Delicious {Reduced Calorie} Chicken Salad

Noble Pig  Delicious Reduced Calorie Chicken Salad
Hey's been a little quiet around here. I've been busy...and not so busy. Sometimes you just need a break. But I've missed you all.

Anyway, how many of you are still eating healthy? The football games and the fabulous foods that go along with them are not helping...I know. But you can do it...get through the Super Bowl that is, without eating too crazy. Remember to have your limits, taste everything and bring something you can munch on without having loads of this chicken salad.

Chicken salad can absolutely be a dip with some lower-calorie crackers. I've done it a million times. Try it!

But my preferred way to eat this salad is on a bed of greens. It is completely satisfying and the greens are almost calorie free.

So the question remains, how do you make chicken salad taste good without mayonnaise? There is a trick!

Noble Pig  Delicious Reduced Calorie Chicken Salad xanthan gum
One of the important factors when it comes to eating healthy and lowering our calorie intakes is the amount of food we get to eat. If you don't plan it right, you will be starving. Learning to increase volume (of food) without adding calories is a huge help when trying to cut back.

The above jar was my secret weapon in this recipe. It allowed me to use a low-calorie ingredient to bind this salad together, while keeping its creamy consistency and adding mouthfeel. By using xanthan gum as a thickener I was able to make this chicken salad mayo-free and still taste delicious. 

One serving of this chicken salad is under 300 calories while the same salad made with mayonnaise was over 600 calories per serving. Isn't that crazy? I love mayonnaise but wow, that's an eye-opener!

I know I have been preaching about having xanthan gum in your kitchen, but seriously you will love it. I use it in all my smoothies, lots of sauces and especially salad dressings. You don't have to heat it like cornstarch, nor does it break down like it either. It's already in almost every product you buy, from toothpaste to cosmetics and almost every prepared food. And it works great.

Without xanthan gum this chicken salad would have been watery. I would have had to add more yogurt (calories) to get the desired creaminess. With the xanthan gum, I increased volume without increasing calorie intake. It's a win-win. And the chicken salad tasted amazing. You will love this recipe.

Noble Pig  Delicious Reduced Calorie Chicken Salad less than 300 calories per serving
A million years ago, even before kids, my husband and I enjoyed chicken salad for Saturday morning breakfast...every weekend.

Before I would even wake up he would be downstairs putting it all together. We used lots of chicken, mayo, celery, green onion and copius amounts of lemon pepper. Toasted "everything" bagels were used as vehicles to get the chicken salad to our mouths. I'm sure we drank several pots of coffee, read the whole paper and discussed it.

It seems impossible there was so much time available for eating and the amount of high-calorie food we were able to take-in without gaining a pound. It's just not that way anymore!! But at least we can enjoy this recipe with much less guilt. I think I might even institute chicken salad Saturdays again.
Noble Pig  Delicious Reduced Calorie Chicken Salad on a bun
With all the calories you've saved, a couple slider buns just might fit into your eating plan.

Print Recipe

Delicious {Reduced Calorie} Chicken Salad

Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for | Serves: 5


  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup nonfat, plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (about 8.5 oz, 250 g) finely chopped leftover rotisserie chicken (white meat)
  • 1 cup (118 g) finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) toasted, slivered almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds


  • Add xanthan gum and water to a mason jar. Shake vigorously. Let it sit, shake again. The xanthan gum will take a bit of shaking before it completely dissolves into the water and will make a thick substance as you see in the picture. Once it is dissolved completely, add the mixture to the Greek yogurt in a large bowl. Add vinegar, sugar, onion powder, poppy seeds, salt, minced onion and pepper to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add chicken, celery, almonds, cherries and sunflower seeds to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 2 hours or longer before serving.
  • Serve on a bed of greens, a bun or use as a dip.
  • Serving size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 285
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Unsaturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Sugar: 16 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Cholesterol: 43 mg

Post a Comment

10 Comments and 2 Replies

  1. I like the addition of dried cherries in this chicken salad. Oh and the fact that it is reduced calorie is awesome!

  2. Linda P. Sullivan 2

    Greek yogurt &/or plain yogurt is the best. In fact, I use the yogurt in some recipes that call for sour cream.

  3. TaraLee 3

    I love your blog. I’ve never made anything from here that didn’t get rave reviews from family and friends. This recipe, however, got me all excited, since I just love chicken salad but cut it out to save calories and cholesterol. I can’t wait to make this, but where do you buy xanthan gum?

    BTW, I was surprised to see an advertisement on here for another winery. Does that mean you endorse them?

    • Cathy 4

      Xanthan gum is available everywhere. I get mine from Amazon but it can be found in the bulk section of grocery stores or the baking aisle or in health food stores. As far as the ads, they are often based on your personal search history, so what you see is different for everyone and has no affiliation with me or this site.

  4. What a creative idea, I am a I big mayonnaise fan too but always have to hold back because of all the fat. Where do you buy the xantham gum from is it in health food shops?

  5. What an awesome trick! I haven’t used xanthan gum but I will have to give it a try!

  6. This is absolutely heaven. And I’d prefer to have this in bun as well.

  7. leslie 9

    Xanthan gum…..I suppose I need to go get some. I soooooo need to lighten up some stuff around here!

  8. Yum! I love the addition of dried cherries. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This looks so creamy and dreamy… I cannot believe this is mayo-free! Brilliant!

  10. Jackie Martin 12

    Not sure how low in calories this is, but, will throw it out there in case someone wants to try it. I can vouch for the fact that though it sounds weird, try it. It is fabulous. When I make chicken salad, I throw in (according to the size salad I am making) a tablespoon or so of peanut butter. You cannot taste the peanut butter, but, it sure does something miraculous to the chicken salad. All I can say is, try it. I have converted many people to my chicken salad before telling them about the peanut butter. Just make sure they are not allergic to peanuts!!


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