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Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches

January 16, 2014Teresa

We love chicken salad. Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches are a wonderful remake of an old favorite. Especially when it’s crunchy from grapes, walnuts, celery, and salad pepper rings or pepperocinis. Yum. Our favorite way to serve chicken salad is on croissants, in pita pockets or in wraps with salad pepper rings.

I am always trying to cut back on processed foods and products with a lot of preservatives, MSG, high fructose corn syrup or sugar. I’m also trying to discover new and healthier ways to prepare my old favorites. To that end, I decided to give my Chicken Salad Sandwiches a makeover.

DISCLAIMER:  In my opinion and observation over the years, Miracle Whip (not mayonnaise or any other product) is the best binding agent for chicken salad. No, I’m not a sales rep for Miracle Whip, I just think it’s the best tasting binder for chicken salad, ham salad, egg salad, and deviled eggs. I’ve tried mayonnaise and it just doesn’t taste as well or work as well. That being said, I tried my chicken salad recipe with grapes and walnuts thrown in. I substituted Greek yogurt for the Miracle Whip this time to see how it would turn out. Can I say, I was less than pleased? 🙁

Greek Yogurt can work as a binding agent but it is NOT a great option for those who really want or need healthier alternatives. Greek yogurt is so bland you may need to increase the spices and flavorings of your chicken salad, too. Because it has a much thinner texture than Miracle Whip it doesn’t hold together quite as well. I.e., you may have to drain off some of the excess liquid if you serve chicken salad the next day. It just breaks down too much in my opinion.

However, Icelandic skyr yogurt is thick like sour cream–maybe even thicker. It is a much better alternative to Greek yogurt. (I absolutely love their Chocolate Coconut Skyr and eat it every day for breakfast!)

Another healthier option is Just Mayo mayonnaise. It does not have the HFCS or other fillers found in Miracle Whip. Yet it is thicker and will help the chicken salad bind together better than plain Greek yogurt or sour cream will.

Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches is a tasty option for those who want and need cleaner, wholesome food options for their family. I always garnish these sandwiches with mild salad pepper rings. (Although sliced pepperocinis will work in a pinch). It provides a little extra zest to amp up the flavors, and adds additional crunch to the chicken salad. The chicken salad itself is gluten free, although the croissants in the pictures are not. Substitute a gluten free bread or wrap for a gluten free meal.

I initially published this recipe in January 2014. I was looking for a healthier option and used Greek yogurt because that’s all that was available at the time. When Icelandic skyr yogurt became available, I decided I needed to try to make this recipe again to see if it would stand up better than Greek yogurt. Oh my! It was SO MUCH BETTER. Even after sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of days, the skyr yogurt did not break down and look like milk at the bottom of the bowl!

I remade Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches (January 2020) for our Sunday night college group. I made half of the batch with the skyr yogurt and the other half with Just Mayo. The kids loved these sandwiches. Most could not tell the difference between the two binding agents. All I can say, is I was thrilled to be able to make my beloved Chicken Salad recipe and have it turn out so well!

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I wolfed down several Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches!

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Icelandic Skyr Yogurt provides a healthier alternative to those who want and need healthier, preservative-free options. Using sliced mild salad pepper rings amps up the flavors of chicken salad tremendously.

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We also like the crunch from the pepper rings or pepperocinis. Yum.

Here’s what I did.

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I used these ingredients. I also made one batch with Just Mayo.

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Shred cooked chicken into fine dice with a food processor, or cut fine with a knife. Kroger sells cooked chicken already pulled off the bone. It’s so much easier than having to cook the chicken ahead of time.

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Add red onion, red bell pepper, celery, red grapes, walnuts and sweet pickle relish.

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Add Icelandic skyr yogurt (NOT Greek yogurt).

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Or add Just Mayo or another brand of mayonnaise without bad oils, HFCS, MSG or other fillers.

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Add just enough Icelandic skyr yogurt or Just Mayo to moisten the chicken mixture. Aim for around one cup. Use more only if you have to in order to get a spreading consistency. Stir ingredients to combine and serve over croissants, in pita pockets, in wraps or on sandwich bread. Garnish with mild salad pepper rings or sliced pepperocinis.

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The mixture didn’t break down even after a couple of days in the refrigerator. I was extremely pleased with the outcome!

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The chicken salad itself is gluten free. Substitute GF bread or wraps to keep this recipe gluten free.

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This healthier option for chicken salad reduces the calories as well as the preservatives and fillers from other products.

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Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches are so delicious. You’ll never regret not using mayo or Miracle Whip in the recipe.

Here’s the recipe.

HEALTHY CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICHES

(Recipe inspired from Martha Swearingen’s Chicken Salad recipe, when we attended Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TX)

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Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches are sensational! Instead of using mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, this recipe uses Icelandic skyr yogurt. It's so much better and thicker than Greek Yogurt. This recipe includes walnuts, red grapes, red bell pepper, celery and red onion. It's crunchy and absolutely delicious when garnished with mild bell pepper rings. Great for tailgating parties. The chicken salad without croissants is gluten free.
Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these amazing #ChickenSalad #sandwiches include #grapes, #walnuts & #IcelandicSkyrYogurt instead of mayonnaise! This healthier version of #ChickenSaladSandwiches is perfect for #tailgating parties or lunches. Our company drooled over them! #healthy #HealthyChickenSaladSandwiches #NoMayonnaiseChickenSalad
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these amazing #ChickenSalad #sandwiches include #grapes, #walnuts & #IcelandicSkyrYogurt instead of mayonnaise! This healthier version of #ChickenSaladSandwiches is perfect for #tailgating parties or lunches. Our company drooled over them! #healthy #HealthyChickenSaladSandwiches #NoMayonnaiseChickenSalad
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Instructions
  1. Put meat in food processor and shred.
  2. Pour into mixing bowl.
  3. Mix with red pepper, onion, celery, relish, grapes, walnuts, salt, pepper and sugar.
  4. Stir in Icelandic skyr yogurt or Just Mayo – start with about ½ cup and add until mixed well.
  5. Don’t put too much or it won’t stick together well.
  6. Spread on sandwich bread and top with salad pepper rings for a delicious sandwich.
  7. Also good stuffed in pita pockets or croissants with salad pepper rings.
Recipe Notes

NOTE: Icelandic skyr yogurt is blander than Miracle Whip. This salad tastes better garnished with pepperocinis, mild pepper rings, or include additional seasonings to increase the flavor.

NOTE: If you're not concerned with healthier options, than I recommend using Miracle Whip or whipped cream.

NOTE: Martha's original recipe uses whipped cream as the binding agent. While higher in calories, it is also an excellent binder for chicken salad.

NOTE: Another healthier mayonnaise option is Just Mayo which doesn't have all the preservatives and HFCS that Miracle Whip has.

NOTE: I prefer grinding the chicken in either a food processor or an immersion blender with the chopper option. It's a lot easier than hand-cutting the chicken into very small dice.

NOTE: Icelandic yogurt is much thicker than Greek yogurt. It is preferred over Greek yogurt as a healthier option.

NOTE: You can use rotisserie chicken or prepackaged or canned chicken. Aim for about 3 to 4 cups of diced chicken.

NOTE: I used about 8 to 10 ounces of Skyr Icelandic yogurt in one batch and 8 to 10 ounces of Just So mayonnaise in the other batch.

© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Amount Per Serving
Calories 193 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 36mg 12%
Sodium 799mg 33%
Potassium 111mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 16g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 13g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 14%
Vitamin C 35%
Calcium 4%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

[b]Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches[/b]
 
Recipe Type: Sandwich/Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Teresa Ambra inspired by Martha Swearingen’s Chicken Salad recipe, when we attended Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TX
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Healthy chicken salad option using Greek yogurt instead of mayo or Miracle Whip. This one has walnuts, red grapes, red bell pepper, celery, and diced red onion. The chicken salad itself is gluten free.
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded in a food processor
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 8-oz. sweet pickle relish (I used a homemade zucchini relish)
  • ½ cup red grapes, halved
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-2 cups [url href=”http://chobani.com/home/” target=”_blank” title=”greek yogurt”]Chobani [/url]Greek yogurt (as little as possible to mix)
Instructions
  1. Put meat in food processor and shred.
  2. Pour into mixing bowl.
  3. Mix with red pepper, onion, celery, relish, grapes, walnuts, salt, pepper and sugar.
  4. Stir in Greek yogurt – start with about ½ cup and add until mixed well.
  5. Don’t put too much or it won’t stick together well.
  6. Spread on sandwich bread and top with salad pepper rings for a delicious sandwich.
  7. Also good stuffed in pita pockets or croissants with salad pepper rings.
 
Notes
Because Greek yogurt is much blander than Miracle Whip you will have to dress this salad up with pepperocinis, mild pepper rings, or add additional seasonings to increase the flavor.[br][br]If you’re not concerned with healthier options, than I recommend using [url href=”http://www.kraftbrands.com/miraclewhip” target=”_blank” title=”miracle whip”]Miracle Whip[/url].[br][br]Martha’s original recipe uses whipped cream as the binding agent. While higher in calories, it is also an excellent binder for chicken salad.
Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these amazing #ChickenSalad #sandwiches include #grapes, #walnuts & #IcelandicSkyrYogurt instead of mayonnaise! This healthier version of #ChickenSaladSandwiches is perfect for #tailgating parties or lunches. Our company drooled over them! #healthy #HealthyChickenSaladSandwiches #NoMayonnaiseChickenSalad

I love the addition of grapes and walnuts in Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches. It provides more flavor (which is needed due to using yogurt). It adds a lot more crunch which is a nice touch too.

Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these amazing #ChickenSalad #sandwiches include #grapes, #walnuts & #IcelandicSkyrYogurt instead of mayonnaise! This healthier version of #ChickenSaladSandwiches is perfect for #tailgating parties or lunches. Our company drooled over them! #healthy #HealthyChickenSaladSandwiches #NoMayonnaiseChickenSalad

Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches provide a tasty way to get your fix of chicken salad.

Healthy Chicken Salad Sandwiches | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | these amazing #ChickenSalad #sandwiches include #grapes, #walnuts & #IcelandicSkyrYogurt instead of mayonnaise! This healthier version of #ChickenSaladSandwiches is perfect for #tailgating parties or lunches. Our company drooled over them! #healthy #HealthyChickenSaladSandwiches #NoMayonnaiseChickenSalad

If you are into clean eating, this is a great alternative. Taste a bite and see what you think! 🙂        

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