This low carb keto chicken salad recipe is easy to follow and quick to prepare. An amazing chicken salad to make as a potluck dish, always very popular. This salad really is a meal on its own and we often eat it as such. Always a hit, whether you are on a special diet or not.
Just mix pieces of chicken, bacon, avocado cubes, some crunchy vegetables, add a creamy dressing and some herbs. Since this delicious salad is low in carbohydrates and high in fats it is very suitable for the ketogenic diet. This keto chicken salad lasts well in the fridge (we often keep it for 3 days) if prepared from fresh ingredients and is great to prepare for a couple of days if you do meal preps. A simple, quick to prepare, low carb, keto chicken salad recipe that tastes fantastic.
If you want to eat a healthy, low carb chicken salad you can just follow this recipe, but if you are on a stringent keto diet we will recommend using only mayo, no yoghurt, and a bit less chicken than directed in the recipe to keep your proteins low, fats high and you in ketosis.
How to Make this keto friendly chicken salad
Shred the cooked chicken, add; bacon, avo, pistachios, olives, onion and celery in a large bowl. Make your keto dressing by mixing Greek yoghurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and whisk together. Cover the chicken salad ingredients with the dressing. Toss the ingredients until well mixed and the chicken is properly coated.
Greek yoghurt is lower in calories and fat, but higher in proteins than mayonnaise. Yoghurt is also a bit higher in carbs than mayonnaise. If you are on a strict keto diet you can decrease the protein and almost eliminate carbs by replacing yogurt with only mayonnaise. If you are counting calories you can go the other way and swap mayo for yoghurt.
Variations in this chicken salad
- The Chicken – The chicken should be juicy, not dry. Poached chicken or roast chicken are good options. Buying a cooked rotisserie chicken is quick, easy and works fine. If you roast yourself it is very important to make sure the chicken is cooked through.
- The Dressing – Mayonnaise and Greek yoghurt have a similar consistency and tangy taste. Yogurt contains about ten times less calories and twenty times less fat than mayonnaise so if you are counting calories replacing the mayonnaise with yoghurt it is a much healthier option. We love replacing mayonnaise with Greek yoghurt. Adding some mustard and some mayo to Greek yoghurt gives you a similar taste to using mayonnaise. On the keto diet, limiting carbs is very important. Greek yoghurt contains considerably more proteins and carbohydrates than mayonnaise, this recipe will still have low enough carbs to be keto. If you are sticking very strictly to a keto diet, using only mayo is an option to cut carbs.
Poaching Chicken Breast Fillets
A great way to quickly cook juicy chicken is by poaching chicken breasts in a pressure cooker.
- Season chicken with salt; place in pressure cooker, add a cup of broth. not boiling these breasts, but rather pressure steaming them to ensure they’re juicy, so you want the breasts to sit above the cooking liquid.
- For chicken breasts that shred easily cook in the pressure cooker according to instructions for 15 minutes on high pressure. Allow pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
Roasting a Chicken
- Choose a good quality free range or organic chicken
- Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before roasting to get to room temp.
- Remove giblets if any present.
- Rub with olive oil, sprinkle salt, parsley, thyme.
- Pre-heat oven to 200C.
- Place chicken in roasting pan.
- Roasting time – 45 minutes per kg, plus 20 minutes
- A small chicken weighs about 1kg, medium 1.70 kg and large chicken 2 kg.
- To keep the chicken moist baste with its own juices every 15 minutes during cooking.
However you prepare your chicken, make sure it is well cooked, with no red or pink color in the meat. Cook a bit longer if you find some pieces not well cooked.
Serving Size for this recipe
The portion size for this recipe is a healthy portion of chicken salad as a side dish for 4 people as can be seen from the image. The salad was prepared as per recipe to serve 4 without scaling.
Recipe Card for Keto Chicken Salad
Keto Chicken Salad
- 400 gram shredded chicken (0.9 lb) cooked
- 110g gram chopped bacon (4oz/ 4 slices) cooked
- 150 gram avocado (1 medium size)
- 100 gram olives (1 cup)
- 75 gram red onion chopped (1/2 medium size onion/2.6oz)
- 50 gram celery (1/2 cup-1 medium to large size stalk)
- 100 gram pistachios
- 110 gram greek yoghurt
- 3 tbsp Mayonnaise (we prefer avocado oil mayo) 45ml
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (about ½ medium sized lemon squeezed)
- 2 tsp mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Shred the cooked chicken using two forks.
- In a bowl make the dressing by stirring together the following dressing ingredients; Greek yoghurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and whisk together.
- Put the chicken in a large bowl, add all ingredients; bacon, avo, olives, onion,celery, pistachios and cover in the mixed dressing ingredients.
- Toss the ingredients until well mixed and the chicken is properly coated.
- Refrigerate for one hour before serving. The salad is more crispy and nice if it is fresh.
Is this chicken salad healthy and keto friendly?
Chicken is healthy and low carb, but high in protein. On a strict keto diet not more than 20% of your meal should be protein. There is about 150g of protein in 500g of chicken breast fillets. If you are on a stringent ketosis diet, I would use less chicken (300g) together with 100% mayonnaise to prepare this salad.
Bacon is not seen as diet food, but since bacon is naturally low in carbs and high in fat it’s a highly popular choice for the keto lifestyle. Bacon is packed with a mix of ‘good’ and bad fats, it is a cured meat and should only be eaten in moderation.
Mayonnaise is a very popular ingredient in the keto diet being high in fat and very low in carbs and protein. Mayo is high in calories, so keep in mind if counting calories. Mayo is a good source of healthy fats, micronutrients, and antioxidants. Mayonnaise is a mix of whole eggs and/or egg yolks, some form of oil (soybean, canola, olive, and avocado are most common), mustard, an acidic component (usually lemon juice or vinegar) and salt.
The best keto-friendly mayonnaise is sugar free. Mayo made with avo oil is usually great for the keto diet. Some cheaper store bought mayo brands are sweetened, but are usually low enough in carbs that they qualify for the keto diet.
Avocado’s are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids (good fats) and are keto friendly, they are also a great source of fibre on the keto diet aiding in digestion.
Plain Greek yogurt is a healthy, high protein ingredient with low enough carb content that it is keto friendly in moderate amounts.
What is the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate high fat diet. By replacing carbohydrates as an energy source with fats your body turns to a metabolic state called ketosis to generate energy.
From the nutrition content of this chicken salad it is clear this recipe creates a high fat, low carb salad that is ideal for the ketogenic diet. The calories from this salad is mainly from fat, with about 7% carbs, you can increase the fat even more and lower the carbs and protein in the salad for the ketogenic diet by replacing the yoghurt with mayonnaise.
The nutrition facts provided in the recipe were calculated with an online nutritional calculator and are approximates.
What did you think of our Keto Chicken Salad?
Did you like this recipe? Please let us know, any comments or suggestions would be appreciated!
Just fabulous! Tasty,beautiful,healthy, marvelous combinations!
Thank you Marete, glad you liked it!