I don’t eat prepared salads. There. I said it.
I don’t like mayonnaise, salad dressing, mustard, sauces, oil and vinegar, sour cream, yogurt, or anything else that is dressing in nature. (Yes, this makes it hard to share salad recipes—and make salads for my family.)
Because of this, I am known to do more of a mini “salad bar” than I am to actually assemble salads. (My family really likes these salad “bars”!)
So when I put a salad at the blog, it has been tested and re-tested by my family. I can’t taste it, after all, to see if it is yummy. So I make the salads over and over until I’m brave enough to share with others.
This one is ready. Hubby gave it two thumbs up. I feel confident enough to take it to a funeral dinner tomorrow. It really is ready.
I still question the dressing-ingredient ratio. I still question the “wetness.” Those things have always eluded me in salads as there might be one coleslaw, for instance, that looks barely dressed while another looks like it is swimming in milk. Seriously. How does that happen?
Thus, I give the option to add more liquid, if desired. You can see in the picture that this salad is neither overly wet nor “lacking dressing dry.” Hopefully, you will think it is….just right!
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- 1 pound cooked chicken, cut into ½-inch cubes (approximately two cups)
- ¾ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup red grapes, halved
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup healthy mayo (or less than one cup and some cream and/or almond milk or a combination of sour cream, mayo, yogurt, and cream/almond milk)
- 1 ½ tsp All-Purpose Seasoning Mix (or 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and a little garlic and onion powders)
- Bulk sugar-free granulated sweetener to taste (1 tsp to 1 TBSP) (Pyureor other)
- Combine mayo, seasonings, and sweetener in small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Taste and adjust according to preferences (i.e. sweeter, thinner, creamier, saltier, etc.).
- Half grapes (or quarter if large) and dice celery finely. Toss all non-dressing ingredients in large bowl.
- Pour dressing over ingredients in larger bowl. Toss until fully coated.
- Taste and adjust if more liquid is needed.
- Makes 10 heaping servings for large buns and/or two full bread slices sandwiches
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Note: I love to have precooked meats (shredded roast beef and chicken in some of their broths and prefried/drained ground meats) in quart bags in my freezer. For the chicken salad, I can just pull out the bag, defrost, drain, and use. I also often cook a few breasts in the crock pot or Instant Pot for recipes needing cubed or shredded chicken. See my post about Shredded Chicken here!
Trim Healthy Mama-Friendly (THM): This can be made into an S or an E carb and fat-wise. If you are a purist who doesn’t ever use grapes in an S setting or sprinkling of almonds in an E setting, then you might not be able to adjust this recipe for either. For non-purists, this can be an S by omitting the grapes or using a tiny bit (cut in tinier pieces to spread throughout salad more). This can be an E by using a combination of light mayo, plain yogurt, and almond milk for the dressing—and by omitting the slivered almonds or just sprinkling in a few to add crunch. Serve in low carb pitas or lettuce boats for S or sprouted bread/buns for E meals.
Family-Friendly (FF): Generally speaking, mixed salads are not considered family-friendly. However, if you start your kids out at young ages eating a variety of foods, including those mixed together in unique ways (grapes and chicken!), they will like far more foods growing up. I wish I had done this!
Very Low Carb (VLC): This can be a very low carb dish by following the THM-friendly instructions for an S dish. Some low carbers never use grapes, even in small amounts. Others might use ten or twenty carbs of grapes in an entire dish, knowing that those carbs are spread out among ten servings or more. You can omit the grapes entirely for a pretty low carb salad that makes you feel like you are eating more than “meat and eggs.”
Store-Bought-Stella (SBS): Fairly straight forward recipe. Store-Bought Stellas, this is a great opportunity to cook a lot of chicken breasts and/or thighs and make this dish and others! (See my Shredded Chicken instructions here.) It is so little work for such large rewards!
Homemade Hannah (HH): Making homemade mayo would make this a more homemade recipe. However, many people consider chicken salad to be a homemade stand by, so many HH’s will love this recipe!
Freezer Cooking (FC): This recipe would not freeze well with the mayo and grapes. I like to get a jump on these types of recipes with my freezer meats though. Check out my Freezer Shredded Chicken post as mentioned above!
Sugar Free (SF): Yes!
Gluten Free (GF): Yes! (Again, assuming that you have the condiments and ingredients this recipe calls for in gluten-free.)
Low Carb Mixes (LCM): This recipe uses my All Purpose Seasoning Mix. Obviously, you can substitute Mrs. Dash or other favorite seasoning blends.
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