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This Yogurt Chicken Salad recipe post is sponsored by Stonyfield, although the content represents my own personal opinion and experience using the product.
Bright and fresh, this yogurt-based chicken apple salad recipe is tart, tangy and savory. Fresh dill, green onions, and green apples give it a zesty flavor, while celery and grapes add crunch. The best part? It’s easy to make and can be served as a main dish or a side salad.
If you’ve been looking for a healthy chicken apple salad recipe that doesn’t use mayo, this recipe is for you! The yogurt not only adds creaminess, but also a boost of protein. And because there’s no mayo, this salad is perfect for picnics and potlucks. Just be sure to keep it chilled until you’re ready to serve.
why you’ll love this chicken salad with apples and celery
- Perfect make-ahead meal. If you’re looking for a healthy lunch option that you can make ahead of time, this chicken apple salad is it. It’s also great for meal prep. Simply divide it into individual containers and store it in the fridge.
- Tangy & Savory. If you’re not a fan of sweet salads, this one is for you. The combination of savory chicken, tart apples, and zesty dressing makes for a salad that’s full of flavor.
- Creamy without the mayo. Whole milk yogurt gives this salad the creaminess you crave without the use of mayo.
- Versatile. Serve this chicken salad as a main dish or side salad. It’s perfect for lunch, dinner, or even a light snack.
Ingredients to make yogurt chicken salad
- Chicken: I like to use grilled or rotisserie chicken for this recipe, but you can also cook your chicken breasts in the air fryer!
- Apples: I prefer to use green apples in this salad because they’re tart and crisp. However, you can use any type of apple you have on hand.
- Yogurt: Instead of using mayonnaise in this salad dressing, try yogurt. I use Organic Plain Whole Milk Stonyfield Yogurt. It has billions of probiotics, but zero artificial flavors, zero artificial sweeteners, and zero preservatives. Yogurt is tart and tangy with a similar texture and color to mayo, so I love swapping it for mayo for a lightened version of a classic salad with less fat and calories. Plus, milk from cows who graze naturally on lush grass gives this yogurt a rich and unique flavor.
- Celery: Celery adds crunch and a touch of sweetness to this salad.
- Dill: Fresh dill is my favorite herb to use in this recipe, but you could also use parsley or chives.
- Green onions: I like to add both the white and green parts of the onion for a little bit more texture.
- Seasonings: Lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper make for a refreshingly light dressing.
RECIPE VIDEO TUTORIAL
How to make yogurt chicken salad
Before you get started, make sure you are using high-quality whole milk yogurt. I love Stonyfield Organic Plain Whole Milk Yogurt. It’s thick, creamy, and has a slightly tangy flavor that’s perfect for this salad.
make the dressing
- In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper.
- Mix until everything is well incorporated.
Combine dressing with chicken
- Add the diced chicken, apple, celery, and green onions to the bowl.
- Gently fold all the ingredients together until the chicken is well coated in the dressing.
Tips for making chicken salad without mayo
- Chop everything small and into a similar size. This really helps to incorporate the flavors well and helps the chicken and vegetables bind to the yogurt. This way, every bite includes all the flavors and textures of the chicken salad.
- Use full-fat plain yogurt. Because we are substituting yogurt for mayonnaise, I recommend using the full-fat yogurt instead of the 2% or low-fat version. It’s really going to make the dressing more thick and creamy with a richer consistency.
- Make it ahead of time. Chicken salad is actually one of those salads that gets better as it sits. The flavors have a chance to meld together, and the dressing really has a chance to coat everything. I recommend making it at least an hour ahead of time, but it will keep in the fridge for up to four days!
- Taste as you go. This is probably the most important tip of all. When you’re making a salad without mayo, it can be easy to under-salt it. Season the dressing to your taste, and don’t be afraid to add a little extra salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed. The flavors should be bright and bold!
popular substitutions & additions
- Add grapes. Traditional chicken salads often include grapes, so feel free to swap the apples for grapes or add the grapes in addition to the apples.
- Add nuts. Walnuts, pecans, or even almonds would be a great addition to this salad. I like to add them right before serving, so they stay nice and crunchy.
- Switch out the dill. If you’re not a fan of dill, you could use parsley or chives instead.
- Use rotisserie chicken. If you’re short on time, you can pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred it to use in this salad. It’s a great shortcut!
how do you serve chicken salad
- In a sandwich. This chicken salad works well nestled between a sliced croissant or two pieces of sandwich bread.
- In a wrap. Try using a large flatbread, tortilla, or pita pocket for your apple chicken salad.
- As a dip. That’s right – you can even serve this chicken salad as a dip with some pita chips.
- On lettuce. I also love serving it with butter lettuce for a lighter option. Or you can use crispy romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce.
how to store chicken salad with apples
You’ll want to store this salad in an airtight container in the fridge.
how long will chicken salad last in the fridge?
Chicken salad will last about four days before the celery and apples start to soften and the salad becomes watery.
Frequently asked questions
I like to use a crisp apple like Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or even Envy apples. You want an apple that won’t turn mushy when it’s chopped and will hold up well in the salad.
Yes, you can definitely make this salad without chicken. Just leave out the chicken and add in an extra apple or some chopped nuts.
No, you don’t have to use yogurt, but I do think it’s the best option. If you don’t have regular yogurt on hand, you could use Greek yogurt.
This chicken apple salad recipe is a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional chicken salad recipes. It uses Stonyfield whole milk yogurt instead of mayo for a bright, creamy chicken salad that’s big on taste. You can serve this salad in a sandwich, wrap, or even as a dip. It’s perfect for a light lunch or picnic! So, next time you’re looking for a chicken salad recipe without mayo, give this one a try! You won’t be disappointed.
More salad recipes:
- Mediterranean Chicken Salad
- Healthy Tuna Salad
- Healthy Egg Salad
- Vegan Macaroni Salad
- Tuna Avocado Salad
- Macaroni Egg Salad
- Avocado Chicken Salad
- Quinoa Avocado Salad
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Yogurt Chicken Salad
- ½ cup plain whole milk Stonyfield yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 2 ½ cups diced chicken breast
- ½ cup finely chopped green apple
- ¼ cup finely chopped celery
- ¼ cup finely chopped green onion both light and dark green parts
- 8 butter lettuce cups or 8 slices of whole wheat bread for serving
- In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper. Fold in the diced chicken, apple, celery, and green onions. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve, scoop a ¼ – ½ cup of the chicken salad into the center of a lettuce cup or spread on top of a slice of bread.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.