chicken (be sure that it is canned in brine or spring water, NOT anything else) or store bought rotisserie chicken.
Flavor and dietary variations
This keto chicken salad is easily customizable. While I love it on its own, here are some fun ways to jazz it up for some variety!
- Add bacon! Fold through half a cup of chopped bacon (pre-cooked and cooled) and sprinkle extra on top before serving.
- Add avocado. Sliced avocado adds extra richness and a boost of fiber and nutrients.
- Make it creamier. Replace half the mayonnaise with softened and whipped cream cheese.
- Add more crunch. Swap out the sliced almonds for roughly chopped walnuts.
- Lower the fat. Instead of using all mayonnaise, sub out half of it with Greek or plain yogurt. Add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Storing, freezing, and make-ahead tips
Keto chicken salad is something I ALWAYS recommend making ahead. This allows the flavors to meld together and stick onto the chicken and celery, making every bite incredible!
- To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: This recipe may be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge the day before serving.
- To make ahead: Prepare the salad up to five hours in advance. This gives all the flavors to mesh well together and still taste fresh!
Is chicken salad keto?
Chicken salad sounds pretty low carb, doesn’t it? I mean, most chicken salads use the same ingredients, like chicken and mayonnaise. However, most store-bought or restaurant varieties are not keto friendly. The mayonnaise they use often contains added sugars and they add plenty of dried fruits and grapes in them (my favorite chicken salad from Starbucks contained around 45 grams of carbs per serving…and there was no bread!).
How to serve chicken salad
Like a traditional chicken salad, here are some delicious keto options to pair the salad with!
- Sandwich– The classic way to enjoy chicken salad, but make it keto! Toast two slices of keto bread and add some fresh tomato slices and lettuce.
- Rolls– Stuff some keto buns or keto rolls with your favorite greens.
- Wraps– Turn it into a wrap by using homemade keto tortillas.
- Over salad– Fill large romaine or iceberg lettuce cups with spoonfuls of chicken salad.
- As a dip– My favorite way! Serve it with some keto crackers or keto tortilla chips.
Keto Chicken Salad (Classic!)
- In a large mixing bowl, add your chicken, grapes, and celery and mix until combined. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until fully combined.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill for two hours.
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