New This Month

Under 30 Minutes

Lighter Chicken Salad


Try our creamy, not-too-heavy rendition of an American lunch standby.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Source: Everyday Food, June 2008


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Bring 1 inch salted water to a boil in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add chicken, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 5 minutes. Off heat, let chicken (still covered) steam until cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from skillet; when cool enough, cut into chunks or shred with 2 forks.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Stir in chicken, celery, onion, and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Serve on bread or over greens.

Cook's Notes

To store, refrigerate up to 3 days. For richness with fewer calories, use a mix of light mayo and low-fat buttermilk. To boost flavor, add mustard, hot sauce, and lemon juice, plus onion and celery.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Kevin89
    5 JAN, 2014
    I skipped the buttermilk and cooked chxn breats in a crock pot on low for a few hours. Overall great chxn salad.
  • Kelley Hoffman
    7 JUL, 2013
    I was looking for a "lighter" version of chicken salad, and this recipe is absolutely delicious. You would never know it's lower-fat. I followed the recipe exactly, except I bought a rotisserie chicken, removed the skin, and shredded the breasts, which were wonderfully juicy and made an excellent chicken salad and the dish was so quick to prepare! I served this over diced avocado for a decadent and healthy lunch. Definitely a keeper...and I will be serving this at a party soon!
  • MS11604812
    9 SEP, 2010
    Just made this, and it tastes delicious! However, the sauce part was a bit runny, and it was hard to keep the salad on the bread. What could make the sauce part a bit thicker? Maybe subbing out plain, non-fat yogurt for the buttermilk?
  • MemphisJ
    27 JUN, 2010
    Made this (mostly) tonight. Have never prepped the chicken this way - simmering for 5 then "steaming". Was great, chicken was not over done, not tough or dry. It was tender and easy to chop and shred and eat. Manipulated the sauce/dressing a little bit but it was mostly the same. Husband said it was the best yet, he'd love to eat it on a regular basis.