If you’re not a fan of mayonnaise and celery in your chicken salad, try this no-mayo salad instead. It’s made with olive oil, and it’s delicious!
I really like classic chicken salad. I like the creamy mayonnaise-based sauce, the crunch from the celery. But not everyone likes the classic recipe and many people don’t want mayonnaise in their salad – not even avocado oil-based mayo.
If you’re one of them, or just feel like trying something new, this no-mayo chicken salad, made with olive oil, is perfect for you.
A tasty variation on the classic salad
The medley of textures and flavors in this delicious salad is exquisite. Instead of mayonnaise, the dressing is based on olive oil and red wine vinegar. With olives and crumbled feta cheese, this is a unique, fresh-tasting salad.
The ingredients you’ll need
Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to make this tasty salad (the exact measurements are included in the recipe card below):
Olive oil: I like to use extra-virgin olive oil. But if you prefer a light and fruity olive oil, that should be fine too.
Red wine vinegar: white wine vinegar also works. But I don’t recommend using distilled white vinegar. It’s harsh and acidic.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the salad could end up too salty.
Red onion: Make sure it’s finely minced – no one wants to bite into a large chunk of raw onion.
Pitted olives: black, green, or a mix of both. Whatever you like and enjoy!
Cooked chicken: I normally use chicken breasts. Rotisserie chicken works too.
Feta: Crumble it yourself or buy it already crumbled.
Cilantro: If you’re not a fan of cilantro, fresh chopped parsley is also good.
Shredded lettuce: I use it as a bed for the salad.
How to make no-mayo chicken salad
It’s easy! The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. Bake your chicken breasts, then cool and cube them.
2. Prepare the dressing: In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
3. Add the onions, olives, chicken, feta, and cilantro to the bowl with the dressing. Toss gently to combine.
4. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce or mix the salad into the lettuce.
How to serve this salad
Served on a bed of shredded lettuce, no-mayo chicken salad is the perfect lunch. But sometimes, on hot summer nights when I don’t feel like cooking, I serve it for dinner. No one complains!
Since it’s a full meal, there’s really no need to serve it with anything on the side. But if you wish, you can serve it with some toasted and buttered almond flour bread. You can also stuff the salad in lettuce wraps.
What about leftovers?
With the exception of the lettuce, you can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Give them a good mix before serving them.
More tasty chicken salads
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No-Mayo Chicken Salad
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1/4 cup red onion minced
- 1/2 cup olives pitted, green or black (or a mix)
- 2 cooked chicken breasts medium, cubed
- 1/4 cup feta crumbled
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 6 cups lettuce shredded
- Prepare the dressing: In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper.
- Add the onions, olives, chicken, feta, and cilantro to the bowl with the dressing. Toss gently to combine.
- Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce or mix the salad into the lettuce.