Chicken salad is one of those recipes where it's very easy to make a keto version. Its main ingredients are all low-carb. As long as you don't add grapes, you're good! And it will only take you 15 minutes to make.
One of my favorite uses for cooked chicken is this tasty salad. I make it often for lunch, and I also make it when we go on a picnic. It's wonderfully flavorful, and it keeps well in the fridge for several days.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make a keto chicken salad. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Cooked chicken: I use diced cooked chicken breast. Rotisserie chicken works too - just make sure to remove the skin.
Diced red onion: White or yellow onions would be a bit too sharp, but green onions are a good alternative.
Chopped cilantro: If you're not a fan of cilantro, you can use parsley instead.
Crumbled feta cheese: I'm lazy so I buy it crumbled. But it's not difficult to crumble (or dice) it yourself.
Mayonnaise: I prefer avocado oil mayonnaise. Sir Kensington's is a good brand.
Dijon mustard: This traditional French mustard is creamier, thicker, and less vinegary than yellow mustard.
Fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed has the best flavor.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the salad could end up too salty.
How to make a low-carb chicken salad? It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Add the chicken, red onion, cilantro, and feta to a medium bowl. Gently mix them together.
Now, make the dressing. Simply whisk together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, minced fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.
The final step is to mix the dressing into the salad. That's it! I told you it was easy!
Expert tip: let it rest
While you can certainly serve this salad as soon as it's ready, I like to let it rest for just a little while (15 minutes or so) at room temperature, allowing the wonderful flavors to meld. I then stir it again before serving.
Frequently asked questions
Easy! Simply add an extra spoonful of a creamy ingredient such as mayonnaise, sour cream, or even Greek yogurt. You can also add a tablespoon of olive oil.
The water is released when salt is added. It draws moisture from the other ingredients. In the ratios used here, there's actually very little risk of this happening. But if you store the salad overnight and it seems too watery even after you've mixed it again, simply add a spoonful of mayonnaise, sour cream, or olive oil.
Yes. You can make it a few hours before you plan on serving it, cover, and store it in the fridge. Mix it again before serving.
Variations and substitutions
This is obviously a basic recipe, and you should feel free to add to it as you like. Celery is obvious - about ¼ cup, chopped, adds a nice crunch. Other welcome additions are ½ avocado, cubed, for flavor and creaminess, grated or diced hard-boiled egg, and chopped bacon.
You can replace the mayonnaise with sour cream if you prefer. Whole milk Greek yogurt is also good in this recipe, but not as good as mayonnaise or sour cream. It's a bit too tangy, I think.
A tasty lunch staple, I usually serve this salad on a bed of shredded lettuce. It's also very good on 90-second bread, on a low carb English muffin, or in a lettuce sandwich. Of course, there's no law that says you can't simply serve it on a plate and eat with a knife and fork!
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Give them a gentle stir before serving them.
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15-Minute Keto Chicken Salad
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast diced (10 oz)*
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- ¼ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a medium bowl, mix the chicken breast cubes, red onion, cilantro and feta.
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, minced garlic, kosher salt and black pepper.
- Pour the dressing on the chicken salad and mix well to combine. Serve immediately, or chill for an hour to allow flavors to meld.