chicken salad in bowl

The Ultimate Guide to Counting Calories of Chicken Salad

The major component of chicken salad is often chopped or shredded chicken, which is combined with a binder such as mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, or vinegar-based dressing. Undoubtedly, it is delicious, but you might wonder if chicken salad is healthy because it occasionally contains ingredients with more calories. Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad is full of calories! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad.

Chicken salad can definitely be nutritious. The amount consumed, the ingredients utilized, and the other items it is served with during a meal will determine how nutritious it is. This article examines the health effects of chicken salad, its nutritional value, and some tips for preparing a healthier chicken salad.

Table of Contents

Chicken salad: What is it?

The traditional creamy American-style meal that goes back to the mid-1800s may be the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the phrase “chicken salad.”

Common components in this kind of chicken salad include boiled eggs, celery, apples, grapes, and almonds or nuts. Mayonnaise is often used to hold these ingredients together when they are mixed with cooked chicken.

There are several flavor combinations and components that may be added to chicken salad. With cooked chicken, a dressing, and occasionally additional vegetables, nuts, seeds, or fruit for flavor and crunch, it is typically served cold.

The flavors of peanut, ginger, garlic, chili oil, and rice vinegar, for instance, may be added to chopped chicken and cucumber in a chicken salad to create a Thai-inspired dish. Ensalada de pollo, a typical chicken salad from Mexico, combines chicken with varied vegetables such as beans, maize, and potatoes using sour cream and mayonnaise as a binder.

You may purchase readymade chicken salad at the grocery store, locate it in delis and eateries, or cook your own chicken salad at home.

Chicken salad diet.

Since chicken salad is a great source of lean protein, vitamins, and minerals, it can definitely be included in a healthy meal and a diet in general. How nutritious is chicken salad? It all comes down to the components utilized to manufacture it and how much you consume at once.

Chicken salad’s calories and saturated fat content might be greatly increased by certain elements, such as the kind and quantity of mayo used, which could eventually render the dish less nutrient-dense than it could be.

A serving of chicken salad that is just half a cup, or four ounces, often has 400 calories or more. It’s also often served on bread or in a wrap rather than on a bed of lush greens, despite the word “salad” being in the name.

As an illustration of how the nutritional content of chicken salad changes depending on its components. Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad.

Nutritional information of Chicken Salad.

This table shows all the nutrients in a chicken salad dish and their recommended daily values:

NutrientUnitRecommended Daily ValueAmount per 1 cup (140g) of chicken salad
Total Fatg44-7714
Saturated Fatg< 222.5
Trans Fatg00
Cholesterolmg< 30060
Sodiummg< 2300420
Total Carbohydrateg13010
Dietary Fiberg28-342
Total Sugarsg< 502
Vitamin Amcg RAE700-90037
Vitamin Cmg75-9010
Vitamin Dmcg150.3
Vitamin Emg alpha-TE151
Vitamin Kmcg90-12028
Thiamin (B1)mg1.1-1.20.06
Riboflavin (B2)mg1.1-1.30.15
Niacin (B3)mg NE14-165.5
Vitamin B6mg1.30.3
Folate (B9)mcg DFE400-60030
Vitamin B12mcg2.40.3
Pantothenic Acid (B5)mg51


Note that the exact nutritional content of chicken salad can vary depending on the specific ingredients and recipe used. This table provides general recommended daily values for adults and approximate values for a typical chicken salad.

  • A superb source of lean protein is chicken salad. Even additional nutrient-dense vitamins and minerals are added by way of additions like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. But chicken salad usually has a fair number of calories.

Health Advantages of Chicken Salad.

In addition to being delicious, chicken salad has a lot of additional advantages, such as being quite easy and inexpensive to cook at home. Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad.

But the benefits of chicken salad don’t end there; it also has some notable health advantages.

1. High in protein is chicken salad.

One of the essential nutrients for developing and maintaining bone, muscle, cartilage, and other tissues in your body is protein. Although factors like age, sex, physical activity, and general health status could further increase or decrease those requirements, most adults need to consume 45–65 grams of protein daily.

Therefore, a single serving of chicken salad could fulfill nearly a third of your daily requirements for protein. Protein is necessary for muscular growth and bone health, as well as:

  • Controls hunger.
  • Reduces food cravings and aids in the healing process of your body.

2. Chicken salad is packed with nutrients.

It also has a lot of healthy micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.

Roasted chicken is a very beneficial source of per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving:

  • Niacin is 51% of the DV
  • Phosphorous is 17% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6 is 16% of the DV
  • Selenium is 36% of the DV

As a result, eating chicken salad may enable you to consume the recommended amount of numerous nutrients each day. Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad.

  • A cheap and filling source of lean protein, chicken salad is simple to prepare at home.

The negative aspects of chicken salad

Lean protein, crisp vegetables, nutrient-dense fruits, nuts, and seeds are often the building blocks of a nutritious chicken salad.

Some of the health advantages of the meal may be diminished by eating a lot of chicken salad at once or by using several components with high-calorie content.

1. Potentially calorie-dense.

The preferred emulsifier for chicken salad is often mayonnaise. Despite giving food a creamy, rich texture, it may also increase the amount of calories.

Even though many of the nuts and dried fruits used to make chicken salad are very healthy and full of fiber, good fats, vitamins, and minerals, they also frequently contain more calories than other fruits and vegetables.

The amount of calories in your chicken salad will depend on the components you use as well as what you serve it with.

Serving a chicken salad sandwich on a buttery croissant or a similar product made from refined grains, such as white bread, increases the calorie count without adding much nutritional value. It can be preferable to serve your chicken alongside veggies that are high in nutrients.

2. Food-borne disease danger.

Cooked chicken, fresh vegetables, and the dairy- or egg-based binders that keep the salad together are some of the ingredients that often appear in chicken salad recipes and might result in food poisoning if tainted with specific germs.

In fact, chicken salad in particular has been blamed for outbreaks of Salmonella and Listeria on several occasions. For high-risk persons, listeria and salmonella infections from contaminated foods may result in serious illness, hospitalization, and in rare circumstances, even death.

As a result, care must be used while making, preserving, and serving chicken salad. Salads that are ready to eat must always be kept in the refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) or below and consumed within 3–4 days after opening.

Chicken salad shouldn’t be left out of refrigeration for more than two hours, or for more than one hour if the ambient temperature is 90°F (32°C) or higher, as could be the case during a picnic or potluck gathering, in order to avoid food illness.

Does it aid in losing weight?

Regarding weight loss, chicken salad is a food that has both benefits and drawbacks. Some individuals may find that chicken salad aids in weight loss while others may find it to be a hindrance.

Chicken salad’s protein content can help you feel fuller for longer. Additionally, it might help you control your appetite and food cravings, both of which can aid in weight loss. High protein diets may even be especially beneficial for shedding pounds and keeping them off in the long run, according to several research. Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad.

Even though chicken salad has a lot of protein, eating it by itself won’t have much of an impact on your weight loss. The greatest diet for weight reduction is one that is generally nutritious, fits within your daily calorie requirements, and is high in lean protein, healthy fats, fiber, and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Chicken salad is a simple fit into this diet when consumed in moderation.

How to create a chicken salad that is healthier.

Lean protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals may all be found in a substantial meal that includes chicken salad.

Here are some tips to help you balance your chicken salad’s health benefits with its drawbacks.

1. Maintain a lean protein diet.

Turkey and other fowl are inherently leaner or lower in fat than chicken.

Utilizing chicken that has been broiled, baked, grilled, microwaved, poached, or steam-cooked aids in reducing calorie intake because these cooking techniques frequently call for little additional fat. On the other hand, chicken that has been fried, breaded, canned, or processed often has more fat, salt, and calories per serving. Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad.

2. Select healthier dressing ingredients.

  • Avoiding binders like mayonnaise may help you find a chicken salad with fewer calories.
  • Try using Greek yogurt, avocado, sour cream, Dijon mustard, or vinaigrette dressing as an alternative.
  • Despite the fact that some of these substitutes are likewise high in fat, they are often lower in calories and saturated fat than mayo.

3. Add extra fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients.

In addition to giving chicken salad flavor, crunch, and color, vegetables, nuts, and seeds also contribute significantly to the dish’s nutritional value.

When consumed in moderation, nuts, seeds, and fruits do contribute calories but also provide additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals that make them a nutritious addition. Additionally, this is a good opportunity to experiment with your chicken salad recipe.

The standard components of grapes, celery, apples, and nuts are a fantastic place to start, but you may also want to try fennel, radishes, chickpeas, cucumber, shredded cabbage, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and other things. Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad.

4. Combine it with a dietary fiber-rich food.

On bread or crackers, chicken salad is frequently distributed.

Bread or crackers prepared from processed grains don’t provide much nourishment to your meal, despite the fact that they make delicious carriers for the food. In addition to filling you up more quickly than crackers or a croissant would, choosing whole grain bread with a high fiber content may also provide additional vitamins and minerals.

As opposed to the chicken salad served on bread, chicken salad eaten with lettuce or other salad greens has fewer calories while still being rich in fiber and micronutrients.

  • You can make chicken salad healthier by using lean chicken, a healthier dressing, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and high-fiber foods like lettuce or whole grains.

Recipe for a Healthy Chicken Salad.

My objective with this healthy chicken salad was to keep it as easy as possible so that we could make it at any time. This cold salad dish is savory, protein-packed, and delightful, with a creamy texture, crisp celery, and red onion.

During our Southern California road trip, I stopped at Legoland for a quick lunch of chicken salad. While an 8-ounce serving cost $10 and made my teeth ache from the sodium, it was extremely satisfying in 115-degree heat. Of course, I kept thinking that we could do better.

The same can be said for white chicken chili, mac & cheese, and yellow chicken curry. Homemade food always tastes and nourishes better than restaurant food.

A 1/2 cup portion of traditional chicken salad with mayo includes 310 calories, 25 grams of fat, and 700 milligrams of salt. Yikes! Our low-calorie chicken salad recipe has 145 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 186 grams of sodium. That’s a significant nutritional difference.

By substituting plain Greek yogurt with a touch of mayo for all mayo, you get a healthier chicken salad with real flavor that is also light on your waistline!

Using handmade lean chicken breast instead of store-bought rotisserie chicken also significantly cuts salt. We often forego store-bought in favor of making our own Instant Pot entire chicken.

Why Does This Recipe Work?

1. Genuine flavor.

You keep the original chicken salad flavor by adding a bit of mayo.

2. Ingredients that are in season.

Herbs like parsley and dill offer a lot of flavors that dried herbs don’t have.

3. Easy.

This nutritious chicken salad dish may be ready in 15 minutes if you use leftover chicken.

4. Healthy.

This salad includes just 145 calories and 11 grams of fat, compared to 310 calories and 25 grams of fat in the original!

5. Cost-effective.

I left off the grapes since they are an expensive fruit, and you can use any nuts you have in your cupboard! Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad.

Substitutions & Ingredients.

Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad. This nutritious chicken salad requires just a few basic ingredients.

1. Chicken cooked.

You may use any cooked leftover chicken. Cooking chicken in batches for weekly meal prep becomes a breeze if you have an Instant Pot. If you neglected to defrost the chicken, use this Instant Pot fresh chicken breast recipe instead.

2. Mayonnaise and yogurt.

Regular yogurt provides creaminess while being lower in calories. For a better flavor, I suggest using more than 2% fat. And, in my opinion, a dash of mayonnaise elevates the healthy chicken salad recipe. Purchase organic or avocado oil mayonnaise. A little goes a long way, and you avoid ingesting GMO canola oil, which is often included in “regular” mayonnaise.

3. Red onion with celery.

These vegetables provide crispness and flavor. White or green onions are also acceptable.

4. Nuts.

I used pecans and gently roasted them in a pan to add crunch and flavor. You may use any kind of nut, such as cashews, almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts.

5. Seasonings.

Dijon mustard or prepared mustard? Then add any acid you want, such as white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or lemon juice. Certainly any! Black pepper and salt to taste.

6. Herbs, fresh.

Fresh parsley, dill, basil leaves, or even cilantro offer a lot of flavors while masking the lack of mayo.

Recipe Suggestion.

If you have red or green grapes on hand, add them for a touch of sweetness. As much as I adore grapes, I know they are pricey, therefore I did not add them in the recipe since I wanted to make it simple. Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad.

Chicken, Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, pecans, vinegary, celery, red onion, dijon mustard, and parsley.

How to Make a Delicious Chicken Salad.

The nutrition facts and calories of a chicken salad can inspire individuals to experiment with new flavors, textures, and combinations to enhance their eating experience. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making healthy chicken salad. The entire recipe card with measurements may be seen below.

Cook chicken breasts.

If you don’t have leftover chicken breasts from dinner prep, cook some. Make shredded chicken breast in the Instant Pot or air-fried chicken breast. Baked chicken thighs may be used if you want dark meat.

Toast nuts in a small skillet.

In a small pan over low-medium heat, toast the nuts until aromatic and brownish. You will be able to smell them. Allow to cool before chopping.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

In a large mixing basin, combine all of the following ingredients: Chicken, celery, onion, parsley, yogurt, mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir gently to combine and, if required, adjust the salt to taste.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving since this salad tastes best cold. It’s similar to avocado egg salad or healthy potato salad.

Serving Suggestions.

Want a healthy, filling meal? Chicken salad! This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the nutrition of chicken salad. Prepare the world’s greatest chicken salad and serve it in one of our favorite ways. The sky’s the limit!

1. Sandwiches with healthy chicken salad.

Serve with lettuce between pieces of toast. Like Ezekiel, my favorite bread is sprouted whole-grain bread.

2. Served with salad greens.

Served with lettuce, spinach, or kale leaves. Alternatively, add a scoop to a spinach or lettuce salad recipe.

3. Low carbohydrate.

On Swiss chard or lettuce leaves. Try it with grilled romaine or chicken lettuce wraps!

4. Complete grains.

Serve over quinoa or brown rice, or wrap in a healthy grain tortilla.

5. Salad and soup.

With lentil spinach soup, this is a traditional restaurant pairing.

6. Salads with cold pasta.

Serve with healthy pasta salad or tomato pasta salad as part of a picnic buffet.

7. Served with a veggie platter.

Raw carrots, peppers, snap peas, and cucumber with a nutritious vegetable dip or hummus.

Making Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe Ahead of Time.

Refrigerate leftover healthy chicken salad for up to 5 days. I usually put it in a glass jar or bowl with a tight-fitting plastic top.

Although I have not tried freezing it, I do not believe creamy chicken salad freezes well. It contains a lot of fresh vegetables that will become limp if frozen. But maybe it’s because they’re dipped in mayo and yogurt… Please let me know if you succeed. We almost never have leftovers to freeze.

Bottom line.

  • Chicken salad is a good source of iron and a good source of lean protein.
  • It may also provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, depending on the additional components it includes.
  • However, adding mayonnaise to the salad or serving it on a croissant adds calories and fat.
  • So it’s best to only eat chicken salad on occasion, in moderation, and as part of a healthy diet.


How many calories are in a chicken salad?

A chicken salad’s calorie count might change based on the ingredients and serving size.

How many calories are in a homemade chicken salad?

The precise components and amounts utilized will determine the number of calories in a homemade chicken salad.

Is chicken salad high in calories?

If made with lean chicken and other ingredients, the chicken salad may be a healthy and low-calorie alternative.

How many calories are in 1 cup of homemade chicken salad?

Depending on the recipe, 1 cup of homemade chicken salad might have anywhere between 150 and 300 calories.

How many calories should I consume per day?

Depending on variables including age, gender, exercise level, and weight objectives, there are different daily calorie recommendations. For individualized guidance, it is better to speak with a medical practitioner or qualified dietician.

Is chicken salad good for you?

As it contains a range of veggies and lean protein from the chicken, the chicken salad may be a healthy option. The foods and dressing used will, however, determine how healthy everything is overall.

What is the normal serving size of chicken salad?

The usual serving size for chicken salad is around 1 cup or 150 grams, although this might vary depending on dietary requirements and personal tastes.

How many calories are in a salad at home?

A handmade salad’s calorie count may vary depending on the types of greens, vegetables, protein sources, and dressing utilized.

Will I lose weight if I eat chicken salad every day?

A healthy weight reduction strategy may include chicken salad, but it’s also important to take into account your total calorie consumption, portion sizes, and other lifestyle considerations.

Is a salad good for weight loss?

Salads are often low in calories, rich in fiber, and loaded with nutrients, making them a great choice for weight reduction. However, it’s crucial to pay attention to the number of your portions and your dressing preferences.

Is salad full of calories?

The amount of calories in a salad might change based on the components and dressings that are used. Salads may be a component of a healthy, balanced diet by using nutrient-dense products and controlling portion amounts.

Is mayonnaise good for you?

Due to its high calorie and fat content, mayonnaise should only be eaten seldom. Take into account utilizing healthier substitutes or preparing homemade dressings with better components.

How much chicken per day?

The amount of chicken or other protein sources that should be consumed every day will vary depending on your age, weight, and degree of exercise. It is advisable to adhere to dietary recommendations or seek the advice of a healthcare provider for more specific advice.

How much salad is enough for a meal?

Depending on a person’s tastes and dietary requirements, a meal’s required salad quantity might change. As a general rule, try to choose a serving size that is filling and contains a variety of veggies.

What foods to eat to lose weight?

Lean proteins, fresh produce, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins all belong to a balanced weight reduction diet. For tailored advice, it is preferable to talk to a trained dietician.

Will I lose weight by eating 2 salads a day?

If the salads are well-balanced and portion-controlled, eating two salads a day may help with weight reduction. However, calorie consumption in general and lifestyle choices have an impact on weight reduction.

Does salad reduce belly fat?

A balanced diet that includes salads may help people lose weight overall, which may eventually result in less belly fat. However, it is impossible to reduce fat in particular regions by spot-treating; instead, measures for total weight loss are more successful.

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